The Human Resources Division provides human resources management services for the department and administers the Minnesota Merit System, which provides human resource management services for approximately 3,600 human services employees in 75 county human services/social services agencies. For DHS, the Human Resources Division staff provide services to managers and employees in the areas of staffing, health, safety, compensation, job classification, labor relations, management consulting, benefits administration, workers' compensation and employee assistance.
The Minnesota Merit System staff provides recruitment, selection, compensation and classification services to county managers and provides advice and consultation to county managers and supervisors on a variety of issues, including organization structure, disciplinary matters and interpretation of applicable laws, rules and policies for county human and social services agencies.
The office also is responsible for a broad range of administrative support services, including recycling, facilities management, mail processing, Continuous Improvements training and initiatives, security, information desk services, and Central Office fleet and vehicle rental coordination.
Amy Kaldor Akbay, 651-431-2913
The general counsel is the chief, in-house attorney responsible for providing legal advice, counsel and direction for all of DHS. The General Counsel’s Office manages and coordinates all legal activities at DHS. It is responsible for providing legal counsel on complex legal issues, including litigation, on a departmentwide basis, and serves as department counsel in settlements and negotiations. A list of annual public documents reports compiled by the General Counsel’s Office is online.
Chief Compliance Officer
Shireen Gandhi, 651-431-2917
The chief compliance officer has responsibility for legal and compliance activities throughout the agency.
Inta Sellars, 651-431-3590
Appeals and Regulations conducts hearings when applicants or recipients appeal a delay in their application or a denial, reduction, suspension or termination of financial assistance or social services. This area also provides support for all the department's divisions in the development of administrative rules that govern department programs and edits and maintains department manuals and bulletins. This area also handles appeals from long-term care providers regarding the payment rates established by the department. This area also reviews appeals from hospitals and physicians of Medical Assistance denials of payment for inpatient hospital services. A searchable database of fair hearings decisions is available on the DHS website.
Sebastian Stewart, 651-296-8403
This area manages department contracts, materials management, and business partner and vendor management.
Gary L. Johnson, 651-431-3623
The Internal Audits Office (IAO) was established in 1995 and provides management with an independent appraisal function to examine and evaluate the department's fiscal and program management. It is a managerial control that functions by measuring and evaluating the effectiveness of other department control mechanisms. It conducts audits of the department's grantees, contractors, vendors, and counties for fiscal and program compliance with federal and state laws, statutes, regulations, and rules. The Internal Audits Office also conducts investigations of suspected or alleged misuse of state resources and acts as the liaison and coordinator for outside auditors. In 1999 the office developed a computer forensics unit, which assists DHS and other state agencies in contractor and personnel investigations. Reorganization activity in 2005 brought the Medicaid Eligibility and Quality Control (MEQC) and Minnesota Care Eligibility Audit function to the IAO whose function is to protect against federal financial disallowances. In addition, in 2006 the Payment Error Rate Measurement (PERM) functions were transferred to the IAO as well. The functions of PERM are to review for improper payments by reviewing claims, medical necessity, and recipient eligibility for Medical Assistance and the State Children's Health Insurance Program.
Nikki Thompson, 651-431-4248
The Compliance Office Management and Policy Division is responsible for managing ethics and departmentwide records management, administrative policy approval and policy-related training and business continuity, including agency risk identification and response management.
The Office for Equity, Performance and Development (OEPD) is responsible for ensuring equal opportunity and nondiscrimination in employment and service delivery, and for developing an engaged and culturally sensitive workforce that can provide effective, data-driven services to DHS' diverse clientele.
Roberta Downing, 651-431-3842
The External Relations Administration includes the Office of Indian Policy; and county, community and legislative relations.
The community relations director supports, develops and facilitates relationships between DHS and the community.and county, community and legislative relations.
Matthew Freeman, 651-431-6205
The county relations director takes a lead role in the department's relationships with Minnesota's 87 counties, which provide most of the services the department administers.
Vern LaPlante, 651-431-2910
The director of Indian policy is responsible for providing coordination of ongoing consultation with tribal governments and, where appropriate, state and federal agencies, relating to the implementation of DHS services on American Indian reservations and urban Indian communities.
Roberta Downing, 651-431-3842
The director of federal relations serves as a key link to the federal government and Minnesota’s Congressional delegation on emerging issues, legislation and executive branch actions.
The director of government relations manages the department’s legislative process, works with the development of human services proposals, and follows the sequence of human services related legislation through work with agency staff, Minnesota Management and Budget, the Governor’s Office, the Minnesota Legislature and the Revisor of Statutes.
Carolyn Ham, 651-431-2798
The Office of Inspector General (OIG) oversees fraud prevention and recovery efforts, including health care, child care and food support fraud detection and recovery efforts. The OIG also licenses programs, such as child care, adult foster care and mental health centers, and conducts background studies on people who apply to work in these and other health and human service settings.
Dawn Davis, 651-431-2113
The Background Studies Division conducts required background studies on specific individuals working in or affiliated with health and human service programs serving children and vulnerable adults.
Kulani Moti, 651-431-6601
Michael Polston, 651-431-2618
The Financial Fraud and Abuse Investigations Division oversees fraud prevention and recovery efforts in health care, cash assistance, child care assistance and food support programs.
Regina Wagner, 651-431-4979
Licensing information, 651-296-3971
The department licenses residential and nonresidential programs for children and vulnerable adults to ensure that they meet the requirements of rules and the law. These programs include child care centers, family child care (via the counties), foster care, adoption agencies, and services for people with developmental disabilities, substance abuse disorder and mental illness. The department also assesses and completes investigations of maltreatment of those receiving services in licensed facilities.
Community-Based Services, which includes group homes and other community-based services for people with disabilities.
Forensic Treatment Services, which includes the Minnesota Security Hospital, forensic nursing home, forensic transition, the Competency Restoration Program, and the young adults and adolescent program.
The Minnesota Sex Offender Program in Moose Lake and St. Peter provides inpatient services and treatment to people who are committed by the court as a sexual psychopathic personality or a sexually dangerous person.
The Minnesota Security Hospital, a secure treatment facility located in St. Peter, serves people who have been committed by the court as mentally ill and dangerous.
Anoka-Metro Regional Treatment Center
3301 Seventh Ave. N.
Anoka, MN 55303-4516
763-712-4000 763-712-4013, fax
Anoka-Metro Regional Treatment Center serves people who are mentally ill or chemically dependent.
CBHH provide short-term, acute inpatient psychiatric services at six 16-bed community-based sites located throughout Minnesota.
The Community Addiction Recovery Enterprise provides dual diagnosis (both chemical dependency and mental illness) treatment and treatment for gambling addiction. It provides both inpatient and outpatient treatment, is licensed by the Minnesota Department of Human Services and the Minnesota Department of Health and is accredited by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations.
Child and Adolescent Behavioral Health Services provides comprehensive hospital and community-based mental health services to children and adolescents who have a serious emotional disturbance and whose needs may exceed the capacities of their families and local communities.
Community Support Services provides crisis homes, technical assistance and consultation services to people with disabilities throughout Minnesota. 1
James Koppel, 651-431-3835
Children and Family Services helps keep children safe and provides families with supports to care for their children. It also helps families and individuals transition to work and economic stability.
Community Supports includes all DHS behavioral health policy areas, including the divisions of Mental Health, Alcohol and Drug Abuse, Disability Services, Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services, and Housing and Support Services.
Claire Wilson, 651-431-2323
Continuing Care for Older Adults works to ensure quality care and services for seniors and other adults who need help living as independently as possible.
Health Care Administration (HCA) oversees Minnesota Health Care Programs (MHCP, or Minnesota’s Medicaid program) eligibility, benefit and payment policies; program development; member and provider relations and outreach; health care payment systems; research and evaluation; contract management; eligibility processing and determination; and oversight for the county and tribal administration of health care programs.
MSOCS provides residential and vocational support services for people with developmental and other disabilities throughout Minnesota.
Inta Sellars, 651-431-3590
Appeals and Regulations conducts hearings when applicants or recipients appeal a delay in their application or a denial, reduction, suspension or termination of financial assistance or social services. This area also provides support for all the department's divisions in the development of administrative rules that govern department programs and edits and maintains department manuals and bulletins. This area also handles appeals from long-term care providers regarding the payment rates established by the department. This area also reviews appeals from hospitals and physicians of Medical Assistance denials of payment for inpatient hospital services. A searchable database of fair hearings decisions is available on this site.
Sebastian Stewart, 651-296-8403
This area manages department contracts, materials management and business partner and vendor management.
The Compliance Office Management and Policy Division are responsible for managing ethics and departmentwide records management, administrative policy approval and policy-related training and business continuity, including agency risk identification and response management.
Gary L. Johnson, 651-431-3623
The Internal Audits Office (IAO) was established in 1995 and provides management with an independent appraisal function to examine and evaluate the department's fiscal and program management. It is a managerial control that functions by measuring and evaluating the effectiveness of other department control mechanisms. It conducts audits of the department's grantees, contractors, vendors, and counties for fiscal and program compliance to federal and state laws, statutes, regulations, and rules.
The Internal Audits Office also conducts investigations of suspected or alleged misuse of state resources and acts as the liaison and coordinator for outside auditors. In 1999 the office developed a computer forensics unit, which assists DHS and other state agencies in contractor and personnel investigations. Reorganization activity in 2005 brought the Medicaid Eligibility and Quality Control (MEQC) and Minnesota Care Eligibility Audit functions to the IAO whose function is to protect against federal financial disallowances. In addition, in 2006 the Payment Error Rate Measurement (PERM) functions were transferred to the IAO as well. The functions of PERM are to review for improper payments by reviewing claims, medical necessity, and recipient eligibility for Medical Assistance and the State Children's Health Insurance Program.
Alexandra Kotze, 651-431-2582
The CFO oversees the Reports and Forecasts Division, Budget Analysis, Management Operations, the Financial Operations Division, and financial management for Direct Care and Treatment's Chemical and Mental Health Services area.
Dave Greeman, 651-431-3432
The budget director provides leadership for the department’s administrative and legislative budget development work.
Marty Cammack, 651-431-3742
Financial Operations provides fiscal services and controls financial transactions of the department. Core functions include preparing financial portions of department budgets, paying department obligations, federal fiscal reporting, Parental Fee Program administration, processing department receipts and preparing employees' payroll.
Shawn Welch, 651-431-2939
Reports and Forecasts is responsible for meeting federal reporting requirements for cash assistance, medical programs and food stamps; providing forecasts of program caseloads and expenditures, which are used in budget development; providing fiscal notes to accompany proposed legislation; and responding to requests for statistical information on cash assistance and medical programs.
The department's Alcohol and Drug Abuse Division is the state authority on drug and alcohol abuse prevention. In that role, the division plans and evaluates programs and administers funding. This division also includes a problem gambling treatment and education program, and the tobacco program that includes retailer compliance checks throughout the state.
In partnership with local mental health providers and others in the system of care, the Mental Health Division develops, supports and maintains a comprehensive array of community-based services to meet the mental health needs of adults and children and their families.
651-431-2356 (voice) or 651-431-2354 (TTY/TDD)
The Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services Division assists children and adults who are deaf, deafblind or hard of hearing and their families to gain access to the services they need to live independently in their communities. More than 330,000 Minnesotans have a hearing loss and rely on visual or tactile forms of language or assistive listening devices to communicate.
Eight regional offices located around the state provide direct services to individuals, families and communities. An administrative office in St. Paul coordinates the statewide Telephone Equipment Distribution (TED) program and awards more than $1.9 million annually to community vendors to provide mental health, interpreter referral and independent living services. (To schedule an interpreter, call the interpreter referral (IR) number listed under your region.)
Telephone Equipment Distribution program
800-657-3663 (Voice) or 800-657-3513 (TTY/TDD)
The TED program provides specialized telephone equipment at no cost to qualified people who are deaf, hard of hearing, speech impaired or mobility impaired to help them use the telephone system.
Regional offices provide a single entry point for services and referrals for Minnesotans of any age who have a hearing loss. The offices provide direct client services including information and referral, consultation and outreach to agencies and individuals, technical assistance, videotape and book library loans on a short-term basis, and training to agencies regarding accessibility and hearing loss.
Regional offices also sponsor trainings and events for the community and house adaptive equipment demonstration labs and the Telephone Equipment Distribution program staff. (To schedule an interpreter, call the interpreter referral (IR) number listed under your region.)
Alex Bartolic, 651-431-2381
DHS plans, develops and evaluates community-based services for Minnesotans with developmental disabilities, traumatic brain injuries, physical disabilities and chronic medical conditions who are also in need of public supports.
Community-based services promote individual and family self-sufficiency and maintain an individual's or family's optimum level of independence in the community; they include home care, residential and work-related services.
The division also includes the HIV/AIDS Unit, which helps Minnesotans living with HIV to access health care through its insurance, drug reimbursement, dental, nutrition and case management programs. The unit also consults with other parts of DHS and state government on HIV policy and statewide needs assessment, planning and evaluation.
Erin Sullivan Sutton, 651-431-3849
At DHS, we work to ensure that appropriate housing is available for the people we serve by supporting systems that integrate housing, services and income supports to enable people to live in the community of their choice.
The division oversees General Assistance, Group Residential Housing, Long-term Homelessness, Minnesota Supplemental Aid, Section 811 Project-Based Rental Assistance Program, Social Security Benefits Advocacy and SOAR (SSI/SSDI Outreach, Access and Recovery).
Jamie Sorenson, 651-431-4655
The Child Safety and Permanency Division works with counties to prevent child abuse and neglect and to intervene when child maltreatment occurs. It provides a statewide competency-based training system in partnership with counties. The division oversees early intervention services, services for homeless and other at-risk youth, family preservation services, child protection services, out-of-home placement (including foster care), American Indian child welfare and adoption.
Shaneen Moore, 651-431-4603
This division is responsible for administering the statewide child support program that includes locating absent parents, establishing paternity, and establishing, modifying and enforcing orders for child and medical support.
Cindi Yang, 651-431-3828
The division works in partnership with counties, tribes, community organizations and other state agencies to develop high quality and accessible child care options and school readiness services for families; to provide child care subsidies to low-income Minnesotans; and to remove the barriers imposed by poverty on the health and development of children and families at the community level, through community action agencies, food shelves and homeless shelters.
Jovon Perry, 651-431-4006
The Economic Assistance and Employment Supports Division develops and implements policy; delivers training; develops bulletins and manuals; and provides systems and policy support to the counties, tribes and community providers who offer cash, food and housing assistance; and refugee and employment services to low-income Minnesotans.
Services and programs are designed to strengthen Minnesota families and individuals by helping them meet their basic needs as they go to work, look for work, attend school or are unable to work. This division also is responsible for program data and analysis, program integrity, quality assurance and outcome evaluation for Minnesota’s economic assistance programs.
Kari Benson, 651-431-2566
This division develops community services and resources for older persons and adults with special needs and administers Long-Term Care Consultation and the Alternative Care and Elderly Waiver programs that help seniors remain in their communities. Programs for seniors and their families include adult foster care, adult day care, chore assistance, adult protection, caregiver support and in-home services.
This division also provides staff support to the Minnesota Board on Aging (MBA), which administers the federal Older Americans Act and state dollars to fund a variety of services, including Senior LinkAge Line®, health insurance counseling for seniors, the Ombudsman for Older Minnesotans and more. More information about the MBA is available on its Web site.
Valerie Cooke, 651-431-2263
The Nursing Facility Rates and Policy Division provides policy development and program administration of facility-based services for older Minnesotans. Oversight responsibilities include benefits, rate setting, care system development, public health interventions and administration of federal grants.
The division conducts the rate setting for Rule 50 nursing facilities and the contractual nursing home alternative payment system demonstration project.
LaRhae Knatterud, 651-431-2606
Project 2030, which is housed within the Department of Human Services, analyzes the impacts of the aging of Minnesota's population and creates momentum within all sectors to prepare for the demographic shifts that will culminate in 2030 when the first baby boomers begin turning 85.
Karen Schirle, 651-431-4603
This division is responsible for data analysis, research and performance measures to evaluate health care programs, and oversees managed care quality assurance and improvement.
Lori Shimon, 651-431-2722
This division supports Minnesota Health Care Programs (MHCP) members and providers and is comprised of Benefit Recovery, Claims Processing, Managed Care Ombudsman, and the Member and Provider Call Center, Training and Communication and Provider Enrollment.
Tamara Smith, 651-431-2296
This division performs processing and eligibility determinations for MinnesotaCare and the Minnesota Family Planning Program and disability determinations by the State Medical Review Team.
The state Medicaid director oversees department relations with the federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, including negotiating changes to the state’s Medicaid plan and waivers.
Julie Marquardt, 651-431-2669
This division coordinates the purchasing and delivery of services in state health care programs including determining how services are covered, and managing fee-for-service and purchasing through managed care plans and other coordinated care organizations.
Karen Gibson, 651-431-2297
This division administers eligibility policy, training, education and end-user support to counties, tribal governments, assisters, and navigators for the Medical Assistance and MinnesotaCare programs.
Greg Poehling, 651-431-4552
MNIT Services @ DHS manages the technology to provide the department's information infrastructure and core information tools. IT supports the agency's mission by providing a workplace information environment that is secure, stable, powerful and technologically sound, by ensuring that new systems are coordinated across the department and with other agencies and by providing a high level of customer support.