New state Health and Social Services Commissioner Joel Gilbertson has his work cut out for him. Gilbertson, 30, was chosen by Gov. Frank Murkowski to run, in terms of dollars managed, one of the state's biggest agencies. Within the Department of Health and Social Service's $553 million annual budget of state funds, Medicaid, at $225 million next year, is the 800-pound gorilla. Including federal funds, the department's overall budget is $1.7 billion.
Recognized expert in child welfare issues, Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA), federal child & family services reviews.
Governor Frank H. Murkowski announced today the appointment of Marcia Kennai as Deputy Commissioner of Health & Social Services. Ms. Kennai will head the new Office of Children's Services announced last month as part of a major reorganization of the Dept. of Health & Social Services.
Spring greetings to everyone from the Director's office. Brace yourselves. The recent weather map shows a statewide thaw that heralds the coming of spring activity. Even Barrow was a balmy 12 degrees yesterday. This means, of course, increased activity at our offices, as folks migrating into Alaska seek program assistance and others step up their job search efforts in anticipation of summer employment. Spring and summer always present our greatest opportunity to help our fellow Alaskans find self-sufficiency and self-esteem though employment.
There's new information available on DPAweb - a link on the Policy & Program Development page under "resources" called "DPA Program Information" which takes you to such interesting items as the "60-month Time Limit and Extension Frequently Asked Questions", "Outcomes for Families Reaching the 60-month Limit" and "When is an Overpayment Claim Required".
Effective 4/16/03 the ET Caseload Report (CR001) is available on-line. Go to: https://dpasysops.dhss.alaska.gov/Production/ and click on ET Caseload Report under Other Links.
A major new national study was released by the Manhattan Institute on the impact of the 1996 welfare reform law on low-income families.
The report found an astonishing 20 percent drop in the poverty rate among single mothers between 1996 and 2001 -- a decrease that the researchers credit primarily to the effect of welfare reform in moving increasing numbers of recipients into the work force.
Juneau -- Commissioner Greg O
Here are pictures of the first ever Statewide Healthcare & Human Services Career Fair. This event was designed to address the near critical shortage of workers at all levels in this industry, which is one of the the fastest growing career fields in Alaska. To meet this significant economic challenge, the state collaborated with numerous organizations to create this event. There were 50+ industry representatives from around Alaska bringing career and training opportunities to our community.
In this week's update I would like to welcome the staff from the Depts. of Administration and Education & Early Development who will be moving to DHSS as part of the reorganization. We recently started sending these updates to help our future colleagues make the transition into the Department of Health and Social Services.
The Director's office has been on the road this week. Julie Morris is hard at work getting the message out in Anchorage to field supervisors and staff regarding HIPAA, the federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act.