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Office of Governor Pete Ricketts

Gov. Ricketts, DHHS Release Fourth Annual Business Plan and Priority Initiatives

Media Contacts:  

Taylor Gage, Governor’s Office, 402-471-1970

Leah Bucco-White, DHHS, 402-471-9356


Media Release:

Gov. Ricketts, DHHS Release Fourth Annual Business Plan and Priority Initiatives


Gov. Ricketts joins leaders from the Nebraska Department of Health and

Human Services to unveil the agency’s business plan for 2019-2020.


LINCOLN – Today, Governor Pete Ricketts and Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) CEO Dannette R. Smith released DHHS’ fourth annual business plan, titled “Helping Hands: Helping People Live Better Lives.”  The business plan identifies and details 15 key priority initiatives that will guide the work of DHHS through state fiscal year (FY) 2020.


“The initiatives in the Department business plan align with my mission of making state government more effective, more efficient, and customer-focused,” said Governor Ricketts. “The DHHS business plan builds on our team’s efforts to help people live better lives through people-centered initiatives, measurable goals, and overall transparency.”


The FY20 Business Plan identifies 15 priority initiatives that strategically align with the Governor’s leadership.  To achieve the Governor’s aims, CEO Smith has developed a four-pronged approach:


  1. Create an integrated service delivery system.
  2. Establish and enhance collaborative relationships.
  3. Align DHHS teammates under our mission of Helping People Live Better Lives.
  4. Enhance the Department’s internal infrastructure to provide more effective, efficient, customer-focused services to Nebraskans.


The business plan initiatives constitute the strategies and tactics to operationalize these approaches.


“I appreciate Governor Ricketts’ support during my first six months leading DHHS.  I am excited to share the Department’s fourth annual business plan which will serve as the guide to our strategic priorities and initiatives through June 2020,” said CEO Smith.  “The plan operationalizes my four-pronged approach to living our mission of helping people live better lives.”


Smith said some of this year’s initiatives will build on the progress made on last year’s priorities while others provide new opportunities for DHHS to benefit those the Department serves.


The 15 initiatives are aimed at integrated service delivery, developing collaborative relationships, aligning teammates under one mission, and enhancing internal infrastructure.  Each initiative will result in measurable improvements and continue a commitment by the Department to be accountable, transparent, and fiscally responsible.  The initiatives include:



There are nine initiatives in this category:

  • Maintain and Improve ACCESSNebraska’s Performance
  • Family First Prevention Services Act
  • Access to High-Quality Child Care
  • Nebraska Olmstead Plan
  • Identify the Institutional Level of Care Assessments
  • Medicaid Long-Term Care Redesign
  • Heritage Health Adult Program Implementation
  • Child Welfare Adaptation of Healthy Families America
  • Promoting Wellbeing at DHHS Facilities



There are three initiatives in this category:

  • SNAP Next Step
  • Enhance Constituent Outreach
  • Behavioral Health Workforce Competencies



  • Mission-Driven Teammate Life Cycle



There are two initiatives in this category:

  • Fiscal Stewardship
  • Increase Fiscal Proficiency and Identify New Areas of Improvement


Last week, Governor Ricketts highlighted achievements from the past year made by DHHS as part of its third business plan, including:


  • Expanding SNAP Next Step
  • Launching Phase II of the Family Focused Case Management pilot
  • Enacting Family Action Support Teams (FAST) in six more counties
  • Continuing the transformation of behavioral healthcare for children
  • Addressing opioid misuse
  • Implementing electronic benefit cards
  • Redesigning the DHHS Website


Governor Ricketts said the DHHS successes can be attributed to a team dedicated to their mission, a commitment to excellence, and a focus on change and continued improvement. Earlier this week, Governor Ricketts applauded CEO Smith and the DHHS team for accomplishing 90 percent of the 173 deliverables in last year’s plan.


A look back on the agency’s progress over the last year (2018-2019) can be found by clicking here.  The DHHS business plan for the upcoming year (2019-2020) can be accessed by clicking here.


Video from today’s news conference is available by clicking here.