News from DHS for March 2022

Minnesota Department of Human Services logo


MARCH 2022

News from DHS archive

In this issue:

New HIV prevention, care and anti-stigma social media toolkit available

END HIV social media toolkit

A new HIV Prevention, Care and Anti-Stigma social media toolkit is available online for advocates, community organizations and providers to use.

The campaign and its graphic elements are a reminder that HIV-related stigma is one of the biggest barriers to getting tested, treated and being undetectable.

This project was born out of the idea that in order to be successful, a campaign must promote and encourage conversations about HIV testing, Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP), HIV treatment, HIV care and support services, Undetectable equals Untransmittable, harm reduction, and combatting HIV stigma.

Minnesota models showcased in this campaign believe in busting stigma through sharing their own stories.

This campaign, a part of the overall END HIV MN initiative, is a collaboration between many community organizations, advocates, the Minnesota Department of Health and DHS. 

END HIV MN is a comprehensive long-term plan to end new HIV infections and improve health outcomes for people living with HIV in Minnesota.

Odyssey webinar to address impact of historical trauma

Age & Disabilities Odyssey Conference logo

Registration is now open for the first of two 2022 Age & Disabilities Odyssey Conference webinars. Sam Simmons will present "Trauma across Generations: The Impact of Historical Trauma on Disability and Aging" from 1 to 2:30 p.m. Thursday, April 21.

The free session will explore the link between historical trauma and current disparities impacting health, aging and access to disability services in the African American community and other communities of color. Simmons will provide insight into culturally sensitive, trauma-informed approaches to improve racially equitable access, engagement, collaboration and use of disability and aging services.

Register before 7 p.m. Thursday, April 14 at

Odyssey events are presented in partnership with the Minnesota Board on Aging.

In social media

Terra - problem gambling story

Posted March 11 on the DHS Facebook page

Terra says she never learned healthy coping mechanisms, and the only thing she knew was to look for an escape. Her escape was gambling.

Terra’s story is one of pain, grief and addiction. But it is also one of strength, resilience and recovery. From developing a problem to recognizing she needed help and seeking treatment, Terra gives insight on how she got her life back.

Learn about Terra’s journey to recovery in this multi-media “scrolly-telling” experience:

If you or someone you know is struggling with problem gambling, you can:
▶️ Call a free confidential helpline at 1-800-333-HOPE
▶️ Text HOPE to 61222
▶️ Visit
▶️ Follow Problem Gambling Support

#ProblemGamblingAwarenessMonth #addiction #recovery

For timely updates on DHS news and events, follow DHS on Twitter and Facebook.

Follow our DHS Careers Facebook page for announcements of hiring events, new job postings, internships and more.

Accessible formats

For accessible formats of this publication, write to, or call 651-431-2000 or use your preferred relay service.

Long-time leader of Human Services announces retirement

Chuck Johnson

Deputy Commissioner Chuck Johnson will retire on June 30, capping 38 years of public service to the State of Minnesota, including 17 years in leadership positions at the agency.

“Everyone who knows him knows that Chuck is the institutional memory of DHS,” said Commissioner Jodi Harpstead. “Not only has he spent 38 years with the agency, he has held many different positions for 12 different commissioners. He is also highly respected for his integrity, compassion, and steadiness.”

Over the years, Johnson played a key role in the top human services issues of the day, including the ramp-up of the Affordable Care Act, building of the Forensics Mental Health facilities in St. Peter, and support for White Earth Nation to take over the delivery of human services. He is also known for his management skills during difficult times, helping the agency through years of significant budget reductions while minimizing impact on Minnesotans in need, for example.

Read more in a department news release.

newspaper beside a coffee cup

In the news

Minnesota surpasses goal of recruiting 1,000 new certified nursing assistants: Minnesota has recruited nearly 1,300 certified nursing assistants over the past few months through a new tuition-free training initiative, and state leaders hope to enroll thousands more in the coming years. Read more in the Star Tribune article.

State officials say MN ready to accept Ukrainian refugees: Minnesota officials are waiting for the U.S. State Department’s decision on how many Ukrainian refugees could come to Minnesota, and those people would then be initially placed by resettlement organizations in St. Cloud, Rochester and the Twin Cities, Rachele King, manager of the state’s Resettlement Programs Office, told Minnesota News Network radio (published on KTOE-Mankato website). 

MN grants to improve access to care for older adults and adults with disabilities: DHS is offering more than $20 million dollars in grants across the state over the next two years, in hopes to improve the delivery of at-home and community-based services for the elderly, and adults with disabilities. Read more in a KIMT-Rochester story.

DHS fact sheets updated

Minnesota Food Shelf Program (PDF) 

Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program-Education (PDF)

The Emergency Food Assistance Program (PDF)