CHARLESTON, WV (LOOTPRESS) – Interim Sessions of the West Virginia Legislature continued on Tuesday as the Legislative Oversight Committee on Health and Human Resources Accountability met early in the day to be briefed on the ongoing reorganization of the West Virginia DHHR into three distinct departments.
The Department of Commerce Secretary spoke of his own experience with services shared between departments, which is comparable to the sharing of services between the Department of Economic Development and Department of Tourism. These shared services include accounting, legal, communications, and marketing.
Presentations were heard from secretaries appointed to the newly established individual departments of Human Services, Health Facilities, and Health, respectively, on the DHHR’s reorganization.
Work is currently underway for the identification of significant vacancies in each of these respective departments, as well as the determining of ways to initiate recruitment or cuts when necessary.
Secretaries have convened with the new departments to discuss critical needs for forward progress, and a memorandum of understanding is now reportedly in the works. Higher education institutions are also said to be collaborating with departments for the filling of vacancies.
While certain business bureaus are said to have experienced decreases in such vacancies since the onset of the year, health facilities have reportedly experienced increases in these vacancies.
Services for the three departments will be shared under the Office of Shared Administration, and a chief of staff will be under the employ of all three department secretaries. The new position will reportedly be issued to an existing employee who will supervise the office manager, executive assistant, and receptionist.
Additional shared administration will purportedly include core communications/marketing services, core finance, core human resources, constituent services, core procurement/purchasing, and core operations.
Positions which have also been considered by secretaries include deputy chief of staff, continuous quality improvement, strategic initiatives, and grants.
It was advised Tuesday that the Department of Human Services will have two deputy secretaries and a secretary. The Bureau of Behavioral Health and the Office of Drug Control Policy will be overseen by the Deputy Secretary of Mental Health and Substance Use Disorder. The Bureau of Social Services, the Bureau for Child Support Enforcement, and the Office of Continuous Quality Improvement will be overseen by the Deputy Secretary for Adult Services.
The Bureau for Family Assistance, Bureau for Medical Services, MIS, Media Relations, and Counsel will report to the Human Services Secretary as well. The Director of Strategy, COO Facilities, Hospital CEOs, and Long-Term Care CEOs will be overseen by a secretary with the Department of Health Facilities. The Director of Strategy will work alongside COO Facilities.
Chief Medical Examiners, the Office Directors for Emergency Medical Services, Threat Preparedness, and Health Care Authority will be overseen by the secretary along with the Commissioner of the Bureau of Public Health and Inspector General, who will oversee OFLAC, the Board of Review, Office of Foster Care Ombudsman, the Office of Investigations & Fraud Management, Office of Quality Control, Office of Mental Health Ombudsman, Human Rights Commission, WV CARES, and Olmstead Office.
Additional LOOTPRESS coverage of the ongoing Interim Sessions of the West Virginia Legislature can be found here.