This week I want to talk about the ways DHS employees can make a difference and demonstrate our organizational values -- integrity, stewardship, respect, responsibility and professionalism -- and I'd like to start with the commuter challenge issued by Governor Kulongoski this week to all employees who work in the Capitol Mall.
Bikes at the Human Services Building
I intend to meet that challenge by carpooling more from my home in Portland to my office in Salem, and by using video-conferencing whenever it presents a viable option to traveling. I encourage all DHS employees to take the Governor's challenge and apply it to your commute wherever you live and work. Helping reduce fuel emissions embodies our agency's core value of stewardship and extends that value to our treatment of and respect for the world around us.
And the topic of core values also leads into the other purpose of this week's message -- to acknowledge and congratulate this quarter’s recipients of the Director's Excellence Awards, and the many employees who are receiving a Special Director's Excellence Award for their work during last winter's storms and floods.
Our first Director's Excellence Award winner this quarter is Mary Deason, the Laboratory Operations Section manager for the Oregon State Public Health Laboratory. Mary was instrumental in leading the two-year process to plan, design and construct our new lab. She researched ways the new state-of-the-art lab could be green -- finding energy-saving features and safety features that protect the environment, the employees, and the samples being studied. She also coordinated the move into the facility, which involved protecting several million dollars worth of instruments, equipment and supplies. Her work exemplifies stewardship, responsibility and professionalism.
The next two winners of this quarter's Director's Excellence Awards are Valerie Anderson, medical staff coordinator, and Kathleen Kuntz, an information systems specialist, for their contributions in creating the highly successful incident reporting system now in place at the Oregon State Hospital. Their work has resulted in a paperless database system that saves time, improves access to data, and ultimately enhances the ability of staff to ensure the safety of the patients being treated at OSH. Their work is another demonstration of how commitment to our agency's core values creates excellent outcomes.
And finally, I want to acknowledge the many employees who rose to the challenge presented by last year’s storms and floods in northwest Oregon. Each of the following individuals will be receiving a Special Director’s Excellence Award:
Elizabeth Baldwin, Michelle Barber, Lesley Boehm, Mike Brewer, Gary Burnett, Jake Carls, Joseph Carlson, Maureen Cassidy, Tom Charbonneau, Bill Conner, Deanna Conners, Kathy Coyne, Kevin Cradock, Beth Crane, Scott Curry, Paul Cymbala, Brad Daniels, Dawn Daly, Lucky Day, Carla Delongchamps, Sonya Dotson, Rick Dunbar, Lorraine Duncan, Arlenia Elmore-Jegglie, Jeremy Emerson, Teela Evans;
Peter Farrelly, Jill Ferns, Marsha Fox, Bob Furlow, Sherry Gantenbein, William Goss, Matt Groves, Ronald Hall, Stacey Hansen, Steve Hawks, Michael Heumann, Pamela Hickenbottom, Jere High, Christi Hildebran, Christie Holmgren, Branden Hooper, Margot Huffman, Christopher Hughes, Dee Humphreys, Malinda Iakob, Ken Kauffman, Russell Kazmierczak, Adam Kearns, Karen Kelley, Sandy Kephart, Wilma Keyes, Michael Kubler;
Matt Laidler, Debra Lambeth, Laura Lamkin, Samantha Langer, David Leland, David Lew, Michelle Lewis, Roberta Lindgren, Wendy Lingren, Mimi Luther, Casey Lyon, Brian Mahoney, Dave Martin, Nick May, Marty Maye, Charles Michael, Megan Mills, Thomas Mitchell, Lisa Moffatt, Mike Morris, Lynda Muriera, Dennis Nelson, Corissa Neufeldt, Nan Newell, Sandy Newsum, Evan Ofeld, Amy Parmenter, Charles Pattee, John Perry, Tasha Poissant, Heidi Purcell, Kurt Putnam, Faheem Quadri;
DMAT Team in action
Russ Reasoner, Roberto Reyes-Colon, Dorothy Reynolds, Bill Riley, Pam Ruddell, Karyl Salis, Rodney Schroeder, Kathy Scott, Linda Shattuck, Randy Shaw, Amy Sheets, Joseph Simons, Alison Smith, Kandi Spratt, Larry Stauffer, Mike Swinhoe, Kimberly Theobold, Shelby Tooze, Michelle Tworoger, Meredith Vandermeer, Michelle Van Kleeck, Rob Vega, Nancy Vierra, Allan Visnick, George Waun, Diane Weis, Don Weisel, Chris Wilch, Veronica Williams, Barbara Wilson, and Julie Woodward.
The number of people on this list shows, better than anything I can say, the amount of team effort that went into keeping people safe before, during and after the storms and flooding. Advance teams helped move frail elderly out of at-risk housing; follow-up teams visited clients and foster parents to ensure they had the medications and care they needed, expedited access to emergency food and cash benefits, helped set up medical clinics, tested drinking water, responded to mental health crises brought on by the stress of the event, and worked non-stop in difficult conditions to serve the thousands of Oregonians affected by the storms and floods. That team effort exemplifies everything that makes me proud to be part of DHS.
Please join me in congratulating the recipients of this quarter's Director's Excellence Award and Special Director’s Excellence Awards. And then join me in looking for ways to reduce your commuting carbon footprint. There are 10,000 of us in this agency. We can make a difference.