IDHS Secretary Saddler Announces More Good News

Two IDHS staff are Recognized for their Exemplary Performance, a DHS Initiative is Honored in Washington and the Department Receives $46 Million in Federal Grants

Illinois Department of of Human Services (IDHS) Secretary Michelle R. B. Saddler today announced several good news ítems regarding the department's people and programs.

E Pluribus Unum National Award

Grace HouThe Migration Policy Institute (MPI) announced Illinois is one of four winners of its second annual E Pluribus Unum national award for exceptional immigrant integration initiatives. The award honors a partnership between IDHS and the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights that makes immigrant integration a deliberate, strategic priority of the state.

The E Pluribus Unum Prizes program, established by MPI's National Center on Immigrant Integration Policy with generous support from the J.M. Kaplan Fund, seeks to encourage the adoption of effective integration practices and to inspire others to take on the important work of integrating newcomers and their children so they can become full participants in U.S. society.

The Illinois New Americans Integration Initiative and the three other E Pluribus Unum Prize winners were honored at an awards ceremony in Washington, D.C. IDHS Assistant Secretary Grace Hou accepted the award. The winners were selected from nearly 350 applications.

"Through the New Americans Initiative, we are addressing immigrant needs holistically through a comprehensive array of immigrant integration services and programs. As a result, we are allowing immigrant families to meet their basic needs, encouraging civic engagement and naturalization, and increasing employment opportunities," Hou said.

The New Americans Initiative has helped 42,000 people become U.S. citizens and ensured that an array of training and other services provided by the department are accessible to LEP customers. The initiative's "We Want to Learn English" program offers vocational English training at Chicago city colleges and its Illinois Welcoming Center has helped nearly 5,000 people obtain the services, education and information they need from other state agencies and community-based organizations.

View the Migration Policy Institute video: Illinois State-Private Partnership Wins MPI 2010 E Pluribus Unum Prize for Exceptional Immigrant Integration Initiatives. In the video, Assistant Secretary Grace Hou and Lawrence Benito, Deputy Director of the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights, discuss their organizations' decade-long partnership, the Illinois New Americans Integration Initiative.

Ed Silverman's Life Long Commitment Recognized

Edwin Silverman (right) at the World Regfugee Day last year with Alie Kabba, United African Organization (left) and Antonio Guterres, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (center)Edwin Silverman of the Bureau of Immigrant and Refugee Services was honored in Washington for his long time commitment to immigrant and refugee rights. The Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR), part of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), presented Silverman with the Life Long Commitment award. He was recognized for shaping refugee resettlement programs over the years.

Silverman has been the state refugee coordinator since 1976, first under the Governor's Center for Asian Assistance (1976-1980) which then became the Refugee Resettlement Program under the Illinois Department of Public Aid (1980-1998). He has headed the Bureau of Refugee and Immigrant Services under the Department of Human Services since 1998. He has also received numerous other awards over the years.

The Bureau of Refugee and Immigrant Services funds, manages and monitors contracts designed to help newly arriving refugees achieve self-sufficiency in the United States. It also provides health services, interpretive services and outreach to low-income immigrants and citizenship education and application services to resident non-citizens desiring to become United States citizens.

Dr. Anderson Honored

Dr. Tanya AndersonDr. Tanya Anderson, Chief of the Clinical Services System of the Division of Mental Health has been selected by the Annie E. Casey Foundation for the 2010-2011 Children and Family Fellowship. The Fellowship is designed for outstanding executives who lead large public sector service systems aimed at improving outcomes for children, families, and communities. The Fellowship is an opportunity for these senior leaders to augment their knowledge and experiences, sharpen their skills, broaden their perspectives, and increase their influence. The Fellowship is a 20-month program, which will begin in May 2010. While balancing the demands of their current positions, Fellows participate in a series of leadership opportunities, including executive seminars, site visits to learn about path-breaking agencies and organizations throughout the country.

Dr. Anderson is a child and adolescent psychiatrist who in her role as Chief of the Clinical Services System serves as the chief medical and clinical officer for persons served in the state's public mental health system including Illinois' nine state operated psychiatric facilities and more than 150 contracted community mental health providers. Dr. Anderson is a tenured Associate Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Illinois at Chicago, Department of Psychiatry.

DHS Receives $46 Million in Grant

Sharon ZahorodnyjSharon Zahorodnyj of the IDHS grants office is proud to announce IDHS has been awarded close to $46 million in non-GRF competitive federal funding in FY 10, that will be realized over the life of the grants. Recently, we received a three-year $291,000 federal grant for Women's Health. IDHS, in partnership with the University of Chicago Perinatal Center, Access Community Health Network, the Maternal and Child Health Training Program of the University of Illinois at Chicago School of Public Health, the Chicago Department of Public Health and the Health Care Consortium of Illinois proposed a Best Practices in Women's Health project to improve the health and well-being of women in Chicago who experience the loss of a fetus or newborn infant. More than 550 of these tragic events occur in Chicago each year.

This project will provide case management assistance through Chicago's Healthy Start projects to ensure that these women obtain comprehensive preventive and primary care and are linked to the health and human services they require. The project's outcome objectives are to help women achieve a 16 month interpartum interval and to improve the ability of Healthy Start program case managers to use Motivational Interviewing effectively when providing services to eligible families.