DOVER – Governor Jack Markell announced today that the eight member Department of Technology and Information Continuity of Operations Planning (COOP) Team is the 2012 recipient of the Governor’s Team Excellence Award. This annual award encourages teamwork by recognizing groups of State employees for their efforts to use continuous quality improvement tools to excel in leadership, team dynamics and communication to produce superior customer service and tangible results. This year, 13 teams, representing the efforts of 290 state employees, were nominated for the award.
Delivery of services to its citizens is a core responsibility of state government and the ability to provide those services can be interrupted by disasters brought on by the forces of nature or by the actions of human beings, either by accident or design. This team, composed of subject matter experts from across DTI, developed and implemented a strategy for continuity of operations planning in 45 of the most critical departments and divisions in state government.
“It is vital we remain diligent in our efforts to ensure state government is able to provide services in the event of an emergency and this team’s efforts provide the state with valuable tools to mitigate risks and make recovery decisions consistent and efficient and, in turn, enable a smooth and effective recovery”, said Governor Markell. This team was also recognized by DRI International, a non-profit organization and global education and certification body that serves the business continuity community, as the Strategy of the Year.
In addition to the award recipient, four other teams were recognized as finalists:
- DSAMH USDOJ Project Leadership Team: This team successfully planned, developed, and reorganized the entire adult mental health systems of care for Delaware citizens in just two and a half years. Through this team’s efforts, 85% of their original goal was accomplished within budget using evidence-based, best-practice models of care. Through the Division of Substance Abuse and Mental Health and Delaware Psychiatric Center’s (DPC) work, 140 long term care clients were placed in their homes and communities, with an additional 50 clients expected to be placed this year. A new 24/7 resource center was opened in Ellendale, and five peer-run service centers and drop-in centers are now operating in Delaware. DPC reduced its staff by over 100, and the adult mental health system of care for Delaware citizens was reorganized resulting in cost savings through improved efficiencies. This team’s efforts demonstrate the State’s commitment to ensuring that individuals with severe and persistent mental illness are treated with compassion in the most integrated setting appropriate to their needs.
- Money Follows the Person Transition Team: This cross-functional team of nurses, case managers, supervisory and administrative staff from two divisions in DHSS, used teamwork to re-balance the long-term care system in Delaware to transition residents from nursing home and institutional care to home and community-based care. Since the work of this team began, Delaware’s Finding a Way Home, has transitioned 40 residents of nursing homes, the Governor Bacon Health Center, the Emily P. Bissell Hospital, and the Delaware Hospital for the Chronically Ill to community placement, providing Delaware’s most vulnerable citizens with options to receive care in the setting most desirable to them. The work of this team also resulted in improved efficiencies, cost avoidance, the reallocation of existing resources, and the improved quality of life of older Delawareans and people with disabilities.
- Super Storm Sandy Route 1 Response Team: This team of Equipment Operators, Engineering Planning Technicians, Physical Plant Trades Mechanics, managers and supervisors from the Department of Transportation worked diligently to open SR1 at the Indian River Inlet Bridge after Super Storm Sandy by working together and fabricating equipment to meet the unique needs caused by the storm. Using their creativity and ingenuity this team fabricated special tools such as modifying a skid steer (small piece of construction equipment that is usually used for digging) to slide between guardrail posts to remove sand. This equipment enabled the team to remove sand spanning over four feet deep and extending up to 230 feet wide and 2,880 feet in length, saving the state time and money in recovery without any accidents or lost-time injuries. Through this team’s efforts, approximately 75,000 cubic yards of material was removed from the roadway and pipe systems, enabling the reopening of SR1 and the restoration of the drainage system and reducing the likelihood of additional roadway flooding from normal rain events.
- DMV Self-Service Kiosk Implementation Team: This team consisted of experts from Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) Driver Services Business/Operations Unit and DelDOT’s Office of Information and Technology who worked together to create the DMV Self-Service Kiosk for Delaware citizens. As a result of their hard work and dedication, DMV successfully implemented seven self-service kiosks in three DMV facilities. In only a few months, over 2,500 Delaware citizens have completed routine transactions without waiting in line, saving them time and resulting in savings of 167 hours of wait time for the rest of DMV’s customers.