Today the Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) and the Iowa Department of Human Services (DHS) announce their new website, https://hhsalignment.iowa.gov/, to communicate updates to the public, media and stakeholders about the health and human services alignment assessment.
Over the next nine months, IDPH and DHS will embark on a health and human services alignment assessment with a contractor, Public Consulting Group (PCG), to identify shared program goals and align and integrate programs, practices and policies to improve delivery of services and most effectively leverage funding. The agencies will update the website regularly.
As part of the alignment process, IDPH and DHS will identify community-based stakeholders (organizations and community members) and other stakeholders to provide input and guidance on the departments’ programmatic and policy efforts. IDPH and DHS will also engage all levels of staff to inform the departments’ established goals and project plans, and create an organizational structure that optimizes delivery of services, supports efficiency for staff, and integrates the departments’ programs and services with community and other available resources.
“My commitment to you to provide frequent updates remains as strong as ever,” Director Kelly Garcia said. “There’s a saying I hold close, particularly in this unique type of work: ‘Nothing about me, without me.’ You have my pledge that, indeed, nothing about you will happen without you. This work must be done together, but change is coming. The result will not be status quo. I am hopeful that together we will embrace this opportunity head on.”
Between IDPH and DHS, the connections are numerous, and, in many cases, the same families access similar services with no clear pathway to connect them that reaches across departments. The work IDPH and DHS can do to wrap services around a family to ensure better outcomes is significant in terms of impact. In terms of work, there is much the two agencies can do with clear communication and purposeful collaboration between programs and a dedicated focus.
Through aligning the two departments, IDPH and DHS will be able to achieve several goals including opportunities to better leverage funding sources and the ability to identify potential for expanded funding sources; break down siloes to create a unified, integrated behavioral health system; and better access to services and easier navigation of the system for those we serve. Ultimately, better alignment will lead to improved outcomes for individuals, communities and the state.
IDPH and DHS are committed to open conversations and transparency. Please use the resources provided on https://hhsalignment.iowa.gov/, check back often for updates, share your feedback on the website’s Contact Us page, and subscribe to email updates here.