Representative Suzy Whitehead (NM)
Most of the news for this issue focuses on New Mexico, but in future issues we will cover other states. I invite members from the Region to send me any news you would like to share. New Mexico has a new Governor, Susana Martinez, as well as a new Secretary of Education, Hanna Skandera, and a new Human Services Secretary, Sidonie Squier. We look forward to working with them to improve services to our most vulnerable students.
The New Mexico School-Based Services (SBS) Program welcomes Jacqueline Nielsen as the Program Manager. Hopefully, you all will meet Jackie in October at the NAME Annual Conference. We also say Happy Retirement to Georgia Glasgow, the Liaison to the SBS Program from the Department of Education, and a long time member of NAME.
From Region VIII (CO, MT, ND, SD, UT, WY) - Representative Rena Steyaert (MT)
A large number of families were disenrolled from the CHIP program because they failed to pay their premiums on time. In an effort to prevent these case closures, Voices for Utah Children encouraged the Department of Workforce Services to use text messaging to inform CHIP clients when their premiums are due.
Voices for Utah Children is currently collaborating with outreach staff at a local school district on a pilot project to use text messaging to communicate with CHIP and Medicaid clients and relay notices about the requirements of their case. Clients will have the choice of receiving information from outreach staff via text messaging, email, or standard letter. Implementation began in June of this year and the effectiveness of each approach will be measured using an online account and tracking system. Results from this pilot project are expected to be available in June of 2011. Submitted by Diana Heath.