Our Vital Records team has a wide range of business functions. We’re responsible for maintaining and issuing certified copies of vital records, including birth and death certificates, registration of adoptions, and corrections and amendments to these vital records. Much of our work also includes helping the county vital records offices with their mission of verifying and issuing birth and death certificates including ensuring data integrity. We also maintain the statewide database that’s used as the gold standard for all vital record activities by the county health departments as well as ensure timely and accurate data submission to our national partners (CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics).
A few years ago we began a Vital Records strategic planning process with the goal of ensuring the long-term fiscal health of Arizona’s vital records system. Part of the plan included implementing a $4 surcharge on each county issued certificate that goes into an ADHS technical support fund to help maintain and enhance our computer infrastructure. The next step in the plan was to shift our business model toward wholesale support of the counties, phasing out some of our retail work (like issuing on-site birth and death certificates at the service window), and developing our electronic certificate platform.
Consistent with our strategic plan, we’ll be redirecting our efforts toward our mail-in services, county support services, data submission to our national partners (CDC’s NCHS), and implementation our new electronic certificate business model. Beginning January 1, 2015 we’ll be closing the walk-up service counter in our 1818 West Adams building. The county health departments (mostly Maricopa) will pick up most of our current walk-up birth and death certificate services. We’ll also be physically moving our medical marijuana patient, caregiver and agent services team into the 1818 West Adams building in January.
We’ve worked out the budget, and we’ll be able to make this transition with our existing staff – so we won’t be doing any layoffs or anything like that. Maricopa has agreed to do better advertising between now and January in order to drive traffic to their walk-up service locations during the transition period (to form a glide-path for customer sales).
We’ll also be modifying our website and the hospital birth certificate forms to drive retail traffic Maricopa’s way in the next few months. Of course – we’ll also need to make some modifications to the 1818 Building to accommodate the medical marijuana registration card and patient relations staff (our plans are to make modifications to the current lobby for work-stations).