This is what I shared with ADHS staff earlier this week –

“Thanks again for all of your hard and creative work over the last year.  We’ve made a great deal of progress despite the complicated financial problems that the State has faced.  I’m not just saying that- I know it’s true and so do you.  If you don’t believe me, remind yourself by looking at the “Year of Progress” blog post a couple of weeks ago.

Because of our success together over the last year, the Governor nominated me to the post of Director a few weeks ago, and today the AZ State Senate voted to confirm the nomination- so I’m officially now serving as your Director.  The post from the Senate website is pasted at this link under Health Services:

We’re on a good course, so that’s where we’re going to stay.

  • In our Licensing programs, we’re going to continue to focus on our customer service and to continue to sharpen our efforts on the health and safety elements of our mission.  We’ll continue to do our time and effort studies to see where we can improve efficiency- and we’ll continue our efforts (with the help of IT) to deliver a paper-free licensing application- due for delivery later this spring.
  • In our Behavioral Health programs- we’re going to stay on course to evaluate the effectiveness system based on solid scientific criteria- looking to outcome measures to evaluate our effectiveness and to use that information and data to continue to drive the entire system toward the principles of Recovery.
  • At the Hospital- we’re going to keep on track with our efforts to get folks through Recovery- and we’ll continue to better integrate Security and our Clinical teams so that we’re using state-of-the-art information to develop and integrate a system that protects our staff while helping our patients and residents to recover and re-integrate into society.
  • In our Public Health Programs, we’re going to continue to help Arizonans with the tools they’ll need to improve their lifestyle- whether it’s nutritional guidance, help with physical activity goals, chronic disease prevention and tobacco cessation, and of course preventing folks from starting smoking in the first place.
  • We’re also going to continue to provide the public health system in Arizona with the data they need to drive good and targeted public health interventions.  We’ll also make sure that folks get their vital records when they need them, help the counties to do the same- all while ensuring that we’re protecting people’s identity and privacy.
  • In terms of Preparedness, we’re going to keep on track doing the things that we’ve always done- keep our surveillance system vigilant, react quickly when there’s a problem & implement swift and reasonable interventions, and ensure that all the pieces fit together with the local health departments, tribal partners, and our healthcare community so that we can enhance the system’s ability to prevent and respond to public health threats.
  • Our Operations team, including IT, Financial Services, Human Resources, Procurement, Auditing and Special Investigations and Administrative Counsel & Rules will continue to play a key role in helping our programs better integrate up-to-date technology, whether it’s IT infrastructure, business processes, policy development or employee relations.  After all- none of our programs would have accomplished anything without our crack Operations team.

OK…  let’s keep going…”