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Gov. Ricketts, Health and Human Services Unveil Third Annual Business Plan and Priority Initiatives

Media Contacts:  

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

Matt Litt, Health and Human Services, 402-471-9313



Gov. Ricketts, Health and Human Services CEO Courtney Phillips

identify 18 priority initiatives to deliver better service.  Read the plan here.


LINCOLN – Today, Governor Pete Ricketts and Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) CEO Dr. Courtney Phillips released DHHS’ third annual business plan, titled “Mission Driven, High-Quality Services for Nebraskans.”  The business plan identifies and details 18 key priority initiatives that will guide the work of DHHS through the 2018-2019 fiscal year. 


“Running government more like a business is helping make the State of Nebraska more effective, more efficient, and more customer-focused,” said Governor Ricketts.  “With their business plans, DHHS CEO Courtney Phillips and her team are helping bring greater discipline and focus to their work and more value for clients and taxpayers.  Congratulations to the team on pulling together this third plan, which will help the agency better accomplish their mission of helping Nebraskans live better lives.”


“The commitment by Governor Ricketts and the Department to operational excellence is delivering on his principles of strong accountability and intentional customer focus throughout all state government,” said Dr. Phillips.  “I am excited to share our third annual business plan which will serve as the guide to our strategic priorities and initiatives through June 2019.  This plan is a continuation of our work to analyze, develop, and implement scalable solutions which will have a positive impact for those we serve.”


Phillips 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 and, ultimately, for those the Department serves.


The 18 initiatives are aimed at integrating services, promoting independence, focusing on prevention, leveraging technology, and increasing operating efficiencies.  Each goal will result in measurable improvements and continue a commitment by the agency to be accountable and transparent.  The initiatives include:


  • Integrating Services and Partnerships: Working to create more efficient and effective ways to serve Nebraskans, DHHS is integrating services across DHHS and with stakeholders and partners. The priority initiatives include:
    • Heritage Health: A Quality Approach to Managed Care
    • Keeping Families Together
    • Nebraska System of Care, Youth & Families
  • Promoting Independence through Community-Based Services: Built on the needs of DHHS’ varied customers, community-based services provide the supports within communities to help them maintain independence and flourish. The priority initiatives include:
    • Medicaid and Long-Term Care (LTC) Redesign
    • Promoting Independence through Community-Based Services
  • Focusing on Prevention to Change Lives: DHHS is investing in healthy behaviors, safety, and prevention to help Nebraskans achieve lifelong success and live better lives. The priority initiatives include:
    • Addressing Opioid Abuse in Nebraska, Prevention & Care two ways:
      • Prescription Drug Overdose Prevention & Prescription Drug Monitoring
      • State Targeted Response Grant, Opioid Treatment
    • Equip & Empower the Child Protection & Safety Team
    • Improve Birth Outcomes in Nebraska
    • Supporting Family Preservation & Safety
    • Walk/Bike Communities
  • Leveraging Technology to Increase Effectiveness: Using technology, DHHS will streamline processes; make information more accessible, timely, and customer-focused; and effectively position the agency for the future as data needs change.  The priority initiatives include:
    • DHHS Public Website Redesign
    • Statewide eWIC Implementation
  • Increasing Operating Efficiencies and Improvements: A strong base for DHHS is essential to have continued success. DHHS will focus on improvements, efficiencies, and reduction in regulatory complexities to enhance quality and performance. The priority initiatives are:
    • Internal Audits, Increase Fiscal Proficiency
    • Maximizing Fund Mix Adjustment
    • Maintain & Improve ACCESSNebraska’s Performance
    • Quality Management in Developmental Disabilities For Those We Serve
    • Youth & Community Safety


Earlier this week, Governor Ricketts highlighted achievements from the past year made by DHHS as part of its second-ever business plan, including:


  • Sustaining reforms with ACCESSNebraska
  • Addressing opioid abuse
  • Growing Nebraska through re-employment
  • Transforming behavioral healthcare for children


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 continuous improvement.  Earlier this week, Governor Ricketts applauded Phillips and the DHHS team for their work on last year’s business plan.  Overall, the team accomplished 13 of the 15 initiatives scheduled for completion in FY18 (over 97 percent of the deliverables due in FY18) and 89 percent of all the deliverables of the 20 initiatives in last year’s plan.


A look back on the agency’s progress over the last year can be found by clicking here.