We value inclusion and diversity; we serve all Idahoans

January 13, 2023
DHW Director Dave Jeppesen

Monday is Martin Luther King Jr. / Idaho Human Rights Day. As we observe the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and his commitment to others, I reflect on his legacy and think about the poignant question he posed to an audience in Montgomery, Ala., in 1957: “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?’”

That makes me think of the department’s commitment to the people of Idaho. We strive to create an environment where we treat each other -- employees and the Idahoans we serve --with courtesy, respect, and dignity. We serve all Idahoans.

We value inclusion. We want employees to contribute their perspectives about how the department can meet the needs of those we serve. We want program participants to tell us their needs, to help us understand their struggles, and to share with us their successes, so that we can provide them with the services they need and help them live their best lives.

We value diversity. Our hope is that employees and the Idahoans we serve experience a sense of belonging and that they are valued for many things, including their perspectives, contributions, backgrounds, cultures, trainings, and the life experiences that shape them. We want the people we serve to feel that their needs are recognized and have been met to the best of our ability.

We value collaboration with other agencies as well as with our community partners, both in leadership and supportive roles, because we cannot do this alone.

I am very proud of the dedication and commitment DHW employees demonstrate daily in their service to the people of Idaho. We help those who are working toward self-reliance, and who need a safe place to raise their families. We help people in crisis. We touch the lives of Idahoans who need help with food, physical health, substance use disorder, behavioral health challenges, child support, vaccinations, and many other things.

Our goals could not be accomplished without each of our employees. I have seen our employees’ commitment on full display while job shadowing them. I am inspired by the work they do and the impact it makes on our fellow Idahoans.

Help is available to those who need it. Dial 2-1-1 or 800-926-2588 or text 898211 to be connected to a 2-1-1 community resource specialist 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. (Mountain Time) Monday through Friday. 

I hope you have a safe and healthy weekend! 

The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare is dedicated to strengthening the health, safety, and independence of Idahoans. Learn more at healthandwelfare.idaho.gov. 

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