DHHS Employees Celebrated at Employee Appreciation Event

DHHS employees receiving pizza during employee recognition event.

DHHS employees received pizza during the Employee Appreciation event. 

May 15, 2019 –
DHHS employees were celebrated by department leadership during State Employee Recognition Week from May 5 to 11.

The DHHS Employee Appreciation event on the Dorothea Dix campus in Raleigh was held Tuesday, May 7. It featured updates on Department initiatives, but also focused on joy at work, with pizza and cake provided to employees at Hargrove Hill Field. DHHS offices and facilities not located on the Dix campus are planning their own events to show appreciation for employees.   

“It’s Employee Appreciation Week and we wanted to make this all about celebrating you and celebrating the hard work of many folks,” DHHS Secretary Mandy Cohen said. “Let’s talk about the great amount of work that’s been going over the past number of months.” 

Secretary Cohen, Chief Deputy Secretary Susan Perry-Manning and Deputy Secretaries Dave Richard and Kody Kinsley all thanked DHHS employees for their hard work. (Watch a recording of the event or the Facebook Live stream.) 

Secretary Cohen spoke about recent milestones for the department in areas such as the move to Medicaid Managed Care, combating the opioid epidemic and improving early childhood outcomes and well-being .  

Richard  talked about the progress of rolling out Medicaid managed care within the department and for 1.6 million beneficiaries. In July, Medicaid beneficiaries in 27 counties will begin selecting a managed care plan. 

Richard also noted that NCCARE360 is now in five counties thanks in part to the work of DHHS. NCCARE360 is the first statewide coordinated care network to electronically connect people in need of help to community and DHHS resources and allow for feedback on the outcome. 

Kinsley discussed ongoing efforts to fight the opioid epidemic, including grants awarded to the state that have helped 12,000 people without health care who are suffering from opioid addiction. 

“Combatting opioids is one of our number one priorities here at DHHS,” Kinsley said. 

To reduce the oversupply of opioids, over 3,000 prescribers have been trained on the topic and several education campaigns have been launched, resulting in a 15 percent decrease in prescriptions. Kinsley also highlighted the launch of the Controlled Substance Reporting System, which collects information on dispensed controlled substance prescriptions and makes this information available to prescribers and dispensers and helps identify individuals that may be suffering from a substance use disorder. 

Perry-Manning thanked employees for their proactive communication and teamwork in launching the Early Childhood Action Plan. The plan kicked off in February 2019.

“We had folks … from all across the department coming together and really working hard on what is going to make the biggest difference in a young child’s life and really set them on the path for success,” Perry-Manning said.  

Since the plan’s launch, North Carolina has already seen progress in improving child well-being in the state, including launching the largest online roll-out of the Positive Parenting Program (Triple P) in the country. 

During Employee Recognition Week, Governor Roy Cooper also thanked the over 80,000 state employees working all over North Carolina in a video message sent to employees. 

“As I travel, I see the impact of your work everywhere I go,” Governor Cooper said. “You work to strengthen local businesses and bring companies from around the world to our state.” 

Gretchen Kalar