Ricketts, DHHS CEO tout business plan at Gering office

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GERING, Neb. - (KNEP) Governor Pete Ricketts and the CEO of the Health and Human Services Department stopped in Gering Wednesday to discuss how the department's new business plan will impact state patrons.

Ricketts says that under Courtney Phillips' leadership, the level of service at the agency has improved, call center hold times are down, and the department hit all six federal standards for child and family services for the first time in the past year.

The new comprehensive approach includes 25 elements that the agency wants to improve over the coming year, with an emphasis on openness and communication. "One of the key objectives of the business plan is so our staff members in each division have a clear understanding in terms of what's occurring on an overall department level and how do they fit into that,” says Phillips, "So when individuals approach people on our team, they see DHHS, they don't see an individual division."

Governor Ricketts says the new plan will build upon past successes in the agency. Ricketts noted that with access Nebraska, phone call hold times have dropped from 48 to five minutes, and the agency has improved in national rankings from 48th to 27th.