I heard a lot of talk about "wasting the taxpayer's dollars" this session, mostly in the context of "welfare fraud" and the need to reserve benefits for "our people," i.e. U.S. citizens. No one repeated this refrain more than the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), an agency whose enabling statute includes the following guiding principles:
A. Improve the health and well-being of Maine residents, with this goal guiding all decisions, programs and services of the department;B. Treat consumers with respect and dignity;C. Treat service providers with professionalism and collegiality;D. Value and support department staff as the critical connection to the consumer;E. Involve consumers, providers, advocates and staff in long-term planning;F. Use relevant, meaningful data and objective analyses of population-based needs in program planning, decision making and quality assurance; andG. Deliver services that are individualized, family-centered, easily accessible, preventive, independence-oriented, interdisciplinary, collaborative, evidence-based and consistent with best practices.