We started on this journey together a year ago. Thanks for being such good traveling companions. We’ve been through a lot. We’ve had challenges, fears, anxiety, good times, laughs, & fun. We’ve sacrificed some of our programs, but we’ve made a great deal of progress too. Overall- the year was a net plus. I say that because we maximized our progress in areas that we have control.
We’ve made a great deal of progress in many areas and have just done a plain old good job with most everything this year. I jotted down a few things the came to mind below. We:
- Aced the first influenza pandemic in 40 years http://www.azdhs.gov/flu/;
- Overhauled the WIC program to focus on a much more nutritious blend of foods www.azwic.gov, and started a nationwide movement to change the food stamp program (SNAP) from a calorie program to a nutrition program;
- Created the new Empower Pack program for preschools that improve physical activity and nutrition for our youngest- an idea that came out of our licensing fee increase;
- Developed a network of more than 20 new Cardiac Arrest Centers and Primary Stroke
Centers across the state that are dramatically improving outcomes for folks that have a cardiac arrest or a stroke;
- Led the national shift to continuous chest compression CPR from the old compression/breathing method http://www.azshare.gov/;
- Figured out a way to vaccinate underinsured kids through our Vaccine for Children Program even though our state vaccination funds were completely eliminated;
- Began development of Arizona’s TRAUMA SYSTEM– adding 8 new Level IV Trauma Centers and 1 new nationally recognized pediatric trauma center;
- Implemented a brand new and tested youth tobacco campaign (called Venomocity) http://www.venomocity.com/ and helping thousands of Arizonan’s Kick the Habit through our www.ashline.com services;
- Helped develop a state of the art on-line Outcomes Dashboard to give choice and voice to folks with serious mental illnesses in Maricopa County- improving their ability to better participate ion their path to Recovery (Download the Dashboard);
- Helped thousands of folks statewide with their journey toward Mental/Behavioral Health;
- Made a difference in hundreds of peoples lives at the Arizona State Hospital– by helping them in their road to recovery by treating them with dignity, care and respect;
- Inspected hundreds of Nursing Homes (Long-term Care), Assisted Living Facilities, Medical Facilities, Behavioral Health Providers, and Child Care centers and homes to make sure that folks are being treated right and have a safe environment;
- Converted our licensing programs to become self sufficient, and sharpened our surveys to focus on the most important elements of care, and allowing folks to review the latest scores using our Facility Search tool;
- Identified hundreds of kids with metabolic disorders and hearing and helped their doctors conduct interventions to help them avoid serious complications from their condition through our Newborn Screening program;
- Helped thousands of folks at some of the most intense parts of their lives get critical documents in an efficient way through our Vital Records, Health Data & Evaluation programs;
- Tested thousands of biological samples for all kinds of viruses and bacteria including H1N1, tuberculosis, West Nile virus, rabies, and literally dozens of other diseases so that counties and doctors can help slow the spread of disease and help people get better in our Public Health Microbiology program;
- Ensured that hundreds of clinical and environmental laboratories across the state are doing things right and providing good results through our Laboratory Licensure & Certification program;
- Tested thousands of water samples for Environmental & Analytical Chemistry and bacteria so that counties and cities can protect their residents in our;
- Identified Nursing Homes (Long-term Care) and Assisted Living Facilities that were jeopardizing the health of their residents and worked with them to make immediate corrections so that the residents are safe;
- Created an inter-disciplinary team from around the Department to develop an integrated tobacco prevention program together- expanding our tobacco prevention efforts way beyond it’s former borders- integrating tobacco control into programs throughout AZ’s behavioral health system.
Holy smokes… who did all this stuff? ADHS did. Thanks to the staff for rowing in the same direction together this year- forward. Next year will have challenges just like this past year— but as long as we work and collaborate with one another we will continue to press ahead and make progress next year too. Thanks, and take a second this week to thank the folks around you, and let them know you appreciate their help this year.