Newsletter Articles

DHHS Shoutouts: NASW-NC Advocate of the Year, Walter B. Jones Staff Fields Calls On-Air About Opioids and More

NCDHHS recognizes employees and partners doing positive work in their communities. 

Team at Riddle Center Builds Wheelchairs, Other Equipment to Help Residents

The Adaptive Engineering Technology team at the Riddle Center designs, modifies and repairs specialty wheelchairs – most of which are very complex in function – and makes or modifies items such as helmets, splints and beds to assist residents with activities of daily living. 

Most Cloud Storage Services to Be Blocked on State Networks Beginning in April

Beginning April 1, DHHS and other state employees will no longer be able to access cloud services like DropBox, Google Drive and iCloud on the state network without an approved exception.

DHHS Leaders Graduate from Management Development Program

DHHS’ Division of Human Resources partnered in 2016 with North Carolina State University’s Office of Professional Development to plan a Management Development Certificate program for executive and mid-level managers. By the fall of 2017, a pilot program was in place.

Artwork from Riddle Center Residents “Shines”

Art created by 130 residents of DHHS’ J. Iverson Riddle Developmental Center is on display at the City of Morganton Municipal Auditorium through March 31. The work is part of the art show “Shine” and features mixed-media community artwork.

Opportunities Available for Assistance During Tax Season

The April 17 deadline for filing federal, state and local taxes is less than a month away and DHHS is sharing opportunities for taxpayers to receive assistance in filing their taxes and determine if their eligible for the Earned Income Tax Credit.

With Tax Changes, Time to Do a Paycheck Checkup

New Federal Tax Withholding Tables were added to the Integrated HR/Payroll System last month, and some DHHS employees may be wondering if they need to change their withholding allowance.  

Families Taking Advantage of Reduced Admission to Aquariums

More than 1,000 adults and children have taken advantage of a program that offers reduced admission to low-income families who present an Electronic Benefits Transfer card at North Carolina aquariums.

Secretary Cohen Encourages Business Leaders to Hire People with Disabilities

Secretary Cohen has been promoting the EveryBody Works NC campaign to raise awareness of resources available for employers to hire and retain employees with disabilities and for jobseekers with disabilities to find meaningful employment. 

File Your Taxes Online for Free

The North Carolina Department of Revenue is partnering with a nonprofit alliance of tax software companies to provide free electronic tax filing services. 

Get a Jump on the New N.C. REAL ID

Getting the N.C. REAL ID will make it more convenient when you need to board a commercial airplane or visit a military base or other federal facility.

Aging and Adult Services Honor Organizations That Help Older Adults

A paramedic program, volunteer center and the town of Mooresville were the winners of the Division of Aging and Adult Services’ 25th annual Busse, Maddox and Messer Awards. The awards, handed out during January and February, recognize individuals or organizations that went above and beyond to help aging citizens in North Carolina.

Governor’s Awards for Excellence Nominations Due March 12

The Governor's Awards for Excellence is the highest honor a state employee may receive. The annual award program is designed to acknowledge and express appreciation for outstanding accomplishments that do not fall entirely within the scope of normal duties, but are in the nature of a major contribution reflecting credit on the person and state service. The deadline for DHHS nominations for the North Carolina Governor’s Awards for Excellence is March 12.

N.C. Medicaid and DOJ Collaborate to Stop Fraud, Waste and Abuse

The N.C. Medicaid Office of Compliance and Program Integrity (OCPI), part of DHHS, and N.C. Department of Justice Medicaid Investigations Division (MID) held a joint training for their teams at the N.C. Museum of History in Raleigh.

DHHS Goes Red with Campaign to Promote Heart Health and Fitness

The Division of Public Health has “Gone Red” again this year with a new online messaging campaign to support the American Heart Association’s Go Red for Women initiative and promote cardiovascular health and physical fitness.

N.C. Medicaid Exceeds Budget Targets While Strengthening Program

North Carolina Medicaid, which ensures that nearly 2 million children, seniors and people with disabilities receive health care, finished the 2017 state fiscal year with more than $86 million in cash-on-hand. In addition to key improvements to the Medicaid program to combat the opioid crisis and improve overall accountability, it was the fourth straight year for Medicaid to close with savings.

DHHS Finishes Strong for SECC

DHHS employees increased their giving for the 2017 State Employees Combined Campaign (SECC) donation drive, with donations exceeding 2016 totals by more than 10 percent.

Raleigh Museum Exhibit Commemorates 1918 North Carolina Flu Epidemic

DHHS’ Division of Public Health partnered with the City of Raleigh Museum to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the 1918 epidemic with an exhibit designed by COR Museum Research Educator Ed Longe that guides visitors through North Carolina’s experience and response to the epidemic, and what science has learned about handling epidemics today and for the future.

N.C. Public Health Leaders Focus on the Future with New, Strategic Vision

N.C. Public Health Division Director Danny Staley laid out a roadmap to a new strategic service model for public health, known as Public Health 3.0, at this year’s North Carolina Health Leaders’ Conference in Raleigh.

DHHS Celebrates Anniversary with Lumbee Vocational Rehabilitation Tribal Program

Several DHHS divisions joined the Lumbee Tribal Vocational Rehabilitation Program to celebrate Ability Day, their 10th anniversary of serving individuals with disabilities in its tribal territories.

Chris Hoke Receives Levine Award at Public Health Leader’s Conference

Chris Hoke, Chief of the Division of Public Health’s Office of Regulatory and Legal Affairs, was presented the Ronald H. Levine Legacy Award on Jan. 18 during the statewide Public Health Leaders’ Conference in Raleigh. 

DHHS Team Places in Miles for Wellness Challenge

A team from DHHS’ Division of Public Health placed second in the Tortoise Division in the 16th Miles for Wellness Challenge. 

DHHS Honors HIV Survivors, Health Care Providers

DHHS’ Division of Public Health last month held a ceremony honoring long-term survivors of HIV and the health care providers who are helping them achieve good health and viral suppression, as part of a recognition of World AIDS Day.

DHHS Encourages All North Carolinians Without Health Insurance to Sign Up for Coverage

The N.C. Department of Health and Human Services wants all North Carolinians to be as healthy as possible, and having health insurance is a big part of that. If you don’t have health coverage, the Department encourages you to enroll for 2018 through the Health Insurance Marketplace at by next week’s deadline of Friday, Dec. 15.

Secretary Cohen Highlights Opioid Misuse Among Aging, Vulnerable Adults

The Secretary’s speech was part of a seminar held for professionals in the fields of Adult Protective Services, guardianship social work and addiction. It aimed to develop a basic knowledge of issues, challenges and opportunities surrounding the opioid crisis that particularly affect aging and vulnerable adults and their families.

DHHS Controller to Receive Fiscal Integrity Award

Laketha M. Miller, the Director of the DHHS Office of the Controller, has been selected to receive the 2017 State Controller’s Fiscal Integrity Award. The award is presented to a state employee or agency that has demonstrated a record of exemplary adherence to the ethical principles of fiscal integrity and honesty, worked to sustain open government, and earned a reputation for fairness and service to the citizens of North Carolina.

33 DHHS Employees Nominated for Governor’s Award for Excellence

Thirty-three Department of Health and Human Services employees were nominated for the Governor’s Awards for Excellence this year, one of the highest honors a state employee can receive.

Directors Honored for Impact in Vocational Rehabilitation

Senior Director for Employment Services Claudia Horn and Vocational Rehabilitation Services Division Director Tara Myers each won the Director’s Award from the Marketing Association for Rehabilitation Centers, Inc. (MARC). The awards were presented at the organization’s annual meeting and awards luncheon in October. MARC represents a consortium of 14 community rehabilitation programs that provide training and employment services for people with disabilities in western North Carolina.

Seniors, Their Families and Caregivers Give Thanks for PACE

The Program for All-inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE) initiative provides an alternative to nursing facilities for low-income adults who meet Medicaid’s criteria of needing nursing facility services but are able to live in a community setting. PACE is an adult day health program for seniors age 55 and up, and features medical care, meal services, physical therapy, activities, socialization, therapeutic recreation and restorative therapies in one location.

DHHS’ Forensic Tests for Alcohol Branch part of Safety City at State Fair

The N.C. Governor’s Highway Safety Program showcased its annual “Safety City” with an event at the 2017 North Carolina State Fair featuring statewide highway safety partners, including the Forensic Tests for Alcohol Branch of DHHS’ Division of Public Health.

New Study to Examine Opioid Crisis in Western North Carolina

The N.C. Department of Health and Human Services is partnering with RTI International, local health departments, the Harm Reduction Coalition and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill to develop collaborative solutions to opioid use and related public-health problems in eight western North Carolina counties.

DHHS Emergency Medical Staff Respond to Areas Struck by Hurricanes Irma and Maria

Two massive hurricanes that brought catastrophic damage to the Florida Keys (Irma) and Puerto Rico (Maria) have been receiving medical support from the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services.

Everybody Works NC Promotes Inclusion, Workforce Partnerships at the State Fair

The Everybody Works NC campaign was on display at this year’s North Carolina State Fair, promoting the benefits of a diverse, inclusive workforce and raising awareness about the workforce partnerships that connect employers with the untapped labor force of people with disabilities. 

DHHS Presents Updates to Joint Legislative Oversight Committees

On Oct. 10, N.C. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Mandy Cohen and members of the DHHS leadership team presented updates to two Joint Legislative Oversight Committees: Health and Human Services, and Medicaid and NC Health Choice.

DHHS Leaders Hear from Front-Line Professionals at N.C. Community Transitions Institute

The N.C. Department of Health and Human Services concluded the third annual N.C. Community Transitions Institute Oct. 10 with a listening session at Wake Technical Community College in Raleigh.

N.C. Health Equity Impact Awards Celebrate Leaders, Organizations Making a Difference

The North Carolina Office of Minority Health and Health Disparities (NC OMHHD) held the first N.C. Health Equity Impact Awards in Raleigh, with former U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Joycelyn Elders keynoting the awards banquet.

DHHS Employee Raising Awareness, Funds to Help Diabetes Research

The Joslin Diabetes Center is a world-renowned center for diabetes treatment and research that is dedicated to finding a cure for diabetes and ensuring that people with diabetes have long, healthy lives. 

Rowan County Pair is N.C.'s Top Paramedic Team for 2017

A team from Rowan County gave the top performance at this week's North Carolina Paramedic Championship.

First Lady Kristin Cooper Teams Up with State Health Director to Encourage Vaccination Against Flu

North Carolina First Lady Kristin Cooper joined State Health Director Dr. Betsey Tilson at Wake County Human Services to encourage North Carolinians to get vaccinated against the flu.

Deaf Awareness Month Celebrated by Governor Cooper, DSDHH Leaders

Governor Roy Cooper and Division of Services for the Deaf and the Hard of Hearing leadership celebrated September as Deaf Awareness Month during an event at the capitol building on Sept. 6,

During Suicide Prevention Month, DHHS Reminds Public Immediate Help is Available

September is Suicide Prevention Month, and the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services reminds North Carolinians that help for a mental health crisis is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week at 1-800-273-8255 (TALK) or through an online chat at

September is National Preparedness Month

As Hurricane Irma brushes the state, public health officials are joining other statewide emergency response partners to provide resources and tools to local health departments promoting emergency preparedness in local communities. 

DHHS Celebrates National Recovery Month

The goal of National Recovery Month, sponsored by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), is to celebrate individuals in recovery and increase awareness and understanding of substance use disorders.

Project SEARCH Helps Developmentally-Disabled Youth Transition from School to Work

The Project SEARCH Transition to Work Program recently graduated its first group of participants.

‘We Want to Think About the Whole Person’

With Secretary Mandy Cohen’s leadership, DHHS wants to make sure the behavioral health care needs of beneficiaries are met, and that access to programs that provide people with resources.

ICYMI: NC Pre-K Expansion, NC FAST Pilot Launches and More

The state's pre-kindergarten program, which is administered by DHHS, will expand by 1,800 additional 4-year-olds this year, bringing the total number of children enrolled in NC Pre-K to more than 28,000.

Gov. Cooper Seeks Donations for School Supply Drive

Donation bins are available in all state government buildings in Raleigh, businesses that partner with the N.C. Business Committee on Education, and all State Employee Credit Union branch buildings.

Success Stories Celebrated at Legislative Breakfast

The 22nd C. Odell Tyndell Legislative Breakfast, hosted by the National Rehabilitation Association’s North Carolina chapter, highlights the work of rehabilitation professionals in advancing the personal and economic independence of people with disabilities. 

DHHS Seeks Public Input on Detailed Medicaid Managed Care Proposed Design

The N.C. Department of Health and Human Services released its Medicaid managed care proposed program design for the state’s Medicaid and NC Health Choice programs.

Four DHHS Employees Honored for 45 Years of Service to State

Four employees of the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services were named Caswell Award recipients in June. The Caswell Award honors employees who have served North Carolina for 45 years or more.

New Contracts Focus on Improved Behavioral Health Outcomes

The N.C. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) recently announced strengthened contracts with Local Management Care Entities/Managed Care Organizations (LME/MCOs) seeking improved outcomes for mental health, developmental disabilities and substance use disorder services.

DHHS Launches Facebook Page

A Facebook page has been launched by the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services in an effort to better connect with North Carolina citizens, share Department news and highlight DHHS divisions and programs.

Division of Aging and Adult Services Brings Attention to Elder Abuse

The N.C. Department of Health and Health Services’ Division of Aging and Adult Services and its partners recently collaborated on efforts to raise awareness about protecting elders across the state.

ICYMI: Buying Health – Not Only Health Care Op-ed and More

An op-ed from DHHS Secretary Mandy Cohen, MD, on how social determinants affect health and well-being was recently published in the News & Observer.

Governor Cooper Signs Law to Make Traffic Stops Safer for Deaf, Hard of Hearing

Legislation that allows deaf and hard of hearing citizens to request a designation for their driver’s license from the N.C. Division of Motor Vehicles was signed into law last week by Governor Roy Cooper.

Opioid Summit ‘Productive,’ ‘Impressive,’ ‘Terrific’

Governor Roy Cooper and Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Mandy Cohen, M.D., kicked off the Opioid Misuse & Overdose Prevention Summit Tuesday morning and announced North Carolina’s Opioid Action Plan. The plan is a living document that will be updated as progress is made on the opioid epidemic, and new issues and solutions arise.

Increased Use of Naloxone Helps to Save Lives in N.C.

Nearly 7,000 drug overdoses have been reversed in North Carolina since August 2013, thanks to an antidote for opioid overdoses called naloxone.

Stories of Recovery: Speaker Among Those Giving Back

Attendees at the Opioid Misuse & Overdose Prevention Summit heard messages Tuesday and Wednesday of redemption, of lives turned around and gratitude from people who are continuing in recovery after suffering from addiction. 

How Data are Used to Help Combat Opioid Epidemic

Several data sources are being used by organizations, partners and the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services to help paint a clear picture of the opioid epidemic, combat the crisis and save lives.

ICYMI: Turning the Tide on Opioid Misuse and Overdose

News reports following this week’s Opioid Misuse & Overdose Prevention Summit showed widespread interest in the bold plan to attack the opioid crisis that was announced by Governor Roy Cooper and Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Mandy Cohen, M.D., and supported by Attorney General Josh Stein.

Governor Cooper, Secretary Cohen announce Opioid Action Plan for N.C.

Governor Roy Cooper and DHHS Secretary Mandy Cohen, M.D., unveiled North Carolina’s Opioid Action Plan this week at the Opioid Misuse and Overdose Prevention Summit.

Two Hospitals Selected to Increase Rural Psychiatric, Substance Use Treatment

N.C. DHHS selected two hospitals to increase the number and availability of inpatient psychiatric and substance use treatment beds in rural hospitals.

DHHS Employees Honor Military Who Died in Action, Veterans

N.C. DHHS employees honored military personnel killed in action and deceased veterans prior to Memorial Day.