In Our Do'ers Profile, We Highlight Some of the Hardworking and Talented Individuals in Health and Human Services. This Issue Features Robert Hobbelman, Chief Information Officer, Division of Information Systems, Virginia Department of Social Services

By Hobbelman, Robert | Policy & Practice, August 2019 | Go to article overview

In Our Do'ers Profile, We Highlight Some of the Hardworking and Talented Individuals in Health and Human Services. This Issue Features Robert Hobbelman, Chief Information Officer, Division of Information Systems, Virginia Department of Social Services


Hobbelman, Robert, Policy & Practice


Name: Robert Hobbelman

Title: Chief Information Officer (CIO), Division of Information Systems, Virginia Department of Social Services

Years of Service: 25 years

Rewards of the Job:

Continuously improve service delivery to people who are in the most difficult times of their lives. This encompasses ensuring children and families have food on the table, that they have Medicaid coverage, a place for safe child care, a foster home, and a life without fear and anxiety.

Accomplishments Most Proud Of: There are many initiatives I am proud off, from implementing automated solutions for eligibility workers as well as bringing much needed automation to our child welfare workers. I think the one that most stands out is the involvement in our information technology (IT) infrastructure service delivery and changing it from a single vendor to a multisource integration provider. I was part of the request for information (RFI) process, and oversight committees from planning activities for process improvements to adopting solutions for our agency as an early adopter. Now with the program in full swing I am honored to be the lead IT representative for 12 state agencies in the Relationship Management Committee to ensure the program delivers the required added value. While much more work is ahead of us, the transitional services will eventually be a major differentiator for Virginia and all the Executive Branch agencies that depend on them.

Future Challenges for the Delivery of Public Human

Services: I think the biggest challenge is the best possible integration of our very disparate service delivery models. Besides a technology platform approach, the ultimate delivery of services has to improve at every level. Artificial intelligence (AI) has to become a major contributor to prevent the need for our services (or at least see a major reduction in the overall need). …

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