Alaska Governor Mike Dunleavy’s Executive Order 121, to divide the State’s largest and most bureaucratic department in two smaller departments, has become law with the Legislature offering no objection, and takes effect July 1.
The reorganization of the Department of Health and Social Services will create two more nimble departments focused on a more proactive approach to serving Alaskans.
“Reorganization will create an environment for innovation and greater responsiveness,” said Gov. Dunleavy today. “The two departments will be able to manage their programs more efficiently and more responsibly to the constituents they serve. And they’ll be able to work on long-term strategic goals such as focused stakeholder engagement, federal partner negotiations, and Alaska-specific solutions for health care.”
The budget of DHSS is bigger than 12 other state departments’, the Legislature, Court System and Governor’s Office combined, thanks to vast expansion of state government under Gov. Bill Walker, who adopted Obamacare. The department has a team of five who have to manage 3,200 employees.
Gov. Dunleavy’s Executive Order divides DHSS into two departments that are aligned by functionality:
- Dept. of Health (DOH) will focus on payments, processes and programs
- Dept. of Family and Community Services (DFCS) offers direct care to Alaskans 24/7 either in a facility or in the community
“The reorganization was designed to not disrupt services to beneficiaries or payments to providers,” said DHSS Commissioner Adam Crum. “These two departments allow for proper management and support to work on improving critical services delivered to and for Alaskans.”