Commissioner's Update: We Made It-Our First Day a Success

Submitted by Clay Butcher on July 2, 2003 - 10:58am

I am pleased to report that the first day of our reorganization was a success. We had a few blips in the Medicaid check writing process, but if you consider the size and scope of the reorganization effort, our first day was a success. This was due to the work of the employees of this department and the time and effort that went into the reorganization plan. It was no small task-and you deserve congratulations. This is the largest reorganization in our 84-year history as a department, one that we undertook to provide better service to Alaskans.

New DHSS/DPA Website Debuts

Submitted by Clay Butcher on July 1, 2003 - 3:17pm

Earlier this year, Governor Murkowski issued an administrative order asking that all department websites adopt the "look and feel" of the new state website.

The new look is in place for the department and DPA. There may be some broken links or other issues that should be resolved soon.

Additionally, we will soon be updating DPAweb and the public DPA website to update the new organizational structure.

Commisioner's Update: On The Road & In the News

Submitted by Curtis Nelson on June 27, 2003 - 4:23pm

Over the past two weeks I have been on the road as part of an effort led by the Governor's Office, to discuss the Governor's final budget. I've made dozens of presentations to providers, partners, stakeholders, and the news media, and you have probably seen some of the coverage. I thought that the article that appeared in the June 22 Peninsula Clarion did a good job of explaining our budget, our reorganization, and our future plans. You can view this online at the Peninsula Clarion.

ADN: Seniors' aid depends on low income

Submitted by Clay Butcher on June 27, 2003 - 10:57am

GUIDELINES: State expects 7,500 to qualify; 18,000 got longevity bonus.

JUNEAU -- The state announced income guidelines Thursday for a new program to provide $120 monthly payments for low-income seniors who will lose longevity bonuses in September.

Senior advocates said the program will help some needy senior citizens, but they fear others will fall through the cracks. "As my mother used to say, it's better than a sharp stick in the eye," said Pat Luby, legislative representative for AARP in Alaska. "It's still going to be a mess for many of our oldest citizens."

Peninsula Clarion: DHSS makes efficiency new goal for future

Submitted by Clay Butcher on June 23, 2003 - 2:35pm

At $1.6 billion, it is the most expensive in the state's budget, but the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services is about to embark on a new course aimed at delivering a better product more efficiently and at less cost.

"It's the most comprehensive restructuring in the history of the department and it might even be one of the largest restructurings in the history of the state government," said Joel Gilbertson, commissioner of Health and Social Services in Gov. Frank Murkow-ski's administration.

Commissioner's Update: Budget Update

Submitted by Curtis Nelson on June 13, 2003 - 8:31am

Governor Murkowski has now announced his final FY 04 budget plan,consistent with his stated intent to extend the life of ourConstitutional Budget Reserve by drawing down no more than $400 millionfrom our reserves this next fiscal year. In so doing, the Governor willexercise his power of the veto, reducing the budget passed by thelegislature by some $130 million in state funds.

KidCount 2003 rankings of poverty, families

Submitted by Clay Butcher on June 12, 2003 - 3:54pm

A survey of child health and welfare released today showed a mixed bag of results for Alaska families. The Kids Count survey is sponsored by the Annie E. Casey Foundation and is released annually based on prior-year information.

Alaska scored well nationally in areas of child poverty (6th) and high school dropout rate (13th,) but poorly in percentage of children in single-parent families (38th), and children in families with neither parent working (47th).