Delaware Department of
Human Resources

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.

2020 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 Recipient

This award recognizes teams that serve as role models in their application of continuous improvement techniques and achievement of outstanding results.

Judicial Information Center COVID Response Team

Administrative Office of the Courts

This project team from the Judicial Information Center (JIC) responded to the urgent need to convert in-person court hearings to remote environments for the safety of court employees and litigants, while still ensuring the public’s constitutional right of access to the Courts. Using innovative thinking and a collaborative process, they developed and implemented a solution that involved the establishment of a secure Zoom account for the Courts and the use of “Zoom Carts” which contained all the equipment necessary to hold virtual hearings. These mobile carts can be used in a courtroom but can also be easily transported elsewhere. They can accommodate and record Zoom hearings, and, if appropriate, live stream to YouTube for those matters where there is a need to provide public access. Although procurement of all the necessary equipment was a challenge, JIC was able to deploy 43 carts across the State between May and December 2020. Thanks to the JIC team, each of Delaware’s six Courts – comprised of 75 courtrooms and 1250 judges and court staff in 24 different buildings – fulfilled its core mission by resolving the most urgent cases using remote technology. Going forward, this remote environment can be used with the approval of the litigants, which will afford savings of expenses and resources to all parties.

Government Support Services Central Contracting Team

Office of Management and Budget

When the COVID-19 pandemic interrupted normal supply chains and created  serious shortages of critical supplies and services, the Government Support Services Central Contract Team took action to create and implement best practices that supported both state agencies and businesses in procuring those essential items. This team was able to leverage long-standing vendor relationships and reach deep into distribution channels to locate, purchase, and deliver the critical products and services necessary.  They negotiated contracts for ventilators, non-congregate emergency sheltering, and COVID-19 testing services. They worked across market sectors to purchase the needed supplies, including over 28.5 million Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) items, hospital equipment, vaccine supplies, and supplies to make to make 60,000 Personal Care Kits needed to slow the spread of the virus. In his letter of endorsement, DEMA Director AJ Schall said, “GSS spent countless hours, not only during the workweek,  but over nights, holidays, and weekends, chasing down hundreds of potential leads from all over the globe to ensure that Delaware could respond without concern.”

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.

DelDOT Special Events Team

Department of Transportation

When the State of Emergency Declaration was issued on March 13, 2020, this team from the Department of Transportation had to quickly pivot from its traditional responsibilities to play a critical role in supporting the State’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Special Events Team became the Department’s frontline Emergency Response Unit for supporting State, County, Municipal, and private non-profit organizations across the State.  They provided traffic control and management services for testing sites, personal protective equipment donation sites, vaccine distribution events, and regional and local organization food distributions. For the first time, they also assisted law enforcement agencies with protest support and real-time traffic management. Without the management, coordination, and traffic control this team provided, much of the necessary response to the pandemic would have been hindered.

Technology Response to COVID-19 Pandemic Team

Department of Technology and Information

At the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, DTI worked with multiple state agencies and state legislators to assist them with rapid implementation of technologies and collaborative capabilities that allowed them to carry out their work and provide services from home or remote locations. The team also developed and delivered new technical and security tools that enabled emergency response leaders to effectively manage the pandemic. As a result of the team’s work, the state’s capacity to remotely access systems and perform work was increased by 400%. More importantly, the team helped state agencies implement solutions to respond to the unprecedented spikes in need for services generated by both citizens and businesses. Many of the solutions the team helped implement will continue to be used even after the pandemic is behind us.

DHSS Telework Support Team

Department of Health and Social Services

The Telework Support team came together to accomplish the rapid deployment of hundreds of DHSS staff to telework status in response to the Governor’s first stay-at-home order at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition to operationalizing over 1,000 Virtual Private Network (VPN) connections, the team deployed over 200 devices to remote workers. As a testament to their efficiency, they were able to accomplish this in under three weeks. As a result of their efforts, DHSS has been able to fully maintain its operations throughout the pandemic – a time when demands on health and social services have been rising. The policies and practices developed by this team to facilitate their efforts have helped established telework as a permanent part of the DHSS work experience.

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.

Bridge Maintenance Team

Department of Transportation

This team carried out an innovative approach to bridge construction that not only addressed impending access issues for the farming community in the Port Penn area but also established a cost effective repair option that can be used in similar situations in the future. Using in-house talent and expertise, this team designed, planned, and constructed a new concrete slab on top of an existing bridge along Dutch Neck Road. This new bridge ensured continued access to the road for the local community and removed load restrictions that had prevented farm equipment from using it. By using internal resources instead of contraction out the work, the team was able to save an estimated $84,000.

DMV Online Appointment Scheduler Team

Department of Transportation

This team of DMV and DTI employees created an Online Appointment Scheduler (OAS) system to address major operational issues caused by COVID-19 restrictions and provided better, safer service to the public. When the pandemic crisis forced DMV to go to an emergency-only appointment policy for urgent DMV transactions, the dedicated staff was overwhelmed by the volume of calls received. This team’s implementation of the OAS automated the appointment process, maximized the available staff resources, and reduced customer frustration. From its launch in June 2020, over 11,000 online appointments were made. As a result of the team’s work, DMV was able to streamline customer service, reduce call volumes, decrease wait times, and limit customer’s proximity to other customers.

DSAAPD Neuro-Behavioral Health Team

Department of Health and Social Services

The Neurobehavioral Health team at Delaware Hospital for the Chronically Ill is being recognized for their use of innovative interventions to care for individuals with dementia and other neurological disorders, who have some of the most challenging behavioral concerns in a Long Term Care setting. The interdisciplinary team between psychology, nursing, and activity therapy staff (in conjunction with the pharmacy and training units) collaborate using person-centered approaches to understand the message behind a resident’s behavior and develop better interventions and supports. The team also provides behavioral and emotional support to all residents. Their ever-growing collection of therapeutic interventions emphasize relationship-building to help increase the patients’ sense of well-being, reduce the need for psychotropic medications when possible, and provide an avenue for improved quality of life for their entire community – both residents and caregivers.