Office of the Commissioner
Taking Action: DHSS Strategic Report 2003-2005
Smarter Government, Stronger Services
Change is always uncomfortable, and no one knows that better than the employees of the Department of Health and Social Services, where the first major reorganization in 20 years — the largest in its 84-year history — was undertaken beginning in July 2003, to improve what we do and how we do it.
The core mandates of the Department — public health, public welfare and public protection — involve enormous responsibilities, upon which the entire staff focuses on a daily basis. By staying focused on our mission, “to promote and protect the health and well-being of Alaskans,” we have embraced change and celebrate the positive results.
The new structure, which was adopted in July 2003, had two main goals:
- Improve services to Alaskans who need and use our help.
- Save money by reducing duplication, streamlining services and maximizing available federal funding.
The department’s reorganization resulted in name and function changes for four divisions, creation of a new departmentwide program review function, and movement of five programs from the departments of Administration, and Education and Early Development to Health and Social Services.