Get the Latest News from the Mississippi Department of Human Services
December 2020
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Ashley Rudman
State Office

Ashley is passionate about helping Mississippi families. She is very loyal, kind, brave, and utilizes her strengths as she works to become a future leader at MDHS. Ashley is a wonderful example of an exceptional employee who values service and displays respect, generosity, and kindness to others.

Cassandra Jordan
Field Office

Cassie loves people and enjoys helping in whatever way she can. She is a hard worker, a team player, and takes great pride in her job. Cassie has mentored many employees. She always goes above and beyond in her work at MDHS. She exemplifies the saying, “one team, one fight.”

Christmas Decorating Contest 
State Office Winner
11th Floor
Field Office
MDHS was able to get into the holiday spirit by decorating our offices. With everything going on, we were able to stay merry and bright.

Thank you to everyone who participated!
DAAS Christmas Cheer
A local family who otherwise would not have had Christmas will have a jubilant end to 2020 thanks to the selfless generosity of our employees at the Mississippi Department of Human Services.

Sharon Allen of Jackson, a terminally ill mother of five, reached out on Facebook with a video asking for help in giving her children a Christmas this year. Employees in the MDHS Division of Aging and Adult Services Adult Protection Services Program heard her plea and responded by adopting the family. After visiting the home, the agency was able to connect Allen with needed rental and utilities assistance with the help of the MDHS Community Services Division.

“The mother meets the definition of a vulnerable adult in need of assistance, so we knew the only right thing to do was to reach out and help any way we could,” said Anita Ballard, Director of Adult Protection Services. “The Division of Aging and Adult Services believes in helping and serving others.”

Using money collected within the division, DAAS was able to bring some Christmas cheer to the children, ages 16, 11, 3, and two 13-year-olds. The gifts were delivered to the home by DAAS staff.

“God bless the people at the Mississippi Department of Human Services. Without them, my children would have had no Christmas and there would be no smiles on their faces,” Allen said. “These angels did so much. I don’t know how to thank them enough.”
In addition, Miskelly’s Furniture will be delivering beds to the family’s home this week, and the family will also receive a donated washer and dryer.

“It does my heart good to see how much our employees truly care about people and come to the assistance of those who need help, especially at Christmas time,” said Robert G. “Bob” Anderson, MDHS Executive Director. “I have never been prouder of our employees.”
The Division of Human Resources brings joy to Angel Tree Children
This is the second year that the Division of Human Resources has chosen to be a part of the Salvation Army Angel Tree gift-giving program. DHR came together as a unit and decided not to pull names but take that money and support the Salvation Army’s Angel Tree. With all donations contributed by HR, we raised enough money to purchase items for three children. With all that’s going on today, it has been a blessing to bring holiday cheer to children.
Aging Annual Santa for Seniors
This year we adopted Compere's Nursing Home. Aging provided the nursing home residences 52 gift bags filled with toiletries other goodies.
Christmas at Oakley
Jingle Bells, Let it Snow and Merry Christmas to everyone! Holiday Cheer, or as some may call it Christmas Spirit, is spread through others who represent the essence of Christmas. The goal is to spread Christmas joy through love, compassion and kindness to others. Everyone can agree that Christmas is a beautiful time of year and that does not change regardless of the circumstances. This year, although unprecedented, the stockings will still be hung by the chimney with care in the hopes that St. Nicholas soon will be there.

Every boy and girl will go to bed hoping to have at least one gift to open on Christmas Day. The staff at Oakley Youth Development Center have gone above and beyond ensuring that students housed on the campus have a very special Christmas Day. Staff collaborated to ensure students receive gifts left for them by Saint Nicholas. Saint Nicholas was able to leave funds for gifts with the Office of the Inspector General, Hadley Eisenberger. She along with her elves went shopping for gifts guaranteeing Oakley’s students have a Merry Christmas.

Our very own Saint Nicholas, Mr. Bob Anderson, and elves Rachelle Richardson, Hadley Eisenberger, Dr. Dennis Daniels, Toni Kersh, and Eric Johnson prepared for gifts to be transported to the elves at Oakley Youth Development Center for distribution.
EAE Training
Pictured left is Cassidy Simpson from Choctaw County and on the right is Kanesha Moore from Lowndes County.

2020 has brought about some adjustments to way we conduct out training.
This month we conducted out first successful ZOOM training session with our
Region 5 Clerical staff.

Thanks to all of our Clerical staff for everything they do!
Aging & Adult Conference
We are extremely excited to be in the planning stages of our 2021 Aging and Engaging with a Purpose Conference.

The 2021 conference will allow professionals from all disciplines to enjoy engaging sessions from across the state and even the national level. We will have a special guest from the National Adult Protective Services Association (NAPSA) sharing a wealth of knowledge about APS and COVID-19.
Recognizing Our Caregivers
The Home and Community Based Coordinator from DAAS partnered with Community Links LLC. Together they sponsored the respite basket giveaway and participated in the Fall Restival event in Jackson.

The caregivers were allowed a few hours of respite without the chance of being charged a late fee from aftercare. 

Three Rivers AAA director Mr. Mark Williamson recognized and gifted care baskets to caregivers.
Christopher Rand,

Christopher Rand, Director of Internal Audit has successfully completed training to become a Certified Internal Auditor. This puts him among the elite in his field.
Chad Shook
IV-D Director

Chad comes to the Agency after practicing law in various capacities in the Mississippi Delta, southwest Tennessee, and Hattiesburg for over 22 years. Immediately prior to joining the Agency, he served as the first full-time Guardian Ad Litem and Youth Defender for Forrest County Youth Court in Hattiesburg. Chad has a 10 year old daughter, Laura Grace, as well as 3 dogs and a cat - Opie, Ellie, Chloe, and Cinnamon. In his spare time, Chad enjoys gardening, cooking, painting, reading, and watching football and baseball. 
"It is a privilege and honor to lead the CSE Division and the dedicated, professional team of that Division. I am grateful to Bob Anderson and his senior leadership team for affording me the opportunity to serve the children and families of Mississippi as IV-D Director," Shook said.  
Claire Graves
Organizational Ombudsman
Claire Graves joined the MDHS team as the new Organizational Ombudsman in the Office of External Affairs on December 1. In this role, she is charged with identifying and addressing root causes of client complaints and serving as a change agent within the agency. Prior to coming on board at MDHS, Claire had the privilege of working with Mississippi’s transition-age foster youth throughout the state, and she is grateful for the opportunity to continue to serve Mississippi’s kids and families most in need of a helping hand. 
Patrick Black
General Counsel & Deputy Executive Director
Patrick Black joins MDHS as General Counsel and Deputy Executive Director. He will provide legal counsel for the agency, as well as oversee the Division of Early Childhood Care and Development and Division of Community Service. Previously, he worked for the Mississippi Attorney General’s Office assigned as Chief Counsel for the Division of Medicaid. Patrick is originally from Weir, Mississippi. He attended Millsaps College before obtaining his law degree at the University of Mississippi School of Law. 
Daniel Gallarno
Legislative Liaison
Daniel Gallarno is a native Jacksonian and proud of it. He attended Millsaps College where he was a left-handed pitcher on the baseball team, member of Student Government, and Presidential Ambassador. After graduating Millsaps with a B.A. in Political Science and Religious Studies, Daniel attended City, University of London and received an M.A. in International Politics. He was a member of the City, University of London basketball team, that won the BUCS Cup Championship for the first time in school history.
When he’s not at work, you can find Daniel fishing, golfing, or playing with his Great Dane, Mowgli. Prior to his job at MDHS, Daniel was a political consultant for a leading national political consulting and polling firm.
Next up....
Smith County
November Winner
Marion County
October Winner
We are so happy to recognize these fantastic teams. We appreciate all that you do. Keep up the good work, and thank you!
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