Humphrey School News

Innovation at its Best: Humphrey School Recognizes State Agencies for Creative Ways in Serving Minnesotans

July 10, 2014
MN capitol

MINNEAPOLIS, MN (7/10/14)—The Humphrey School of Public Affairs today announced winners of its State Innovation Awards, to celebrate the creative work and projects of Minnesota state government. The awards—organized in partnership with the Bush Foundation—recognize 10 state projects for how they deliver better government services to Minnesotans. The winners will be formally recognized at an awards ceremony and reception Thursday, August 7, at 4 p.m. at the Minnesota History Center. 

“Whether it is health care, education, judicial, or social services, state government delivers a broad array of services to Minnesotans and these awards recognize those projects that are doing things significantly better,” says Jay Kiedrowski, senior fellow at the Humphrey School of Public Affairs. “Minnesotans should realize that it’s not business as usual in state government; these award winners have done an exemplary job integrating innovative ideas and problem-solving techniques into their operations and we want to spread the word about their good work.”

A panel of judges considered 36 submissions for their creativity, sustainability, and collaboration. Entries might creatively generate resources, create change through scaling and replication, meet community needs that are either under-served or ineffectively served, or offer products and services that are simpler and more cost-effective that the alternatives. 
The awards were inspired by the Local Government Innovation Awards, which recognize schools, cities, and county government entities for their programs. The program recognized 18 local government innovators in 2013. To learn more about the State Innovation Awards as well as the individual award winners and their innovations, visit sgia.umn.edu

The complete list of 2014 State Government Awards include:

  • Department of Administration, Governor’s Council on Developmental Disabilities: Telling Your Story—An App for Policymaking
  • Department of Education: Regional Centers of Excellence
  • Department of Health, Office of Health Information Technology: Minnesota e-Health Initiative*
  • Department of Human Services, Health Care Administration: Integrated Health Partnerships (IHP)
  • Department of Human Services: Nursing Facility Performance-Based Incentive Payment Program (PIPP)
  • Department of Natural Resources, Division of Enforcement: Zebra Mussel Detection Dogs*
  • Department of Revenue: Saying it Simply—Plain Language at the Minnesota Department of Revenue*
  • Judicial Branch, State Court Administrator’s Office: eCourtMN
  • Metropolitan Council: Metro GIS Free and Open Geospatial Data Initiative
  • Minnesota State Colleges and Universities: Veterans Education Transfer System

*indicates recipient of video award

Of the ten overall winners, three will receive a professionally produced video to use to share the story of their work with others. The videos will also be included in the Humphrey School’s online repository of digital case studies known as the Hubert Project, for use in Humphrey School coursework as well as by educators of public policy and administration, leaders of nonprofit organizations or governments, and philanthropic consultants around the world. 

Those winners include: 

  • Department of Health, Office of Health Information Technology: Minnesota eHealth Initiative for its public-private collaborative to advance the use of electronic health records. Since its inception in 2004, 93% of clinics and 99% of hospitals have adopted electronic health records.
  • Department of Natural Resources, Division of Enforcement: Zebra Mussel Detection Dogs, a program that prevents the spread of aquatic invasive species by deploying specially trained Zebra Mussel detection canines. Minnesota is the second state in the U.S. to deploy dogs for this purpose.
  • Department of Revenue: Saying it Simply—Plain Language at the Minnesota Department of Revenue for its program to provide taxpayers information that is easy to find, understand, and use. Nearly 94% of 740,000 annual callers have their needs met on the first call. 
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