LINCOLN, NE (STL.News) Governor Pete Ricketts and Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) CEO Dannette R. Smith unveiled the DHHS 2021-2022 business plan. The plan consists of 17 priority initiatives that will guide DHHS in its mission to Help People Live Better Lives.
During their remarks, the Governor and CEO Smith highlighted the accomplishments of DHHS to help Nebraskans stay healthy during the pandemic. DHHS assisted with the Test Nebraska initiative, which delivered over 785,000 test results and allowed Nebraska to double its COVID testing during the critical early months of the pandemic. The agency trained 1,000 State teammates to support local health departments in their contact tracing work. DHHS also helped rapidly administer the coronavirus vaccine, which has been especially important to protect older Nebraskans. Over 89% of Nebraskans age 65 or older have now been fully vaccinated.
Additionally, the Governor complimented DHHS for finding innovative ways to carry out its day-to-day business during the pandemic. In particular, he highlighted the agency’s successful work to prevent substance abuse, promote behavioral health, and help food stamp recipients find new or better employment. He also credited DHHS for making continuous improvements, such as the timely processing of Medicaid health service claims.
CEO Smith outlined the four-pronged approach her department is following to serve Nebraskans and carry out “Many Good Deeds,” which is the title of the 2021-2022 DHHS business plan.
- Creating an integrated service delivery system
- Enhancing collaborative relationships with communities, stakeholders, and policymakers
- Aligning DHHS teammates around the agency’s mission of Helping People Live Better Lives
- Delivering excellent customer service
She briefly mentioned key initiatives the department is undertaking over the next year, and she thanked each of DHHS’ divisions for their contributions to the health and well-being of Nebraskans.