We’ve got a lot to be proud of over the last year and an half. It’s been hard, I know because of all of the budget reductions and the lower staffing level. On the other hand, we’ve got an incredible mission and we’re doing a good job. I often tell people that we work in the most interesting agency in state government. Why? Because we touch the lives of Arizonans in dozens of different ways everyday. We:
- Make sure that Arizonans are healthy and protected from infectious diseases like the flu and foodborne illnesses- and prevent diseases in the first place through our Vaccine for Children Program
- Provide families with young kids access to nutritious blend of foods www.azwic.gov.
- Make sure that the kids at Child Care facilities are safe and sound and that they get some exercise thanks to our Empower Pack program.
- Make sure that Arizona’s Nursing Homes (Long-term Care), Assisted Living Facilities, Medical Facilities, Behavioral Health Providers treat people right and provide a safe environment. We’ve also 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. When we find Nursing Homes (Long-term Care) and Assisted Living Facilities that were jeopardizing the health of their residents- we make sure they make immediate corrections so that the residents are safe.
- Help save lives by doing things like developing 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 and are leading the national shift to continuous chest compression CPR from the old compression/breathing method .
- Are building a new Trauma System from the ground up- which saves lives every day.
- Are leading the state’s anti tobacco efforts like the prevention activities in our youth tobacco campaign (called Venomocity) and helping thousands of Arizonan’s Kick the Habit through our www.ashline.com services.
- Are improving the performance of the state’s mental health system by giving choice and voice to folks with mental health and substance abuse needs- improving their ability to better participate in their path to Recovery from Mental illnesses. Over this past year, we have developed the new Nine Adult Guiding Principles to compliment our Children’s 12 Principles. We developed an RFP, went out for bid, and issued awards for all Geographic Service Areas outside of Maricopa County. We also planned for and implemented the most severe budget reductions in the behavioral health system in Arizona’s history.
- Make 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.
- Run one of the state’s most well respected public health laboratories- providing the backbone for Arizona’s public health system. For example, we find 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.
- Administer the Office of Children with Special Healthcare Needs (OCSHCN) program, which includes the Children’s Rehabilitative Services (CRS) program. CRS provides family-centered medical treatment, rehabilitation, and related support services for children under age 21 with qualifying chronic and disabling conditions such as congenital heart disease, neuromuscular conditions, spina bifida, cleft lip, cerebral palsy, and many others.
- Test 1000s 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.
- 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.
- Ensure that hundreds of clinical and environmental laboratories across the state are doing things right and providing good results through our Laboratory Licensure & Certification program.
- Test 1000s of water samples for Environmental & Analytical Chemistry and bacteria so that counties and cities can protect their residents.
And that’s just a fraction of the incredibly interesting and important things that we do. Do you have any doubt now that this is the most fascinating place to work in state government?
We’re successful at all of these things because of your commitment to the folks of Arizona and to each other. It takes a wide range of help from everyone including our IT, Human Resources, Rules, Procurement, Auditing, Financial Services and other Operations Teams to make these things happen.
Thank you all for rowing in the same direction. I really appreciate your can-do attitude. Thanks… and make sure that you take the time to thank the folks around you from operations that make this place tick.