Gov. Doug Burgum released the following statement today after signing House Bill 1247, which directs the state Department of Health and Department of Human Services to unite into the North Dakota Department of Health and Human Services, effective Sept. 1, 2022.
“North Dakota’s Department of Health and Department of Human Services have a long history of working together to serve the citizens of our state, as evidenced by their lifesaving work during the current pandemic,” Burgum said. “By bringing these two agencies together, we will build on each agency’s strengths, enhance collaboration, provide expanded career opportunities for team members and, most importantly, deliver programs and services more efficiently and effectively to the citizens of North Dakota.”
The Governor’s Office will lead an integration team with representation from the two agencies.
“Team members from both agencies have distinguished themselves with their dedication, commitment and sacrifice throughout the COVID-19 pandemic,” Burgum said. “Improving health, providing quality human services and supporting our team members will continue to be our top priorities as we build a streamlined service delivery system for North Dakota citizens.”
House Bill 1247 was introduced by Rep. Robin Weisz, chair of the House Human Services Committee, and co-championed by Sen. Judy Lee, who chairs the Senate Human Services Committee. Other co-sponsors were Reps. Bill Devlin, Gary Kreidt, Karen Rohr and Matt Ruby and Sen. Howard Anderson.
The Department of Health currently has 204 authorized positions and a $160 million budget for the 2019-21 biennium. The department’s divisions include Communications, Community and Health Systems, Disease Control, Emergency Preparedness, Emergency Medical Systems, Epidemiology, Family Health and Nutrition, Fiscal Services, Food and Lodging, Forensic Examiner, Health Facilities, Health Promotion, Human Resources, Information Technology, Injury and Violence Prevention, Life Safety and Construction, Medical Marijuana, Special Health Services, Systems and Performance, and Vital Records.
The Department of Human Services currently has 2,230 authorized positions and a $4.1 billion budget for the 2019-21 biennium. Its divisions include Administration, Aging Services, Behavioral Health, Child Support, Children and Family Services, Developmental Disability Services, Economic Assistance, Medical Services, Vocational Rehabilitation, eight Regional Human Service Centers, the State Hospital in Jamestown and the Life Skills and Transition Center in Grafton.