14 August 2020 MDVA News and Announcements

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Maryland Department of Veterans Affairs

News and Announcements  -  August 14, 2020


Customer Service: A MDVA Priority

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The following article was written by Dana Burl, Director of the MDVA Outreach & Advocacy Program:

In 2016, the Hogan Rutherford Administration launched the State’s Customer Service Initiative.  It focuses on three core deliverables: a renewed focus on a strong service culture in state agencies, improved customer service training for state employees, and the establishment of new service performance metrics.  The Customer Service Promise is a pledge state agencies have taken to ensure friendly and courteous service, to be timely and responsive, to ensure accuracy and consistency, to be accessible and convenient, as well as truthful and transparent.

The State receives feedback from three sources: survey links in employee signature blocks, following online transactions, and from businesses who engage with the Maryland Business Express. Designated customer service liaisons monitor survey responses.  In addition to monitoring responses, liaisons contact customers who report negative experiences with the goal to resolve problems. 

In Fiscal Year 2020, MDVA received 91 customer surveys.  The Department had an 88% overall satisfaction rating and 87% of customers reported the state made it easy to resolve their issue.  MDVA has consistently improved its satisfaction ratings since the Governor’s initiative launched in 2016.  Between Fiscal Year 2019 and Fiscal Year 2020, MDVA saw an 8% increase in overall customer satisfaction.

Each year, MDVA personnel are required to attend customer service training.  Dana Burl who is the Outreach Program Director and the Department’s liaison to the customer service initiative facilitates the training.  This years’ virtual training focused on the customer service promise, COVID-19 era leadership: military lessons learned, and moving forward in our ‘new normal’.  The Department had a 97% completion rate, with only three staff missing the training due to leave.

Overall, feedback from personnel who attended the virtual training was very positive.  MDVA looks forward to moving forward in our new normal and to providing exceptional customer service.  To learn more about the Hogan-Rutherford Administration’s Customer Service Promise and MDVA’s goals visit: https://veterans.maryland.gov/wp-content/uploads/sites/2/2016/11/MDVACustomerServiceOverview-_Final-2.pdf

MDVA Website

Charlotte hall Donation

American Legion Jameson-Harrison Post 238 of Hughesville Donates to

Charlotte Hall Veterans Home.

Charlotte Hall Veterans Home staff extend a "BIG" thank you to members of American Legion Post 238, Auxiliary and Sons for their generous donation of $10,254. These funds were raised at their annual St. Patrick's Day Dinner. Charlotte Hall has been very fortunate to have the continued support of American Legion Post 238.

From left to right are: Frank D'Annunizo, Joe Goldsmith, Debbie Copp and Jeff Sheriff.

Casket Carries

This is the new purpose-built casket transport for Garrison Forest Veterans Cemetery.  The transport was just acquired and cemetery staff are testing it at the Garrison Forest location.  Following a successful test period and and if the equipment proves reliable, similar purchases for the other Maryland Veterans Cemetery locations will be considered.

State Partner News

Maryland’s Census Response Rate Above National Average, Governor Hogan Encourages Full Participation

Maryland Flag Waiving

Governor Larry Hogan announced that Maryland is now in the top ten in self-response rate for the 2020 Census and continues to encourage all Marylanders to complete their forms at 2020Census.gov. Maryland has a  67.6% self-response rate, well above the national response rate of 63.4%. Maryland ranks fourth in the U.S. in Internet response. Carroll County leads the state with a self-response rate of 79.2%, ranking 26th in the U.S. out of more than 3,200 counties.

Read entire Press Release


Nominations for Governor's Service Awards Now Open

The Governor’s Office on Service and Volunteerism, Maryland’s State Service Commission, announced that nominations for the 2020 Governor's Service Awards are now open. Throughout this challenging year, Marylanders have united to demonstrate extraordinary resilience, expand community relationships, and contribute to a collaborative ecosystem of service. In 2019, 19 individuals and groups were recognized by Governor Hogan and the State of Maryland at the awards ceremony in October.

Read More Here

SDAT Conducts Tax Credit Awareness Campaign, Encourages Marylanders to Apply Online

The Maryland Department of Assessments and Taxation (SDAT) is urging Marylanders to consider whether they may be eligible to receive a homeowners’ or renters’ property tax credit by accessing our innovative online tax credit application system, which strengthens our ability to continue processing all tax credit applications in an accurate and timely manner. Legislation sponsored by the Department was also passed earlier this year, extending the submission deadline to October 1.

The Homeowners’ Property Tax Credit Program

The Renters’ Property Tax Credit Program 

To determine whether you are eligible to receive a tax credit, you may visit the links above or call 410-767-4433 or 1-800-944-7403 (toll-free within Maryland). To receive an application, please call 410-767-4238.

Mark Your Calendars - Maryland Small Business Training

In this new environment of social distancing, everyone is adapting. Today's seminars are webinars, Zoom meetings, Facebook Live events, Google Meets, and more. If you have a smart phone or a computer, you have what you need to tap into these valuable training and information sessions. Capacity can fill quickly, so sign up early when required to do so

08/20/2020 - Effective RFP Responses: Tips from Corporate Procurement Experts

Check out our full listing of small business events
online at goMDsmallbiz.maryland.gov.

Enter the DNR Photo Contest by August 31

Calling all photographers: Be sure to enter your photos of Maryland landscapes, weather, wildlife, insects, and plants before the contest closes on Aug. 31.

Contest Tip: Enter your best fall and winter photos! We don't receive as many photos from these seasons and the contest is judged by season. Contest  info here.

Assist the Breeding Bird Atlas Project

The Breeding Bird Atlas of Maryland and the District of Columbia is a five-year project documenting the distribution and abundance of our local breeding bird populations, from turkeys to ducks to sparrows. This information is used to manage habitat and sustain healthy ecosystems.

If you find a nest—whether it’s in the backyard or the backwoods—you can contribute to the project. Visit the department's Breeding Bird Atlas website to learn how to get involved or to explore the data.

Federal Partner News

VA Baltimore Washington Leadership Development Program Volunteer Efforts

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The Baltimore-Washington Leadership Development Program (BWLDP) is a local leadership development program aimed at providing practical and effective tools for aspiring leaders. Each year, the BWLDP participants organize a service project to give back to the community.  The 2020 Cohort selected the Charlotte Hall Veterans Home. The goal was to volunteer at the location; however, the pandemic altered the opportunity. In lieu of volunteering, the cohort mailed 380 thank-you cards to the residents on August 5, 2020.

It was important to the group that each Veteran received a card with a personal message to express gratitude for his/her sacrifice. It is an honor for the cohort to give back to those who have served and continue to support our nation’s heroes.

Text provided by Antione Waller, Director of the Baltimore Regional Office and National Capital Region Benefits Office

Federal News

VA - Most Underutilized Veterans Benefit by State

VA - Largest or most successful state employer of veterans

VA - Welcoming Back Volunteers - with Safeguards

VA Maryland Health Care System - Are You Ready for the Next Storm?

VA C&P Exams Resuming

6 Things Veterans Can Do to Successfully Transition From a Military Career

White House VA Hotline:  1-855-948-2311

How VA helps Veteran business owners

Small Business Administration Assistance, Carroll County Times article

Small Business Grants for Veterans, MilitaryBenefits.info article

Live Whole Health: Self-Care Episode # 42 - Are You Listening?

Live Whole Health Self-Care Episode #43 - Head and Neck Massage

Respite Relief for Military and Veteran Caregivers

C-123 Planes and Agent Orange Residue

The VA is hosting another Women's Health Transition Training for Fort Meade on August 31st. In addition, we will continue to offer two virtual trainings per day through December 21st. Register and information is Here

Community Partner News

For Your Information

The Maryland Department of Veterans Affairs does not endorse the organizations sponsoring these events, and we do not endorse the views they express or the products/services they offer.  The views and opinions expressed in any referenced document do not necessarily state or reflect those of MDVA.  The information provided is intended for your general knowledge only, and serves solely as a MDVA community outreach effort.

Community News

Travis Manion Foundation 9/11 Heroes Run  Virtual Run Info Sheet


MCVET Friday and Saturday Car Wash


NAMI Maryland Virtual Annual Conference 2020


Baltimore Station - Referral Information for Homeless Veterans, also see Baltimore Station event below in Community Calendar on August 27th


Veteran Compost - From Combat to Compost  Newsletter

Soldiers to Sidelines

Our next Free certification is basketball seminar, September 14-19, 2021.  Link to registration;

Leidos is hosting ongoing monthly virtual chats for transitioning military, veterans, and military spouses.  Chats will be held the third Thursday of every month from 1-3pm Eastern Time with the next chat scheduled for 20 August.

Here you can talk with talent acquisition representatives from our Defense, Intelligence, Health, and Civil Groups as well as members of our Corporate and Leidos Innovations Center teams about opportunities within their organizations.

To register, please visit https://app.brazenconnect.com/events/X68Y3?utm_medium=Email&utm_source=Email+Distro

Community Calendar

August 18, 2020

DAV Recruit Military Job Fair - Eastern Region

August 26, 2020

Vet Center Virtual Resource Fair

2020 Women's Centennial SummitFlier 

*Also see Women Veterans United Committee, Inc. Members Selected for Centennial Event

August 27, 2020

Military Veteran Friendly Job Virtual Job Fair

Major League Movie Night to benefit Baltimore Station