State Government
Secretary of State Elaine F. Marshall Receiving 2020 Ray of Light Award PDF Print E-mail
State Government
By Administrator   
Thursday, 22 October 2020 10:52

N.C. Secretary of State Elaine F. Marshall has been chosen to receive the 2020 John A. (Pete) Eberhart Ray of Light Award from Boundless Impact.


Marshall is being awarded for decades of work that advanced North Carolina’s global competitiveness and her profound impact on businesses, students, educators and communities throughout the state.


“Elected in 1996 as the first woman to hold a statewide office in North Carolina, Sec. Marshall has blazed many trails across our state and the world for decades,” said Cindy Thompson, executive director - Boundless Impact. “Sec. Marshall has worked tirelessly to make North Carolina one of the most attractive places in the United States to do business, as well as an inclusive place to work and live. Her servant leader’s heart and willingness to roll up her sleeves and contribute to any project she is passionate about has inspired me and many others to public service.”


The Ray of Light award, which recognizes individuals who exemplify Boundless Impact’s vision of building thriving communities that are intentionally diverse, inclusive and equitable, will be presented to Sec. Marshall at the NC Global Advantage Forum on Nov. 13, hosted by the NC Coalition for Global Competitiveness. Presenters will be Felix Muriithi, board chair - Boundless Impact, and Tom White, board member – Boundless Impact and vice chair- NC Coalition.


“As Secretary of State, I have made a concerted commitment that this office will be globally engaged and culturally aware, which is what makes our state such an attractive place to work, live, and do business,” said Marshall. “I am tremendously honored to be selected for the prestigious Eberhart Ray of Light Award, and will continue to focus on the global opportunities that position North Carolina to be successful.”


During Sec. Marshall’s tenure, the Secretary of State’s Office has helped nearly 1.5 million businesses get started, she has represented North Carolina with dozens of visiting international delegations and at other international events each year, and she is Co-Chair of the North Carolina-Moldova Bilateral Committee, which recently celebrated its 20th year in partnership.


NC Global Advantage Forum is a premier event in North Carolina that convenes and engages a cross-section of leaders from all sectors to focus on global opportunities in education, workforce development, economic and community development, and entrepreneurship. It is an annual event and reception designed to share the value of the NC Coalition for Global Competitiveness (Coalition), to build support for the Coalition’s work, and to highlight global engagement success stories and opportunities for NC. To join this statewide virtual forum on November 13, please visit this link for more information: https://goglobalnc.org/ncglobaladvantageforum/.


Boundless Impact is a North Carolina non-profit formed in 2012 to drive inclusive leadership and innovation initiatives across commerce, education, civic and faith networks to unleash prosperity for all communities. Through leading networks of like-minded organizations, Boundless Impact develops and implements initiatives in global engagement, cross-boundary leadership and inclusive innovation. For more information, visit our website at www.boundlessimpact.org.

 
State Agencies Win National Recognition For IT Innovation PDF Print E-mail
State Government
By Administrator   
Thursday, 22 October 2020 06:44
The state departments of environmental quality, information technology and transportation were recently recognized by two national organizations for their innovative use of technology and leadership in government IT.   
 
The N.C. Department of Environmental Quality (NCDEQ) and N.C. Department of Information Technology (NCDIT) won the National Association of State Chief Information Officers’ (NASCIO) award for Business Process Innovations for NCDEQ’s “Modernizing Environmental Mapping with Unmanned Aerial Vehicles” program. 
 
Using Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS), or drones, for field data collection and mapping has allowed NCDEQ divisions to considerably improve their business processes, increase productivity, save staff time, and decrease costs. 
 
NC HealthConnex, North Carolina’s state-managed health information exchange (HIE) was a finalist in the Digital Services: Government to Business category. This program, a part of NCDIT’s Health Information Exchange Authority, provides the medical community with the data they need to make more informed decisions about patient care with nearly real-time clinical information that links to colleagues across North Carolina and travels seamlessly. With 98 percent of the state’s health care providers covered, it is one of the largest HIEs in the country. 
 
MyNCDMV, a partnership with the N.C. Department of Transportation (NCDOT) and PayIt, was a finalist in the Digital Services: Government to Citizen category. MyNCDMV allows users to complete multiple services in one secure transaction, including renewing their driver licenses and vehicle registrations, ordering license plates, purchasing duplicate licenses/ID cards, and more, from a user-friendly web or mobile application.  
 
The NASCIO Awards are held annually to recognize innovative technology solutions utilized by state governments. Each year, the government technology publication StateScoop and its parent company Scoop News honor top leaders and projects advancing government IT and cybersecurity with the StateScoop 50 Awards.  This year, the publication recognized one NC project and one NC leader. 
 
MyNCDMV was selected for the State IT Innovation of the Year Award for the innovative, digital approach to the Division of Motor Vehicles experience, creating something never seen before. Unlike the old way of completing NCDMV online services, myNCDMV allows users to complete multiple services in one secure transaction. The partnership also has saved the state millions in mobile and web development costs. Implementation of the app was lead by NCDIT-Transportation employees Beverly Leathers and Jimbo Brumley. 
 
Frank Winn was honored with the StateScoop State Leadership of the Year Award. Winn is NCDIT’s Chief Information Officer for NCDOT and led the transition of the business side of NCDOT’s IT Division to NCDIT, the state’s centralized IT department. The move included approximately 500 employees, including teams in engineering application development, infrastructure, cybersecurity, architecture office, human resources, DMV application development, SAP ERP, web development, Geographic Information Systems and the Project Management  Office. Winn’s team also oversaw the implementation of the myNCDMV app.
 
State Agencies Receive Grants to Improve Telehealth, Digital Inclusion in Appalachian Region PDF Print E-mail
State Government
By Administrator   
Tuesday, 20 October 2020 10:39
The North Carolina Department of Information Technology (NCDIT) Broadband Infrastructure Office (BIO), in partnership with the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS) Office of Rural Health (ORH), was awarded $633,940 by the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) and a matching award of $97,200 from the Dogwood Health Trusts for the Healthy and Connected Workforce initiative. Through the initiative, the agencies and their partners will implement a robust digital inclusion program while simultaneously increasing access to healthcare and economic opportunity for workers, vulnerable populations and disadvantaged groups in North Carolina’s ARC region of Macon, Madison and Mitchell counties. 
 
“This project will have a long-lasting impact on this region and its residents,” said Thomas Parrish, acting NCDIT Secretary and State Chief Information Officer. “Ensuring that North Carolinians have access to digital and health literacy skills, affordable broadband and improved healthcare will prepare them for tomorrow’s workforce and is an important investment in our communities and our future.”
Increasing access to quality healthcare through telehealth, broadband adoption and increased digital literacy will both improve the health of residents and enhance their ability to actively participate in the local workforce. 
 
“Digital equity and inclusion are crucial to ensuring all North Carolinians have access to care, education and jobs,” said Mandy K. Cohen, M.D., NCDHHS Secretary. “By increasing access to quality health care through telehealth, broadband adoption and digital literacy trainings, this project will enable our most vulnerable populations to receive the supports they need to achieve and maintain health and well-being.”
 
The project will take a three-pronged approach. ORH will develop a Telehealth Technical Assistance model to provide support to health care sites across North Carolina interested in increasing access to care via telehealth. The project partners will launch three pilot programs in Macon, Madison and Mitchell counties to test and refine the implementation of telehealth programs. BIO and ORH will work with the Knight School of Communication at Queens University of Charlotte to develop a health and digital literacy curricula for the telehealth pilot program participants. Participants will receive computers, digital and health literacy skills training and 50 percent of a monthly subscription fee for internet service from a local provider--provided by the DHT matching grant to the program--to foster broadband adoption and use. 
 
“Dogwood Health Trust is delighted to partner with NC DIT and the ARC on this project,” said Janice Brumit, Chair of the Dogwood Health Trust Board of Directors. “More than ever broadband is a critical enabler of health care, and this effort will increase telehealth access and services for our most vulnerable citizens.”
 
The Healthy and Connected Workforce Initiative responds to findings in a year-long feasibility study completed by the project’s partners with support from a previous Partnerships for Opportunity and Workforce and Economic Revitalization (POWER) award and is expected to aid 124 organizations, 180 patients, 135 households, and 180 participants throughout the grant’s life cycle. The project partners will partner with the local Councils of Governments, safety net sites and other community partners to implement the program. 
 
This award was funded by the ARC POWER Initiative, which helps communities and regions affected by job losses in coal mining, coal power plant operations, and coal-related supply chain industries due to the changing economics of America’s energy production.
 
“I congratulate NCDIT and NCDHHS for their POWER award, and commend them on the leadership they have shown in their community,” said ARC Federal Co-Chairman Tim Thomas. “POWER grants are playing a critical role in supporting coal-impacted communities in the Appalachian Region as they recover from COVID-19 by building and expanding critical infrastructure and creating new economic opportunities through innovative and transformative approaches. Projects like this are getting Appalachia back to work.”
 
To date, ARC has invested more than $238 million in 293 projects, touching 353 counties across Appalachia since 2015. More information about ARC’s POWER Initiative is available at www.arc.gov/power.
 
About NCDIT's Broadband Infrastructure Office
NCDIT’s Broadband Infrastructure Office leads the statewide initiatives to expand high-speed internet access, adoption and use for all North Carolinians and serves as a statewide resource for broadband access, first responder communications and state-led classroom connectivity initiatives. In 2019, Gov. Roy Cooper issued Executive Order 91 (EO91), which lays out clear directives to expand broadband across the state through a task force comprised of cabinet agencies, which the office facilitates and supports. In partnership with the Friday Institute, the office is currently conducting a survey to gather better data on broadband availability and quality in the state. To learn more and to take the survey, visit ncbroadband.gov/survey.
 
About the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC)
The Appalachian Regional Commission (www.arc.gov) is an economic development partnership agency of the federal government and 13 state governments focusing on 420 counties across the Appalachian Region. ARC’s mission is to innovate, partner, and invest to build community capacity and strengthen economic growth in Appalachia.
 
NC Submits COVID 19 Vax Plan To Feds PDF Print E-mail
State Government
By Administrator   
Friday, 16 October 2020 17:08
North Carolina submitted to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention its COVID-19 Vaccination Plan. The goal of the plan is to immunize everyone who is eligible for and wants a COVID-19 vaccine.
 
"Leaders from across sectors came together under tight timelines to collaboratively develop a vaccine plan that leads with equity and prioritizes building trust. We will continue to update this plan as we learn more from the science and data on vaccines and in response to the needs of North Carolinians," said NC Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Mandy K. Cohen, M.D.
 
North Carolina’s vaccine plan reflects five principles that guide the planning for and distribution of one or more COVID-19 vaccines in the state. The principles include: 
1. All North Carolinians have equitable access to vaccines.
2. Vaccine planning and distribution is inclusive; actively engages state and local government, public and private partners; and draws upon the experience and expertise of leaders from historically marginalized populations.
3. Transparent, accurate and frequent public communications is essential to building trust.
4. Data is used to promote equity, track progress and guide decision-making.
5. Appropriate stewardship of resources and continuous evaluation and improvement drive successful implementation. 
"North Carolina Emergency Management has been working with our partners at the NC Department of Health and Human Services to ensure we have a solid coronavirus vaccine plan," said NCEM Director Mike Sprayberry. "From an operational perspective, this plan engages the state’s resources down to a county and local level and allows for flexibility based on data so we can pivot quickly and get the vaccine to those who are most in need."
 
Currently, multiple vaccines are in development. For a vaccine to be authorized, studies must show it is safe and can prevent someone from catching COVID-19. Thousands of people have volunteered to be part of research trials across the United States and around the world to see if a vaccine is safe and prevents COVID-19 illness. Promising vaccines are being manufactured at the same time they are being tested, so there will be an initial supply when the science shows which vaccines are found to be safe and effective. 
 
Once the Food and Drug Administration authorizes a vaccine, it will take time for manufacturers to ramp up production. Therefore, states will receive limited vaccine supplies at the start and will need to determine which populations receive the vaccine first. North Carolina’s prioritization framework was developed based on the National Academy of Medicine framework and in consultation with an external COVID-19 Vaccine Advisory Committee convened by the North Carolina Institute of Medicine. 
 
"Our convening of the COVID-19 Vaccine Advisory Committee informed the state’s plan with independent and diverse perspectives from experts and community leaders across our state. The committee was composed of a broad range of leaders, including from those populations most significantly affected by COVID-19, including racial and ethnicity groups, health care, public health and academia, who worked diligently over the past month in order to fully address equity, inequalities and health issues that are driving the pandemic and creating mistrust," Michelle Ries, Interim Director, North Carolina Institute of Medicine.
 
The NCIOM Vaccine Advisory Committee was co-chaired by: 
Dr. Goldie Byrd, Director, Maya Angelou Center for Health Equity at Wake Forest University;
Dr. Leah Devlin, Professor, Department of Health Policy and Management at UNC School of Public Health; and
Dr. Art Apolinario, a family medicine physician at Clinton Medical Clinic and Board member of the North Carolina Medical Society.
"My patients have taught me how important it is to recognize the mistrust that the current health care system has created with non-white communities," said Apolinario, M.D., MPH, FAAFP. "We worked to ensure that racial disparities and equity in delivery of care were recognized and put in the forefront of this COVID-vaccine decision making process. We had stakeholders at the table to make sure we made unbiased decisions. Our work was independent, free of political bias, open to all opinions and strictly adhered to data and science as the main tenets for good decision."
 
"Old North State Medical Society is an established trusted health care entity in North Carolina. Since early 2020, Old North State Medical Society testing team has been focusing on efficient and effective ways of testing the vulnerable population for this aggressive and lethal COVID-19 virus, as well as promoting culturally sensitive education and messaging," said Charlene Green, MD, President, Old North State Medical Society. "Trust is the key to success. Old North State Medical Society strongly recommends the inclusion of established community leaders in supporting distribution of these new vaccines." 
 
This is an interim plan and will continue to be revised based on further information and guidance from the CDC and other federal agencies, increasing data on safety and efficacy from vaccine trials, ongoing input from state and local partners and the Vaccine Advisory Committee, and refinements needed as the state progresses through the planning and operational stages.
 
North Carolina’s COVID-19 Vaccination Plan builds on the foundation of the state’s overall goals and pillars of response to the pandemic: Prevention, Testing, Tracing, Isolation and Quarantine. North Carolina took early and aggressive action to slow the spread of the virus, built statewide capacity for testing, personal protective equipment supplies and contract tracing, developed hospital surge plans, and promoted aggressive prevention strategies.
 
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