DHHS Highlights Newsletter: Volume 3, Issue 8

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Helping people live better lives.

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Wednesday, November 2, 2016| Vol. 3, No. 8

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. 

Dr. Tom Williams named new Public Health Director

Nov. 1 marked Dr. Tom Williams’ first day as the DHHS Director of the Division of Public Health and Chief Medical Officer.  “It’s a tremendous honor to join the team at the Department of Health and Human Services,” he said.

Governor Ricketts announced Dr. Williams’ appointment on August 1, saying Dr. Williams stood out during an extensive search because of his wide-ranging experience and heart for public services.

“Public health touches the life of every Nebraskan, from preventive and community health programs to the licensing and regulation of health-related professionals and facilities,” said DHHS CEO Courtney Phillips.  “I look forward to working with Dr. Williams.  His insight and expertise will be a valuable asset to the agency and our work to help people live better lives.“ 

Dr. Williams recently retired as Laboratory Medical Director and Chair of the Department of Pathology for Methodist Hospital.   

“The people here are committed and caring, and have interesting work that matters. DHHS offers a way to help people that is diverse and broad,” he said

Employee and Supervisor of the Year Recognition


October was Nebraska State Employee Recognition Month and state employees whose job performance exceeds the highest standards are recognized.

Twenty seven employees and supervisors of the year were recognized November 2 at the state capitol. 
“These employees and supervisors are an inspiration to all of us and I want to thank them for their hard work and dedication,” said Courtney Phillips, DHHS CEO. “It is a true honor for them to be nominated by their peers for this recognition. They exemplify the DHHS mission of helping people live better lives.”

Click here to learn more about the 2016 winners.

Governor, DHHS highlight licensure improvements

Licensure improvements

DHHS was in the spotlight as Governor Ricketts highlighted process improvements across Nebraska state agencies Nov. 1.

As a part of his priorities to make state government more effective and efficient, the Governor launched the Center for Operational Excellence this earlier this year to lead initiatives aimed at improving customer service, a top priority of his administration.

DHHS efforts include major improvements in professional licensure at DHHS. By employing the expertise of the DHHS Operational Excellence team, frontline staff, and executive leadership, DHHS improved licensing procedures for thousands of Medication Aides and Mental Health Practitioners.

​Governor Pete Ricketts was joined by Jenifer Roberts-Johnson, Deputy Director of Public Health and by Kris Chiles, a Program Manager in Licensure Unit to promote the improvements made in DHHS and across state government due to Operational Excellence processes.

Click here to read more about the process improvements.