DHS Director's Message: December 12, 2011

Uploaded by ORGovDHS on 12.12.2011

Hello DHS,
In just a couple of short weeks we celebrate our six-month birthday. A lot of work has
happened during the last six months, and I just want to recap a few key things about
organizationally where we’re headed. We’ve got three major bodies of work happening:
1) Looking at how we’re organized so that we can streamline a few things; 2) How we
manage so we can ensure we’re getting to the outcomes that we want; and 3) How we’re
planning strategically to maximize our resources and prioritize across our service delivery,
operations and program design pieces so that everybody is on the same page and we’re
all working toward the same goals. It’s pretty exciting and there’s a whole lot
of work that goes into that at the same time that we’re all managing the agency, responding
to the legislature’s requests for information, dealing with hot topics and constituent issues.
So I want to recognize my leadership team and some key folks who have stepped up and
said “yes” to leading in this new DHS. Just so you know, for sure, the roles that
everyone’s playing and where we’re headed.
Let me start with Child Welfare. Lois Day has said “yes” to being our Child Welfare
Director. She’ll be partnering with Jerry Waybrant in that whole two-in-the-box concept
so that there’s joint accountability there between the delivery, the operations and the
program. Mary Lee Fay will be our Director of Developmental Disability Programs. Her
two-the-the-box partner is Trisha Baxter. Stephaine Taylor will continue to lead the
Office of Vocational Rehabilitation Services.
We have two critical vacancies that we’re continuing to recruit for. One in our Aging
and People with Disabilities group and one in Self Sufficiency, but we have two really
capable folks who have stepped up in the Deputy positions in those offices to lead. Carol
Lamon is on a rotation and doing an excellent job in the Self Sufficiency Program, and I’m
really happy to announce that in just the last couple of days Mike McCormick has agreed
to step up as the Deputy of the APD program area. I’m very thankful to him for that.
I’ve got a group of folks who are taking on new roles and responsibilities for the
whole agency, and I just want to note them so you can know what they’re doing on your
behalf. Let me start with a new position. Tina Kitchin will be our Medical Director
for all of DHS. We have clients with significant medical needs, and she’s going to be helping
to advise the program areas around those (not just the group formerly known as SPD but across
the agency). We’ve got Gloria Anderson working on equity issues. Rick Acevedo is working
with our Tribal partners. Margaret Carter, who is in communities drumming up more support
for your work and championing the work that you do. Gene Evans has a great team working
on communicating proactively what we’re all about and the great work that you’re
doing. Mickey Serice will now be leading our Legislative Affairs unit and tackling some
of the tough legal management issues that we deal with on a day-to-day basis. Eric Moore
is our Chief Financial Officer, and Jim Scherzinger is our Chief Operating Officer. I couldn’t
live without the two of them and their extraordinary efforts to make sure that the business is
working. Jerry and Trisha, I’ve already mentioned. Carolyn Ross, who is our HR Director
and doing exemplary work as the interim OHA HR Director while they figure all of that
out. Pretty remarkable task. Carolyn Lawson, our Chief Information Officer is really re-setting
the way that the business and our IT partnership looks and making sure that business is driving
the decision making there.
There’s an incredible group of people who also are working with you, with a lot of input
from staff, on areas where the department, across the board, could partner differently
and collaborate, and I want to mention them as well. Let me mention Wes Charley and Christy
Williams. They are leading a conversation about Continuous Improvement for the entirety
of DHS and what that looks like going forward. Donna Keddy, who is leading a conversation
about our Licensing and regulatory functions. Marie Cervantes and Eva Kutas, who are looking
at Adult Protection Services and how that needs to look going into the future. I want
to mention Angela Long, who has been leading the Program Integrity group, making sure we
have some quality control and continuous improvement happening in our program areas. Let me also
highlight for sure Sandy Dugan and Angela Munkers, who make sure for all of us that
the field infrastructure is constantly on our minds. And Jeremy Emerson, who does yeoman’s
work leading the Shared Services group and has been navigating what it looks like to
partner in our Shared Services arena with the Oregon Health Authority.
I think I’ve gotten everybody that I needed to catch. I know that was a long list, and
I thank you for listening to it. I think it worked well to have people’s pictures and
the job assignments up on the web, so you can know that when you have an issue or need
to communicate with someone about something, you can put a face with the name. We’ll
be working to update that for you.
I want to thank that group for stepping up to lead during really difficult times. There
is not a lot of thanks when you’re in those leadership roles, so I hope you’ll join
me in thanking them. And let me thank you for all your feedback on last week’s message.
Many, many of you wrote to say you understand and support the concept of servant leadership
in these tough times. I’m thankful to the thousands of you who every day come into our
offices and do that work. Thanks, and have a great week.