Governor's Team Excellence Award
The Governor's Team Excellence Awards are presented annually to teams of up to 20 state employees and encourages teamwork by recognizing groups of state employees for their efforts to use continuous quality improvement tools to excel in leadership, team dynamics and communication to produce superior customer service and tangible results. Governor Carney encourages employees to work across state agencies for a more effective and responsible state government.
2022 Governor's Team Excellence Award Recipients
For their dedicated work and success in making Delaware state government more innovative and efficient, Governor John Carney announced the recipients for this year’s Governor’s Team Excellence Award Program.
GEAR P3 Innovation and Efficiency Award Recipients
This award recognizes teams that serve as role models in their application of continuous improvement techniques and achievement of outstanding results.
Delaware Relief Rebate Team
Department of Finance
In response to HB 360 and the 2022 Relief Rebate Program it created, this team was assembled to issue over 782,000 emergency relief payments to qualifying tax filers and adult residents of Delaware. With only six months to issue these payments, this unprecedented project required the team to develop entirely new, home-grown financial systems to authorize, distribute, and manage over $234 million in emergency rebate payments.
A major challenge for the team was the need to identify constituencies who typically do not use Department of Finance services or appear in the department’s databases. Consequently, the team identified and collaborated with other state agencies to acquire and process the data needed to ensure that all eligible residents received their payments. The team also had to complete the bulk of the rebate work while simultaneously forging ahead on the high-priority, public-facing implementation of the State’s personal income tax modernization system scheduled for release at the same time.
The team responded to these challenges with innovative designs and processes that not only helped them meet the six-month deadline but also produced clear and verifiable results with a high degree of satisfaction from rebate recipients and the legislators that represent them. At the conclusion of the program, the number of rebates issued approximates the number of estimated adult Delawareans. In addition, approximately 94% of rebate checks have been cashed within the last nine months, indicating an extremely high payment accuracy rate.
Restore the Corridor Team
Department of Transportation
The Restore the Corridor Project carried out an expansive rehabilitation project to repair nineteen bridges, repave five miles of road, and make several safety upgrades along I-95, from I-495 through the Brandywine River Bridge. In carrying out this project, this team conducted extensive outreach, planning, engineering, and collaboration to ensure the project’s success and minimize the impact on the residents of Wilmington and people traveling through the I-95 corridor.
To manage traffic increases throughout the city during the construction, the team integrated over 200 City of Wilmington traffic signals into the DelDOT traffic management system. They also established an extensive public outreach program through working groups, a project website, a public liaison group, and a smartphone app to communicate updates on traffic delays, construction activities, and traffic pattern shifts. To support first responders, they established an Incident Management Plan to provide access routes to crashes within the constrained work zone. In addition, their use of Delaware’s first automated speed enforcement was successful in reducing speeds and crashes.
To minimize risk, maintain their schedule, ensure quality work, control cost, and provide a means to facilitate open communication between all project partners, the team used an alternate project delivery platform, Construction Manager/General Contractor(CM/GC). This innovative approach allowed them to address unforeseen conditions, foster the development of project improvements during the design phase and into construction, and ultimately ensure the project goals could be met.
As a result of the team’s efforts, the rehabilitation work that impacted travel lanes was completed in under two years – ahead of schedule – and ensures that I-95 through Wilmington will be in good condition for many years to come. The success of this project is a result of a team effort incorporating the talent of many individuals, and it provides a template for future complex highway construction projects.
Champions Award Recipients
This award recognizes teams that demonstrate a superior use of continuous quality improvement tools to achieve exceptional results in process efficiency, customer service, and cost savings.
Bridge Buprenorphine Initiation Program Team
Department of Health and Social Services
The Bridge Buprenorphine Initiation Program (B-BIP) Team is being recognized for its successful launch of a new service line to provide rapid access to buprenorphine, a highly effective and life-saving prescription medication for opioid use disorder. The main goal of the B-BIP project was to minimize barriers for vulnerable individuals in need of buprenorphine and to provide rapid access statewide, regardless of their ability to pay. To implement this service, they had to create and implement new evidence-based protocols, coordinate with lab services, and set agreements to transport clients to a local pharmacy for medication. As a result of their work, this team expects to see reductions in drug-related harms and improvements to clients’ health and quality of life, while taking a non-stigmatized, non-judgmental attitude in partnering with patients.
Gun Violence Intervention Delaware Operations Team
Department of Health and Social Services; Department of Correction; Department of Safety and Homeland Security; Department of Justice; and Department of Services for Children, Youth, and their Families
This multi-agency partnership was created to address and reduce community gun violence state-wide. Including members from five state agencies as well as local police departments, this team successfully launched two operational sites in Dover and Wilmington that provide an innovative approach to addressing and reducing violence. This approach includes coordinating joint responses from law enforcement, social services, and community partners and focuses on the groups at the highest risk for violence victimization and offending. This team has served over 200 clients, including juveniles, their families, and adults. Early data suggests that those participating in GVI Support and Outreach services have decreased violations of probation, decreased total gun charges, and decreased incarceration rates upon enrollment. The partnership has seen reductions in shootings and homicides and retaliatory gun violence in both operational sites over the course of 2022.
Casho Mill Road Clankers Team
Department of Transportation
In response to a persistent problem of over-height vehicles striking the CSXT bridge along Casho Mill Road in Newark over the past decade, this team from DelDOT implemented an inventive and effective system, called clankers, to warn drivers that the bridge is too low for their vehicle. (Clankers are plastic balls suspended over the roadway by chains that notify drivers their vehicle is too tall when struck.) The clankers implementation plan focused on creative decision-making across many different areas of consideration, and the team worked to develop a set of key design parameters (e.g., signage, flashing lights, supporting steel, durable fasteners, etc.) that could serve as the initial building blocks for a more dynamic style of traffic safety design. These clankers have been extremely effective. Since they were installed in July 2022, there have been no reported crashes at the Casho Mill Road railroad bridge/tunnel. The work of this team enhanced the safety, reliability, and convenience of a commuter route serving nearly 15,000 vehicles per day, while also reducing the potential for serious injuries, fatalities, and impacts on local businesses.
Commitment Award Recipient
This award recognizes teams that demonstrate a commitment to developing and applying continuous improvement tools and techniques to achieving quality results in their organization.
Shoreline and Waterway Management Section – Beach Crew
Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control
When Delaware's coastal communities fell victim to a late-season nor’easter storm on the weekend of May 7-8, 2022, the Shoreline and Waterway Management’s Beach Crew responded with an all-hands-on-deck approach to clean up the debris and restore safe public access to the beaches prior to the busy Memorial Day weekend. A critical determining factor in their success was the team’s effective use of internal and external communication to galvanize support and leverage needed resources across the many beach communities affected by the storm. The team’s emphasis on cross-training staff and the development of standard procedures based on past experiences were also major contributors to their success. It is critical for Southern Delaware's economy and reputation that beachgoers have an enjoyable experience when they visit our resort towns. It is because of the help of the Beach Crew that this was able to happen this past Memorial Day weekend and the rest of the summer.
Consumer Reporting Form Re-Platforming Team
Department of Health and Social Services
This team of staff from the Department of Health and Social Services’ Research and Evaluation (RE) and Information Resource Management (IRM) sections worked together to implement major updates to both the architecture and content of their data collection tool – the Consumer Reporting Form (CRF). These improvements concentrated on ensuring that the CRF is aligned with best practices in trauma-informed evaluation, uses culturally appropriate language, and focuses on outcome measurements. This improved tool will increase the department’s ability to gather high-quality data, support internal and external partners, and make more accurate data-driven decisions around resource allocation. The team’s effective use of Agile project management methodology to achieve these results will benefit IRM’s collaborations with other divisions in the department in the future.
DMV on the Go Team
Department of Transportation
This diverse team of employees used a combination of innovation, technology, and creativity to deliver a mobile DMV office that will allow the department to reach underserved communities that face accessibility barriers to obtaining DMV services. The new DMV on the Go trailer, a major upgrade to a DMV bus used in the past, features updated stations and ADA-accessible capacities to perform most of the services available at brick-and-mortar DMV locations. The team included subject matter experts from various sections (Driver Services, Vehicle Services, ADA, DTI, IT) to ensure the trailer would function properly and efficiently but was also compliant. As a result of the DMV on the Go Team’s innovative conceptualization, exceptional cross-collaboration, and persistent dedication to reach all residents, over 1,000 Delawareans have been served since the initial launch of the trailer.