DHHS Highlights Newsletter_May 2014

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Thursday, May 15, 2014 | Vol. 1, No. 2

DHHS’ Highlights is published by the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services for those interested in the latest information on health and human services issues. Please subscribe to or share the newsletter by clicking on the "Share" button.

DHHS’ Division of Behavioral Health Hosts Healthy Tailgate


The Division of Behavioral Health and Region V Systems hosted a healthy tailgate for more than 500 youth before the Husker football Red/White Spring Game on April 12.

Staff provided information designed to reduce underage drinking among Nebraska youths age 12 to 20.

At the event, former Husker football player Quincy Enunwa and former Husker basketball player Jordan Hooper talked about why they choose to stay drug and alcohol free. Then, during halftime, the youth gathered on the football field to take a drug free pledge.

To learn more about how to talk to your kids about underage drinking visit the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA) “Talk. They hear you” website.

Former Husker Quincy Enunwa with Isaiah and Dominic Faber at the healthy tailgate before the Husker Red/White Spring game.

American Correctional Association Rates YRTC-K High in All Areas

The Youth Rehabilitation and Treatment Center in Kearney received high compliance ratings following an audit by the American Correctional Association. A team of auditors from ACA found the facility to be 100 percent compliant on 38 mandatory requirements and 99 percent compliant on 333 non-mandatory measurements.

"It’s not unusual for the facility to receive 100 percent compliance on the mandatory requirements, but the 99 percent compliance on non-mandatory measurements is a new high," said Thomas Pristow, director of DHHS' Division of Children and Family Services.

Nebraska Family Hotline Campaign Wins Marketing Award


The “Future Babies” marketing campaign promoting Nebraska Family Helpline was named “Best in Show” at the Omaha American Marketing Association’s Pinnacle Awards April 24. The campaign was based on an idea by helpline staff and produced by Envoy.

The helpline, at 1-888 866-8660, is a free, confidential resource for parents who have questions about their child’s behavior. The 24/7 helpline, provided by Boys Town and funded by DHHS, is operated by licensed behavioral health professionals who support families through their immediate crises and connect them to additional resources for ongoing support.

“Emotional and mental health disorders in children and youth are treatable,” said Scot L. Adams, director of the Division of Behavioral Health. “Families need to know that there are resources available to them to help.”

Since it opened its phone lines in January 2010, the Helpline has assisted more than 10,000 Nebraskan families. Watch this video to hear from a parent who has received help.

May is Children’s Mental Health Awareness Month.

Sower Newsletter’s Spring Edition Celebrates Creativity


The Sower is a quarterly newsletter published by DHHS’ Division of Developmental Disabilities to celebrate people with intellectual or developmental disabilities and their families, guardians, service providers, advocates and supporting community organizations.

This quarter’s edition showcases the creativity of individuals with developmental disabilities with samples of their artwork and articles about how they are sharing their talents.

DHHS Releases Free, Step-by-Step Wellness Resource


DHHS has developed a new online resource for businesses wanting to implement or expand upon worksite wellness programs. The Worksite Wellness Toolkit includes how-to guides, surveys, wellness policies and case studies.

“The Worksite Wellness Toolkit is a great way for Nebraska employers to promote and implement wellness in their organizations,” said Governor Dave Heineman. “Prevention and wellness efforts in the workplace produce higher productivity, better employee satisfaction and help control health care costs.”

Overnight Stay Program Helps YRTC-G Mothers Develop Parenting Skills


A new, overnight stay program at the Youth Rehabilitation and Treatment Center in Geneva is helping teen mothers develop their parenting skills.

Teen mothers in YRTC-G who demonstrated positive parenting skills, were granted one-night, overnight visits with their children.

YRTC-G Facility Administrator Dan Scarborough said the program is major step forward in YRTC-G’s mission to prepare women to return to their communities as “good, law-abiding citizens who better understand how to nurture their children.”

During overnight visits, teen mothers at YRTC-G learn the importance of reading to and paying with their children.

Nebraska Legislative Session Wrap Up


The 103rd Nebraska Legislature, 2nd Regular Session adjourned sine die on Thursday, April 17. The short, 60-day legislative session included passage of about 30 bills that affect DHHS programs and services.

DHHS employees monitor legislation and provide impact summaries and various reports throughout the year. 

For more information, visit DHHS' website on testimony and letters for the 2014 legislative session.

Pathways of Hope Shares Success Stories


DHHS’ Division of Children and Family Services (CFS) connects Nebraskan children and families to economic assistance, child welfare and juvenile services to help them lead happier, healthier lives.

 The Pathways of Hope website features real stories of individuals and families helped by these services and by the CFS caseworkers and partner agencies who provide them. New success stories are added to the site often.

“We have a lot of caring professionals on staff and with our partners who go the extra mile so children have better chances to live in more loving, nurturing families,” said Thomas Pristow, CFS director. “This site tells just some of those stories, but positive outcomes for Nebraskans are occurring every day through the hard work of many professionals.”

DHHS’ Public Health Brochure Promotes Safe Fish Eating

Fish are a good source of low-fat protein, heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins and minerals which benefits heart and brain health. Because of possible contaminants, it is important to adhere to the preparation and consumption guidelines outlined in this new brochure.

DHHS’ Environmental Risk Assessment Program, in cooperation with the Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality’s Fish Tissue Monitoring Program, has created a new brochure with information to help consumers make decisions about which fish to eat, limit or avoid.

Human Resources Hosts First Drive-Thru Job Fair


Human Resources staff hosted DHHS' first drive-thru job fair in Omaha on April 22. People interested in DHHS job openings picked up information simply by entering the parking lot on 42nd St. and will then exiting on Pacific St. Human Resources representatives were available to answer questions and people could fill out applications on site.

 Valerie Hankins, DHHS human resources manager, said drive-thru job fairs have been well-received and are an effective way to find employees. DHHS has some great job opportunities. For more information, visit DHHS' Human Resources' webpage.