Dedicated to strengthening the health, safety, and independence of Idahoans: A reminder of our mission from DHW Director Dave Jeppesen

Life in 2020 seems to throw one curveball after another at us. However, our strength and resilience as Idahoans allows us to weather adversity and come out stronger on the other side. We are Idahoans. What I know about Idahoans is that we help our neighbors. We are deeply committed to our families, our communities, and our state.

At DHW, we are committed to respecting the independence of our fellow Idahoans as we help build healthy, safe communities. Our aim is to help us all achieve our best lives.

To show our level of commitment to this goal, we have added a word to our mission statement: independence. We are dedicated to strengthening the health, safety, and independence of Idahoans. If you take a few moments to look at the new DHW Strategic Plan, you will see signs of our commitment to promoting independence on every page. Our work as we hold fast to our mission is broken down into four goals:

  • GOAL 1:  Ensure affordable, available healthcare that works
  • GOAL 2:  Protect children, youth, and vulnerable adults
  • GOAL 3:  Help Idahoans become as healthy and self-sufficient as possible
  • GOAL 4:  Strengthen the public’s trust and confidence in the Department of Health and Welfare

The work we do as DHW employees requires a balance: to lend a helping hand in our communities when needed, while respecting the independence of Idahoans. One way we strive to meet this balance is through our continued commitment to accountability and transparency. When the stakes are high, as they certainly are right now, it is more important than ever to show how we do our business. So, as we move into the end of 2020 with hopes of seeing brighter days in the coming months, DHW is excited to share more details and stories of the work we do.

Each week, the department leadership team meets to discuss the strategic goals and track progress on specific, measurable tasks. In the months to come, we will share stories of our progress toward these goals through the DHW Voice blog and on Facebook, Twitter, Linked In, and Instagram.

In fact, some of our shorter-term, specific, measurable tasks in the new Strategic Plan have already been accomplished. Here are some examples of the work we have completed since July 1, as we work toward Strategic Goal 4: Strengthening the public’s trust and confidence in the DHW:

  • We are reducing the regulatory burden on Idahoans by simplifying our administrative rules. Staff have completed training sessions and are working through the rules chapters to shorten and simplify them.
  • We are working to improve our customers’ experiences as they interact with us, starting with an initiative to make the assessment process easier for parents whose children receive a Medicaid level of care assessment.

In the months to come, we will share information and stories from these projects, and much more. As we face the challenges that continue to come our way, we will continue in our commitment to helping Idaho to be the place we are proud to call home: a safe, healthy, independent Idaho.

Update on P-EBT

DHW, in collaboration with the Idaho State Department of Education (SDE), has provided benefits to eligible households that meet the criteria for receiving benefits to help cover the cost of lunches that would have otherwise been provided in school. This benefit is called Pandemic Electronic Benefit (P-EBT) and is a one-time payment of $302.10 per child for the 2019/2020 school year. 

To date, the P-EBT program has helped 74,386 families in Idaho. We are honored to be able to support Idaho families through this program.

Flu shot reminder

I would encourage you to get your flu shot as soon as possible. Flu shots are available now at pharmacies, grocery stores, and primary care clinics. Because of the pandemic, this is more important than ever. If you have questions about the flu shot, please reach out to your doctor.

Have a safe and healthy weekend, and #MaskUpIdaho. #GetAFluShot

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