This Week at MDHHS 11.21.16

Michigan Dept of Health & Human Services

This Week at MDHHS

November 21, 2016

Your weekly chronicle of the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services and the transformation in how health and human services are delivered in Michigan.

Adoption Day ceremony will provide forever homes to children in foster care

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Several children in Michigan’s foster care system will realize their dream of joining a forever family during adoption proceedings Tuesday at the Michigan Supreme Court Hall of Justice in Lansing.

The court will oversee the final stages of the children’s adoption process during a special ceremony recognizing Tuesday as Adoption Day and November as Adoption Month. Similar Adoption Day ceremonies are occurring in courts around the state.

Director Nick Lyon will speak at the event in Lansing.

MDHHS – in partnership with adoption agencies and the courts – works to find loving families who want to adopt. In fiscal year 2016, more than 2,000 children were adopted from the foster care system in Michigan, and loving homes are now needed for about 300 children in the system.

“Finding homes that children in our foster care system can call their own is one of the top priorities for MDHHS,” said Steve Yager, executive director of the department’s Children’s Services Agency. “We are extremely appreciative of the families and individuals in Michigan who step up to provide forever homes for children who need love and stability. We hope that more Michiganders will open their hearts to adoption.”

Anyone interested in adopting can contact the Michigan Adoption Resource Exchange at 800-589-6273 or learn more about the children available for adoption at For more information about adoption in Michigan, visit

Pictured above is a foster child who is going through the final stages of adoption at last year's ceremony at the Michigan Supreme Court.

Employees can enter contest to design poster for Employee Survey

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Once again, an MDHHS employee has a chance to put his or her stamp on efforts to promote the 2017 State of Michigan Employee Survey in February.

Employees in all departments are being asked to submit their design for a poster that will encourage participation in the survey and communicate the importance of receiving employee feedback.

MDHHS’ own Kathryn Stojsih, a departmental analyst, won the contest for the poster design for the last survey in 2015. The winning design is here.  

Like Stojsih, this year’s winner will receive a copy of the poster signed by Gov. Rick Snyder and Lt. Gov. Brian Calley, will be recognized in the Good Government Newsletter and will see their design used to promote the survey.

Here are the requirements for submitting your design:

  • Email a jpeg file of your poster to by close of business on Monday, Nov. 28.
  • Somewhere on your poster, the following text must appear:

                o   2017 Employee Survey.
                o   February 6 through 28.
                o   My Voice, MI Future (capitalize as shown).
                o   Administered by PricewaterhouseCoopers.

You may submit more than one poster design. The Office of Performance and Transformation team will choose top poster creations for employees to vote on from Nov. 30 through Dec. 5. If your poster is selected as the winner, the team will ask you to provide a high-resolution version of at least 300 dpi.

Thanksgiving is a good day to talk about your family's health history


When you’re sitting with your extended family at the table for Thanksgiving dinner this week, it may be a good time to talk turkey about your family’s health history.

To encourage these conversations around dinner tables statewide, MDHHS is recognizing Thanksgiving Day on Thursday as National Family History Day.

Family health history is medical history information about a person’s living and deceased relatives, and should include information about a person’s ethnicity. Health care providers can then evaluate the risks for many disorders and common, chronic, adult onset conditions such as cancer; this includes hereditary breast, ovarian, and colorectal cancer. In Michigan, approximately one in 10 women has a significant family history of breast and/or ovarian cancer.

A variety of materials and tools are available online to help you ask the right questions and collect information about your family members’ health. MDHHS offers Michigan family health history fact cards available for order online, and the Surgeon General’s My Family Health Portrait tool helps individuals organize, print and share family history information with a physician.

MDHHS: In the News

Great American Smokeout was a good opportunity to kick the habit

The American Cancer Society sponsors the Great American Smokeout on the third Thursday of November each year by encouraging smokers to go the distance and quit smoking for good. The Daily Reporter reported on the story.

MDHHS receives amendment for lead abatement expansion

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has approved an amendment allowing MDHHS to use federal funds for expanded lead abatement in Flint and other communities. The Michigan Peninsula News reported on the story.

Q & A: Your questions about MDHHS (Unsubscribing to staff emails)

Since the creation of the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services in 2015, many of you have raised good questions about our merger, the processes and more within MDHHS. And each week we work to help ensure you get the information you need.

Please continue to send your questions to Scott Davis with the Office of Communications at Below is this week’s staff question and our answer:

QUESTION: I get a lot of emails during the day. Are employees allowed to unsubscribe from the departmental emails? Is there a reason we should not unsubscribe?

ANSWER: No, department employees should not unsubscribe from these mailings for any reason, except when they are transferring to another State of Michigan department. Departmental emails have been shown to be a very effective way to notify all staff members of vital messages regarding MDHHS, such as staff reorganizations and policy and procedural updates. Employees who unsubscribe have essentially cut themselves off from this important information. If employees do unsubscribe from the mailings, they will be reinstated.

We realize that the frequency of email messages has been a concern of some employees, and we do our best to send these messages only when necessary. We appreciate your patience in this matter, and your continued attention to the departmental messages that are sent.

Don't forget about our other news content!

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You can check out the latest issue of MDHHS Digest by visiting this archive. The monthly issue is always full of news relevant to our department.

The monthly video message from MDHHS Director Nick Lyon is always available at the top of the Inside MDHHS home page. On that same page, you can find the latest employee news on Current.

Help us get the word out! Please send all story submissions for MDHHS Digest, This Week at MDHHS and the employee news site on the intranet, Current, to Scott Davis at Don't forget to include a photo.

The information in this publication is intended only for the use of recipient MDHHS staff.
Recipient staff members shall not forward information contained here to a recipient outside of their agencies.