Governor Ducey, Council Members To Discuss State Efforts To Better Serve Arizonans

News Release

October 19, 2021

PHOENIX — Governor Doug Ducey today will meet with members of his cabinet to discuss the latest developments on a wide range of issues important to Arizonans and the work of state agencies.

At the heart of that work are a diverse group of dedicated and hardworking state employees who take innovative approaches to meet Arizonans’ needs and ensure our state remains the best place to live, work, recreate, retire, do business, get an education and raise a family. 

Among them are Rosa Jackson and Nola Barnes, two long serving state workers who help keep the wheels turning at Arizona’s agencies. 

Rosa Jackson, a 29-year veteran of the Arizona Department of Transportation, spent her first 15 years as a customer service representative and just recently retired from her position as an administrative assistant. 

“I loved working with customers because helping people makes me happy,” said Jackson. “I was never tempted to work anywhere but ADOT. I always wanted to stay here because everyone is so helpful and if I needed assistance I got it. I love the people I work with.”

Nola Barnes, who is celebrating her 30th anniversary with the State today, started working for the State as a front desk clerk in the Family Assistance Administration office within the Department of Economic Security in Eloy, Arizona. After serving in her initial role for a few years, she applied to be the staff assistant for the Administrator of the Office of Facilities Management. She was later promoted into the Administrator role and served in that role for years before moving over to the Department of Administration, where she became the General Manager for Building and Planning Services. Within a decade, she was promoted to the Assistant Director, General Services Division, where she has served since 2015. 

“I know that when I started working answering phones and greeting families in my twenties, I never expected to have the opportunities that I did to learn and grow within the State,” said Barnes. “Now, looking back over a long and fulfilling career, I am thankful for positive mentor relationships along the way and all of the important work I got to be a part of serving the people of Arizona. I think the key to longevity within the State is to take advantage of mentorship opportunities that help make connections and establish roots for a long term career.”  

In addition to key employees like Jackson and Barnes, Arizona’s state agencies utilize proven programs and systems to operate efficiently and meet Arizonans’ needs. 

The Arizona Management System (AMS) was implemented by Governor Ducey in 2015 with the goal of better serving the people of Arizona. AMS has eliminated government waste, reduced costs and enhanced customer service by empowering employees to identify strategic goals and solutions.

Below are a few examples of how efforts to improve government efficiency have benefited the people of Arizona.

Department of Economic Security
Over the last seven years, the Arizona Department of Economic Security (DES) has dramatically increased accessibility and enhanced its service delivery through the launch of virtual services, the expansion of satellite and mobile offices, and client education. Today, nearly 90 percent of clients in need of basic assistance, employment support and child support services are served conveniently online. For occasions when Arizonans need to come into a local office, wait times have been reduced from six hours to less than one. In the last year, DES served more than 3 million Arizonans, in addition to many more individuals and families needing services related to the pandemic and unemployment insurance. 

Arizona Department of Environmental Quality
The Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) is protecting human health and the environment better than ever before. Today, there are more than one million more people receiving healthy drinking water because of the agency’s transformed approach with public water systems. 

Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System
The Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System (AHCCCS) has long been recognized as a national model among Medicaid programs for improving health outcomes while reducing costs. The annual cost to serve an Arizona Medicaid member is $1,000 less than the national average, and the program’s administrative expense ratio is 2.33 percent, compared to the national average of 4.51 percent.

Department of Child Safety
The Arizona Department of Child Safety (DCS) has drastically improved its hotline operations. The average call wait time in 2019 was 47 seconds, down from an average time of 11 minutes in 2014. These efforts reduced the percentage of dropped calls from a rate of 32 percent to 3.31 percent in 2019.

Department of Corrections, Rehabilitation and Reentry
The Arizona Department of Corrections, Rehabilitation and Reentry (ADCRR) and the Department of Forestry and Fire Management (DFFM) are partnering to implement the Arizona Healthy Forest Initiative. This program utilizes private contracts and inmate work crews to conduct hazardous vegetation removal and clear Arizona’s forest floor of harmful debris. ​​In addition to preventing future wildfire devastation, the initiative aims to reduce recidivism by giving inmates the opportunity to learn job skills for employment upon release. 

Department of Health Services
The Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS) has guided Arizona through the COVID-19 pandemic. The agency has been a national leader in vaccine distribution, testing and communication. These are just a few of the department’s successes: 

  • Administering 1.6 million doses of vaccine at nationally recognized state-operated mass vaccination centers;

  • Implementing a statewide testing strategy;

  • Developing the statewide Arizona Surge Line identified as a national best practice to ensure hospital capacity and equity;

  • Staffing over 1,300 traveling nurses to hospitals during COVID-19 surges; 

  • Implementing a real-time dashboard of COVID-19 data that earned an A+ from the COVID Tracking Project; and

  • Earning recognition as one of the top three states in the U.S. for ensuring equity in vaccination statewide.