Texas Health and Human Services begins massive department overhaul

Texas Health and Human Services Commission website (Screenshot of website)
Texas Health and Human Services Commission website (Screenshot of website)

AUSTIN (KXAN) — In an effort to make the Health and Human Services Commission more efficient and effective, Texas leaders directed the department to change its ways. Starting Thursday, 4,000 employees and more than 120 programs and functions will move to the Health and Human Services Commission from four other health and human state agencies.

“The move marks the first of two waves of the state’s significant health agency transformation designed to help Texans find and receive services more efficiently,” Carrie Williams from HHSC said in a release.

After months of evaluating what can be improved upon, the agency announced what will change. The first being a new website launching on Sept. 1. The new site will have a major section dedicated to services related to aging, disabilities, women and children, food and fitness, child protection among others. The site is expected to be more user friendly rather than the clunky site that it is now.

“This is a monumental effort that’s happening behind the scenes. Most people won’t notice a change, other than hopefully it’s easier for them to find what they need,” said Executive Commissioner Charles Smith. “It’s a work in progress, and we’re putting the system together in a way that puts Texans first.”

The restructuring will eliminate the Department of Assistive and Rehabilitative Services and the Department of Aging and Disability Services to operate as separate agencies by 2017. Selected programs from the Department of State Health Services and the Department of Family and Protective Services will fall under the guidance of HHSC. DSHS will focus its efforts on core public health functions, and DFPS will focus on prevention and protective services.

Fore more details on the reforms click here. 

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