Thursday, August 6, 2009

Governor Gives Extraordinary Service Award to Health Agencies

Governor Sonny Perdue announced today that employees of Georgia’s health and human services agencies have been awarded the “Governor’s Award for Extraordinary Service to Georgians” in recognition of their outstanding work during the reorganization of the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities, the Department of Human Services, and the Department of Community Health.

“This is only the second time we have given out this recognition and I hope it stands as a real testament to those who worked hard for the benefit of Georgia’s most vulnerable citizens,” said Governor Perdue. “Thanks to the work of over 200 state employees the reorganization of Georgia’s health and human service agencies has been completed successfully less than five months after it began with no disruption in services to constituents.”

The employees not only completed the transition without a break in customer service, they also helped move thousands of staff members physically and administratively to new agencies and new functions and maintained support for partner vendors without disruption, all while continuing to do their regular jobs.

“If you compare this to the corporate world, what we have accomplished is a simultaneous divestiture, merger, startup, and reorganization involving a company with 20,000 employees – in less than five months. That is unheard of,” said Jim Lientz, Chief Operating Officer for the State of Georgia.

The health and human services reorganization was initiated by Governor Sonny Perdue and approved by the Georgia General Assembly in its 2009 session as a way to bring greater focus to the state’s behavioral health services and to better align the state’s programs promoting public health.

The reorganization created a new agency called the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities with 8,600 employees from the former Department of Human Resources (DHR). At the same time, DHR’s Division of Public Health and Office of Regulatory Services, representing a total of 1,240 employees, were divested and transferred to the Department of Community Health. The remaining functions of DHR, including Family and Children Services, Aging, and Child Support Services, were reorganized to form the new Department of Human Services.
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