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Health and Social Services

Better data, better service


The Infant Toddler Early Intervention Program needed to replace its legacy data management system. As a first step, ITEIP needed to document modeling and mapping of current and future business processes, analyze data for future migration activities, and document business rules and requirements. Porsche elicited, analyzed, validated, documented, and verified new system requirements using Uniform Modeling Language tools. Working with multiple stakeholders from both within and outside the agency, she managed the project, providing oversight, business analysis, process improvement, facilitation, and management consulting services. The end product was the Program’s first comprehensive map of its business functions, including a comprehensive set of business requirements.

Fair and equitable systems


Relevant Strategies evaluated why some clients of the Washington State Department of Social and Health Services Developmental Disabilities Division received a rich set of support services, while other clients with similar needs received little or no services.  To address the issue, we worked with division leaders, subject matter experts, fiscal analysts, and field staff to develop an intake and eligibility tool and a comprehensive assessment. We also led the business analysis for a new standardized rate structure for residential clients, based on assessed need. To achieve the outcome—an objective, consistent, fair, and reliable system to determine eligibility and provides resources based on assessed needs—we used industry best practices to work with many stakeholders to identify ideal work-flows. A statewide advocacy group for people with developmental disabilities—a diverse group that include parents, attorneys, government leaders, and self-advocates—was charged with providing crucial input on this project. To build trust and help the diverse group members find common ground, Porsche led several all-day sessions that helped people listen to each other, understand each other’s core needs, and collectively develop an assessment system that was fair, equitable, reliable and respectful.

Reducing addictions


One-third of Kentucky sixth graders are addicted to tobacco—highest in the nation—and tobacco use is reinforced by family and community members whose livelihoods depend on tobacco. The state spends large sums of money providing health care to people with tobacco-related diseases. We developed a system that allows tobacco use prevention specialists to collaborate effectively, sharing information about best practices and proven programs to improve cessation and prevention outcomes. We helped identify the scope of needed customization, and coordinated the acquisition, training, and implementation of the system, on schedule and on budget.

A plan to address Alzheimer's


It is expected that the number of people developing dementia will more than double within the next 15 years, placing extreme pressure on already overburdened aging and long term supports, facilities and families of people with dementia. A cross-disciplinary public-private approach is needed to craft recommendations to respond to this unmet need. Relevant Strategies provided facilitation support, analysis, and report development work for a 35-member working group, appointed and charged by the legislature with developing a plan to address Alzheimer’s disease in Washington State. The group is comprised of representatives from a broad range of stakeholder groups, including the legislature, Alzheimer’s organizations, long-term care providers, people with dementia and their family caregivers, DSHS, DOH, and HCA. In addition, Ms. Everson led six public information meetings across the state, including a virtual web-based public session. Members of the public and interested stakeholder groups attended and voiced their opinions on a broad range of topics associated with services and supports for people with dementia and their families. These highly-charged sessions consistently had the highest satisfaction ratings from attendees, for being responsive, balanced, and fair to all participants. She synthesized the results from the public meetings for use by the working group to help craft their recommendations.

A job is a wonderful thing


One program of the Developmental Disabilities Division creates partnerships with employment support agencies to help adults with developmental disabilities find meaningful work. Unemployment among adults with disabilities is roughly 10 times the overall state unemployment rate. Most businesses have little or no experience recruiting, hiring, and supporting adults with disabilities. Sponsored by the King County Department of Community and Human Services, Relevant Strategies supported a business leadership advisory group charged with identifying ways in which the private and public sectors could work more closely to provide employment opportunities for people with developmental disabilities. Participants included leaders from Alaska Airlines, Boeing, Nordstrom, the Gates Foundation, and REI.


In other work for the King County Department of Community and Human Services, we provided business analysis and facilitation services to support a comprehensive review of several major business processes, as part of a broader effort to effort to address a budget that hasn’t kept up with inflation or the growth of needed client services. We identified and analyzed stakeholder interests and positions; worked with division groups to document current processes and identify potential future states; and sought feedback on each option, using an interest-based bargaining approach to reach consensus on a preferred approach in each of 10 major business functions.

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