1/13/21 - A Message from Secretary Hou: Bright Spot: IDHS Janitorial and Security Teams

Good Evening, IDHS Staff:

Thank you for your continued dedication to Illinoisans and their families, as we continue to help them in creating a sense of normalcy. For our customers and communities that we support, that service and support has come from those who serve on the frontlines by answering phones, discussing benefits with customers, providing medical care and support, and many other diverse services. Internally, our sense of normalcy was supported by the dynamic individuals who lead and work on our janitorial and security teams. Our janitorial and security teams include our own IDHS employees, State contractors, and the employees or contractors of the State's landlords. Today, I am excited to highlight their commitment to all of our staff and agency network during the pandemic.

As you may recall, and are likely still experiencing, COVID presented a wide range of challenges in being able to properly clean offices and facilities and to protect the health of staff, residents, and patients. Immediately as stay at home and social distance requirements were implemented, janitorial staff across IDHS leapt to action. They assisted our teams in providing face masks, wiping down surfaces, disseminating antibacterial soaps, and even supporting their local sites in creating quarantine units for affected patients.

Separately, our security staff across our agency have been unmatched in their commitment to ensure safety. In total, 150 security guards have remained on location during the pandemic. With many of our locations implementing appointment only services, decreased capacity limits, and limiting the guests at our Developmental and Mental Health Centers, security ensured that everyone remained safe, abided by the protecting rules, and ensured no conflict.

As one of the largest State agencies, the Illinois Department of Human Services is staffed by dynamic and skilled individuals who understand the value of team work and collaboration. Though not all of them, I'd love to acknowledge the following team members: Mike, Josh, Mike, Portia, Boise, and Johnny. Through these difficult times, we again thank these instrumental teams for keeping us safe.

Thank you,


Grace B. Hou

Secretary, IDHS