DENVER — Monday, Aug. 21, 2017 — Gov. John Hickenlooper today honored the work and memory of former Executive Director of the Department of Corrections Tom Clements by recognizing state employees who go above and beyond in providing exceptional service to Coloradans. Clements was killed on March 19, 2013. His wife Lisa and other family members attended today’s awards ceremony at the Governor's Mansion.  

Awards were given in two categories: Great Customer Service and Great Results. A team in the Colorado Department of Human Services (CDHS) received the Great Customer Service Award recognizing their work to increase reports of child abuse and neglect by deploying a statewide hotline. The Department of Regulatory Agencies (DORA) received the award for Great Results for its team’s work in reducing regulatory burdens on licensed health care professionals.

“Tom believed that public service was an honor. He modeled this through his daily commitment to quality services for Coloradans,” said Governor John Hickenlooper. “The teams honored today provide exceptional value to the people we serve. Their work does more than honor Tom’s memory. It ensures his spirit lives on.”

Great Customer Service Award details: Colorado Department of Human Services (CDHS) for Increasing Reports of Child Abuse and Neglect via a Statewide Hotline. Historically in Colorado, reports of Child Abuse and/or neglect by the general public (friends, family, or neighbors) were well below the national counts. In 2011, Colorado lagged behind the nation with just 10 percent of reports coming from the general public, compared with 42 percent nationally. Coloradans were relying too heavily on statutorily mandated reports from professionals such as healthcare workers. To encourage citizens of Colorado to embrace their role in preventing child abuse and neglect, CDHS’ Division of Child Welfare implemented the Child Abuse and Neglect Hotline. The Hotline promotes one easy to remember phone number for individuals to use statewide, making reporting child abuse and neglect as simple as possible for the general public, and allowing for more anonymous reporting versus reporting to a county office. In small counties in particular, the general public was more hesitant to report incidents of abuse and neglect. As a result of the dedicated efforts of CDHS, 40 percent of calls in 2016 were made by the general public, about the national average and a dramatic increase from 2011. Growth in the total number of calls as well, 59 percent increase from 129,709 in 2014 to 206,107 in 2016, reflects a welcomed shift in the public’s perception of our shared responsibility to help protect children. The hotline can be reached at 1-844-CO-4-KIDS (1-844-264-5437).

Great Results Award details: The Department of Regulatory Agencies (DORA) for reducing regulatory burdens on health care professionals in high demand in Colorado’s workforce, namely pharmacists and mental health practitioners, and their employers, by reducing the time required to process an application and issue a license by up to 78 percent. Before the improvements, pharmacists had to wait 115 days to get a license, and mental health practitioners 72 days. Using Lean methodologies and engaging employer stakeholders in how to improve the process, DORA’s Division of Professions and Occupations shortened the licensing times by streamlining applications and moving them online, implementing automated notifications and simplified workflows, and cutting out unnecessary approvals and paperwork. For example, pharmacists are now allowed to take the licensing exam without preapproval from DORA, and mental health practitioners no longer need to gather hard copies of documentation for clinical hours.  Since the improvements, the wait time for pharmacy licenses has decreased by 78 percent, 115 days to 25 days, and the wait time for mental health licenses has decreased by 44 percent, 72 days to 40 days. Times for other licensed professions and occupations were reduced as well, impacting approximately 15 percent of Colorado’s workforce, their employers, and the customers they serve.

The awards were judged by a panel of business leaders with expertise in serving customers. Special thanks to Dan DeHerrea, director of sales Dimension Development, Sherisse Hawkins, chief executive officer and co-founder of Beneath the Ink and Amanda Tierney, executive vice president at Zayo Group for their time and input in selecting this year’s winners.