News from DHS for March 2019

Minnesota Department of Human Services logo


March 2019

News from DHS archive

In this issue:

Campaign encourages doctors to “flip the script” and offer patients alternatives to opioids

A new education campaign developed by the Department of Human Services (DHS) in collaboration with the medical community aims to change the narrative around prescription opioid therapy, pain management and prescription opioid misuse in Minnesota. More information can be found in a video testimonial and a news release.

Basketball fever provided opportunity to raise awareness about problem gambling

An estimated $10 billion in bets was anticipated to be placed on the NCAA basketball championship games during March Madness, some of it by problem gamblers. To mark National Problem Gambling Awareness Month, the Minnesota Department of Human Services encouraged Minnesotans to learn about problem gambling and, if needed, to take advantage of the free treatment services paid for through lottery funds. More information is available in a news release.

Circle of Excellence Award nominations open

The Minnesota Department of Human Services is seeking nominations by April 15 for the 2019 Commissioner's Circle of Excellence Awards. Know a human services provider, county, tribe, advocacy group or other organization that deserves to be recognized for their outstanding work? Find out more about the awards and complete a nomination form online.

Fact sheets updated in March

The following fact sheet about a DHS program was updated in March:
Minnesota Adult Abuse Reporting Center (PDF) (March 2019)

Fact sheets summarizing human services proposals for the 2019 legislative session are also available on the DHS website. The fact sheets highlight human services proposals in Governor Tim Walz’s FY 2020-21 Budget Recommendations (PDF). Legislative reports and other background information can be found on the legislative information page on the DHS website.

In the news

Links to some news articles about DHS during March:

For accessible formats of this publication or assistance with additional equal access to human services, write to, call 651-431-2911, or use your preferred relay service.

DHS in the community

Eight people around a table having a discussion in a conference room.

Health care roundtable. On March 25, DHS Commissioner Tony Lourey (left) and Governor Tim Walz heard from Minnesotans struggling to afford quality health care coverage in Rochester. It was one of several meetings last month where they heard directly from people around the state about health care issues affecting them. Find out more about Governor Walz's ONECare proposal to improve access to comprehensive, affordable health coverage in Minnesota.

Five DHS staff pose with Commissioner Lourey in an office space at Metro Resources.

Meeting staff, touring sites. On March 15, DHS Commissioner Tony Lourey (center) stopped by Metro Resources Technology Park and got a tour from Zee Clark, assistant group supervisor (second from left). Commissioner Lourey also visited Dakota Crisis Home and Christensen House to meet with staff and clients in DHS Community-Based Services for people with disabilities. Commissioner Lourey said that he was inspired by the passion staff have for their work, and he enjoyed hearing directly from clients.

Teenage boy in T-shirt and shorts speaks at podium near Minnesota flag. Two other teens stand beside him.

Foster youth rally. Minnesota foster youth hosted a rally, marched to the Minnesota State Capitol and met with legislators in early March to talk about how to improve the foster care system in the state as part of the second annual Foster Child and Youth Day on the Hill. DHS Children and Family Services Deputy Assistant Commissioner Lisa Bayley participated in the event and urged foster youth to speak out and share their views.

Nine adults pose at a table in a conference room.

Listening to Minnesotans. DHS Assistant Commissioner for Health Care and State Medicaid Director Marie Zimmerman (first row, second from right) joined Governor Tim Walz at a roundtable in St. Cloud to hear from Minnesotans about health care access challenges in Greater Minnesota. Legal Aid - Mid-Minnesota Legal Aid hosted the event, at which members of Minnesota Farmers Union and AARP MN shared powerful stories.