7/9/20 - A Message from Secretary Hou: Reinvent IDHS, Restore Illinois Update

Thursday, July 9, 2020

Dear colleagues,

As we continue with the transformation to safely and effectively meet the needs of Illinois' most vulnerable residents, we are working diligently to assess the re-entry, as necessary, to work offices across the organization. Your health, safety, and well-being is of utmost importance and we are committed to providing safe workplaces while complying with the guidelines set forth by the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) and Centers for Disease Control.

At the same time, we want to thank and honor the employees at our Developmental Centers and our Psychiatric Hospitals who have been working heroically, at the worksites during this unprecedented time.

Building on my commitment to communicating honestly and transparently with you about re-entry-to-work place practices and principles, I am pleased to share a new email that you should use to communicate questions or concerns during this transformation: DHS.ReinventRestore@Illinois.gov. We have also developed preliminary guidance, training, and resources available at our Reinvent IDHS, Restore Illinois OneNet page.

Please note, as we continue to plan, we will ensure that people who are required or asked to re-enter their primary worksite are notified at least one week in advance, with potential exceptions for extraordinary situations. Return to these worksites will be a gradual process that will evolve over time. As this process unfolds, we will share important information and provide employees advance notice and training regarding new safety protocols.

Additionally, I want to thank the more than 3,000 IDHS employees who completed the recent Reinvent IDHS, Restore Illinois survey. It was so encouraging to see that more than 80 percent of staff who responded thought that IDHS programs and services have improved since the COVID-19 pandemic started. There was also other, helpful feedback that will inform our agency's approach going forward. Please stay tuned for more information on the results of the survey in the coming days.

As always, I will continue to keep you informed with the most up-to-date information in this ever-evolving situation. Thank you for your continued dedication and contributions to the agency. Please be well and take good care.



Grace B. Hou

Secretary, IDHS