9/2/21 - A Message from Secretary Hou: An Important Update About Return to Work

Dear colleagues:

Thank you for your flexibility and dedication over the past 18 months as we continue to navigate how to serve our customers as safely and as effectively as possible. With this unofficial last week of summer, I wanted to give you an update on recent changes, to re-introduce a helpful resource for all IDHS employees, and to describe IDHS plans for working in the office this fall.

IDHS' Workplace Vision

Throughout the pandemic, we have come to understand the power of a flexible and adaptable operational model focused on the following goals:

  • Providing the best possible service to our customers.
  • Meeting strategic and business objectives and operating needs.
  • Ensuring equity and fairness for all employees and customers.
  • Maintaining a safe environment by adhering to guidelines and best practices for infection control.

With those ideals in mind, IDHS' Central Planning Team and Executive Leadership partnered with division and department leadership to identify staff who needed to return to IDHS offices to increase productivity, support customer service, or ensure workforce engagement. Based on those discussions, over 300 IDHS employees began reporting to the office on either a full-time or part-time basis on July 6 and an additional 100 administrative and Senior Leadership staff will officially return on a hybrid basis on September 7. All impacted employees have been informed. Dedicated staff across facilities, IT, infection control, and other areas are partnering to ensure that staff and offices have all of the resources that they require to operate safely in our flexible work environment.

A Resource for You: Reinvent IDHS, Restore Illinois

As we shift into this next phase, we would like to remind you to visit the re-designed Reinvent IDHS, Restore Illinois website on OneNet for relevant guidance and administrative directives on attending meetings, field visits, online incident reporting, and revised self-screening questions for use when reporting to the office. You will also find a list of Local Site Administrators (LSAs), your contacts for ensuring that offices are equipped with PPE and operate safely. Finally, the site contains links to resources, such as modified work requests, signing in and out, and COVID-19 information and resources.

As we plan for any changes and continue working towards our operational goals, we will keep you informed. In the meantime, if you have any questions or concerns, please contact dhs.reinvent-restore@illinois.gov.

Thank you again for your continued flexibility and commitment.



Grace B. Hou

Secretary, IDHS