DHHS Strategic Plan 2013 - 2015

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A Message from the DHHS Executive Team

The Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) is the largest agency in Maine state government. DHHS accounts for thirty-five percent of all state spending and provides social services to hundreds of thousands of needy Maine residents.

DHHS has a dedicated staff of more than 3,400 employees statewide. Every day, these public servants are helping Maine people to be more independent and lead safer and healthier lives. Many of the people we serve face very difficult circumstances. On a day-to-day basis, the Department assists individuals with extreme medical needs, poverty, mental illness, intellectual disabilities, behavioral health problems, domestic violence, elder abuse, and child abuse.

Recent economic challenges have brought about intense needs in our state. As our economy recovers, there are still so many who need a helping hand. At the same time, budget constraints at the state and federal levels have made access to resources difficult. In particular, reductions in federal funding have caused a need for more state resources to fill the gap. Since 2008, DHHS has seen staffing reduced by nine percent while programs, caseloads and member needs have grown. The need for efficient and disciplined use of these scarce resources is vital to meeting needs in our communities and securing our safety net for the most vulnerable.

In the face of these challenges, DHHS has made progress and is well-positioned to continue with innovation and reform that improve the delivery of services and make the most efficient use of resources. In the past two years, we have successfully combined several offices within the Department to break down barriers, promote teamwork and provide integrated service to individuals. We recognize that the needs of those we serve span across many programs and that integrated care provides the best option to maximize resources and achieve good outcomes.

We have instituted performance-based contracting, where all agencies that have contracts with the Department now have measures in place that will help DHHS assess their success and will help direct their work. This effort for transparency and accountability includes similar measures for our own goals and initiatives that you see within this plan.

The Department is working with our partners in the community, other state agencies and within our organizational structure to build a Department that coordinates services and provides social and medical assistance with a holistic approach. We are striving to put patients and clients at the center of our work and focus on quality outcomes brought about in the most efficient manner possible. We are measuring this approach every step of the way to fine tune and improve the process where necessary.

Our leadership is committed to the mission of the Department, our employees and the people we serve. We strive to clearly communicate our direction, support our employees and maximize every resource we have in a shifting economic landscape. This plan will serve as the roadmap to guide our organization forward to best serve Maine’s most vulnerable citizens.