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State Launches Health & Human Services Website


June 21, 2007

MONTGOMERY, Ala., May 29, 2007 – The Governor’s Task Force to Strengthen Alabama Families launched Camellia I this morning, a web-based eligibility tool that enables and empowers individuals and families to achieve self-sufficiency through a pre-screening eligibility test. The test can be taken online in the privacy of citizens’ homes.

“This project has positioned Alabama as one of the first states in the country to help empower individuals and families by delivering a self-guided eligibility tool that can be used privately or, if necessary, with assistance,” said Governor Bob Riley.

Prior to the development of Camellia I, the system did not offer any consumer-based analytical tools to help Alabamians determine what services they may be eligible for or how to connect with resources. Individuals and families had to identify, locate and travel to each agency providing much-needed services. With the introduction of this new site, Alabama citizens can now complete the quick and easy-to-use online tool that walks users through a series of questions to determine eligibility for services. The tool screens users for all programs in six primary health service agencies: human resources, Medicaid, mental health, public health, rehabilitation services and senior services.

“The Camellia I web-based eligibility tool is the result of both public and private efforts to bring Alabama citizens a more responsive and efficient way to determine potential eligibility for State health and human services,” states Barbara Everett, Chairman of the Governor’s Task Force to Strengthen Alabama Families. “The Task Force would especially like to thank the Annie E. Casey Foundation, Alabama Power Company, Systems Engineering, Inc., Protective Life Foundation, Microsoft, State of Alabama Information Services Division, State agencies, the Governor’s Task Force and the Task Force Committees for their commitment and sponsorship of the Camellia I project. It is their efforts and dedication that made this project possible for the citizens of Alabama.”

The creation of this site was in response to public hearings held throughout Alabama during 2005. Clients shared frustrations with the Task Force, explaining that although agencies are generally helpful and willing to serve, citizens have to go to several locations to obtain information and assistance. Many times, those in need were not referred to other agencies providing services that would be helpful to them, and transportation to services, once identified, is often an issue.

The Camellia I project, named I (one) because a second project—Camellia II—is already underway, is a major accomplishment that required cooperation and collaboration across state agencies. The Task Force and Task Force Partners secured over $70,000 in private donations to purchase the source code for the eligibility tool.

Camellia I is the first step in a series of collaborations between public and private services in order to strengthen the holistic service approach of providing services and enabling families to attain the highest level of self-sufficiency. This tool will continue to strengthen Alabama families through an innovative, client-driven, assessment tool that places Alabama in the forefront of technology and human services.

The site may be found at www.camellia.alabama.gov.



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