New at DHS

Governor applauds graduate of innovative career training program

In his annual State of the State address to the Minnesota Legislature, Gov. Mark Dayton pointed to the success of Antoinette McCarthy, a 27-year-old mother of three who was formerly on the Minnesota Family Investment Program (MFIP) as she struggled to find a career in today’s competitive job market. Her successful completion of a new career training program, being shaped with the help of the Minnesota Department of Human Services, was cited by Dayton in his Feb. 15 address as he urged legislators to expand the program. More on McCarthy’s story is in the governor’s blog.

Gov. Dayton visits Minnesota Security Hospital

Gov. Mark Dayton made the first visit in recent memory by a governor to the Minnesota Security Hospital (MSH) in St. Peter on Wednesday. Following a tour of the facility with DHS Commissioner Lucinda Jesson, Deputy Commissioner Anne Barry and the MSH executive team, Dayton greeted and addressed more than 100 employees in the Tomlinson Hall gymnasium. More information is available in a story about Dayton’s visit.

Commissioner Jesson announces agency goals for 2012

Commissioner Lucinda Jesson has announced agency goals and action steps for 2012. This direction builds on accomplishments from the past year that emphasized greater accountability, smarter purchasing and a client-centered focus. The goals and action steps are contained in the document “Framework for the Future: 2012” (PDF), which is available on the DHS website.

Report outlines Medicaid reform waiver development

A Medical Assistance Reform Report (PDF) recently submitted to the Minnesota Legislature discusses DHS progress redesigning Medical Assistance (MA) and coordinating with current and ongoing department initiatives. The 2011 Legislature directed DHS to reform MA, Minnesota’s Medicaid program, to achieve better outcomes for people with disabilities, seniors and other enrollees. The report contains detailed information on 12 separate initiatives, designated by the Legislature, including community integration and independence, improved health, reduced reliance on institutional care, attainment of housing and employment and reduced use of services that are less effective. More information is available at

Awards recognize contributions to human services clients

DHS Commissioner Lucinda Jesson honored professionals and organizations from across the state Jan. 20, citing their outstanding contributions to human services program clients. Eleven individuals and organizations were recipients of the DHS Commissioner’s Circle of Excellence Awards. The award recipients were recognized at a ceremony at the Elmer L. Andersen Human Services Building. More information about the awards is online.

Final report yields insights on challenges for children in foster care

The Minnesota Permanency Demonstration sought to determine whether a single benefit program would increase permanency rates and shorten foster care stays among children who had been in foster care for extended periods. A recent report, Minnesota Permanency Demonstration: Final Evaluation (PDF), draws qualified conclusions in support of a single benefit as enhancing the well-being of children by establishing permanent homes and relationships with foster parents. The project operated in Minnesota from October 2005 through September 2010.

Medicaid reform summit materials online

More than 100 people participated in a Medicaid reform summit led by Human Services Commissioner Lucinda Jesson Nov. 18. Jesson hosted “Medicaid in an Era of Reform,” to discuss opportunities and challenges in reforming Medicaid to provide the best value for Minnesotans. The agenda and presentations, including a Medicaid and health care reform market analysis, are available at

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