Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

FOUR CHEERS; Some of the Best

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

FOUR CHEERS; Some of the Best

Article excerpt

Thirty-two awards were shared by 197 state employees from this area in the annual Prudential-Davis Productivity Awards.

The program rewards "state employees who clearly exceed their job descriptions and performance expectations in ways that improve service delivery and save money for Florida taxpayers," says a news release.

The awards, in their 21st year, are sponsored by Florida TaxWatch and The Florida Council of 100, in addition to state government.

Among those honored, according to the release:

- Department of Children and Families, Jacksonville: By creating a system "to identify, track and correct assistance applications for more than 700 homeless clients," its Homeless Hotline Team was responsible for $750,000 in cost savings and additional revenue.

- Department of Children and Families and Family Support Services of North Florida: Implemented strategies that cut the number of runaway children. That saved $115,000 in "child recovery" expenses.

- Nassau County Health Department Dental Clinic in Yulee: Set up a system in which exams can be performed on patients elsewhere. That reduces no-shows and encourages preventative treatment.

- Duval County Health Department in Jacksonville: Got "up to $15 million worth of incentive payments ... for physicians who use electronic health records." The goal is to cut costs and improve outcomes.

- Susanne R. Crowe, biological administrator, Department of Health, Jacksonville: Developed a system that "enables Florida's health departments to order laboratory tests online and receive results electronically, thereby avoiding mail delays."

It's important to improve productivity in state government. But it's doubly important in this difficult time of dwindling revenues and expanding need for public services.

Thanks to those who were honored.

Their efforts are appreciated.

SPECIAL D-DAY CEREMONY

Levi Starling of Jacksonville, retired from the Jacksonville Fire Department, sends this thank-you in an e-mail:

"Thanks to Major Greg Parsons, curator of Camp Blanding's Museum and Memorial Park, for the hospitality and honor given to the veterans of this D-Day remembrance on the 65th anniversary. …

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