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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Sept. 11, 2008

Contact: Cathy Stadem, (907) 269-3495; cell (907) 529-1520; Catherine.stadem@alaska.gov

Cassandra Stalzer, (907) 334-0520; cstalzer@rasmuson.org

 

 

Public-private partnership helps streamline state’s work with health and social service grantees

Rasmus
on Foundation’s three-year-old partnership with Alaska Health and Social Services marks progress

 

(Juneau, AK) — Nonprofit grant recipients play a significant role in helping the Department of Health and Social Services carry out its mission to promote and protect the health and well-being of all Alaskans. In a multiyear effort to return the favor, the department identified and improved a number of internal processes, including a decision this summer to streamline and simplify reporting requirements wherever possible.

 

“Cooperation with Alaska’s nonprofits is an integral part of our service to the public,” Health and Social Services Commissioner Bill Hogan said. “DHSS continues to pursue ways to improve our interactions with working professionals on the front lines, review our own processes and make improvements whenever possible.”

 

Streamlining and simplifying reporting hurdles will lead in most cases to the elimination of quarterly narrative and financial reports for small grants ($50,000 or less). Such grants make up 30 percent of all grants issued by the department. It will allow the department to make a single, up-front payment to eligible nonprofit organizations, significantly reducing the cost and time of administering small state grants.

 

“Nonprofits will still be required to comply with grant terms and produce final reports and financials,” Hogan said, “but we expect to only collect information that is pertinent to the program and/or required by the Legislature and our federal partners.”

 

The adjustment to grant management terms, approved by the Legislature and signed into law by Governor Sarah Palin with the FY08 Operating Budget, was one of several recommendations from a Cliff Consulting, Inc., study funded jointly in 2006 by DHSS and Rasmuson Foundation. The complete Cliff Consulting report can be found on the DHSS Web site: www.hss.state.ak.us/commissioner/Rasmuson/Rasreport.pdf .

 

“Eliminating unnecessary reporting while maintaining the information necessary to measure the success of grantees will be one of the most significant investments in Rasmuson Foundation history,” Foundation President Diane Kaplan said.

 

Streamlining is one of several steps actively underway at DHSS to improve its interactions with nonprofits. DHSS recently received a $519,150 grant from the Rasmuson Foundation in support of its ongoing Grantee Partnership Project, a joint effort of the department and foundation since 2005 to identify ways DHSS could streamline the grant process and still successfully accomplish its missions and goals. Other successes include a simplified Request for Proposal, ongoing eGrants development, and single point-of-contact for grantees.

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