Larimer County Announces First-Ever Innovation Awards!
Department: Board of County Commissioners
Release Date: Apr 30, 2012
Board of County Commissioners, (970) 498-7010, BOCC@larimer.org
Frank Lancaster, County Manager, (970) 498-7004,
Lorenda Volker, HR Director, (970) 498-5973, firstname.lastname@example.org
Deni La Rue, Community Information Manager, (970) 498-7150, email@example.com
The Board of County Commissioners today heard presentations from Larimer County’s first-ever Innovation Awards Program winners. The program was initiated as a way to encourage long-time innovation at Larimer County by recognizing groundbreaking and/or /novel approaches to providing County Services. All the projects have potential for far-reaching impacts, beyond Larimer County government. A total of $6,000.00 is being awarded to these four projects for 2012.
E-Discovery - an innovative method of providing mandated discovery to defense counsel in an electronic format. The newly-developed system incorporates electronic data transfer of law enforcement files and other discoverable documents into a single, automated process shortening staff time from ten hours to less than two hours. The team: Scot Ganshert, District Attorney’s (DA) Office, Kathleen Sullivan, Facilities and Information Technology (FITD), Brant Gluth, FITD, and Tamara Pusheck, DA’s Office, will share a $2,000 Innovation Award.
Road Information Locator (RIL) - a Larimer County-developed web-based tool that integrates roadway information and geographical data from Larimer County's Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Data. This allows the user to select an address and quickly determine if the roadway is County-maintained (snow removal/maintenance), the traffic count, sign information, etc. The RIL project has replaced manual/paper research and so reduced staff time required to respond to citizen inquiries and implement County projects. Currently used in-house, plans are underway to make this an interactive public tool as well. The team: Drew Davis, Public Works, Christine Day, FITD, Brian Fraaken, Engineering, Jeff Rulli, FITD, Royce Simpson, FITD, and Ali Whitcomb, Public Works, will share a $2,000 Innovation Award.
The Assessor’s iPad Work Place Implementation - an innovation leveraging technology available in the iPad to replace five devices previously used in the field by Property Assessors (laptop computer, GPS receivers, cell phone, digital cameras and clipboard/paper documents) creating greater efficiency and, ultimately, lower cost to replace devices. Stan Sadusky was nominated by Ron Kerr, Chief Deputy Assessor, for this innovation and will receive a $1,000 Innovation Award.
Inmate Medication Program - an innovation that allows the Larimer County Jail to meet the needs of the Jail population while providing continuity of care resulting in a more stable Jail population and a reduction in medication costs at the Jail. DeAnn George recognized that medications prescribed for mental illness are among the most expensive and, in most cases, had been received through Touchstone Health Partners (formerly the Larimer Center for Mental Health) prior to coming to the Jail. DeAnn partnered with Touchstone to ensure that inmates who were receiving medications through them continued to receive them at no cost to the Jail while incarcerated. DeAnn will receive a $1,000 Innovation Award for implementing this innovation.
The process began as an ‘investment proposal’ from Human Resources, based on Senior Management Discussions, to the Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) who became the ‘sponsor’ and funded the program. This inaugural year saw four winners among the 11 applications for a total of $6,000.00. Along with Novelty, Impact, Effectiveness, Savings, and other criteria, in making their recommendations to the BOCC on finalists, the Senior Management Team, led by County Manager Frank Lancaster used the County’s vision statement as a major criteria:
Larimer County will add value to the lives of its citizens by:
- Being a Good Steward of Public Resources
- Being Customer Driven
- Empowering People to Take Responsibility
- Building Partnerships
- Being a Fulfilling and Enjoyable Place to Work
The implications, according to Lancaster, are potentially far-reaching, "Many of these projects have the capacity to positively impact organizations elsewhere. Thank you to our teams for sharing your innovations as part of the 2012 Innovation Awards Program!” In addition to the top awards, the following innovations received Honorable Mention Awards:
Complex Litigation Document Control - electronically records and manages hundreds of litigation documents and hyperlinks them to a master, searchable document list as well as making them more portable.
Differential Response – Changing the one-size-fits-all approach to Child Welfare. This change in the way child welfare is practiced allows for multiple responses to abuse allegations as determined by risk level. Larimer County is participating in a pilot of this new approach.
Ethos - in-house developed web-based software in the Public Health Department designed to target the scheduling, cashiering and medical records requirements of health clinics across the County.
Lead 1.0 Program, 2011-12 - a collaborative tri-agency leadership development program designed, through a partnership between the Larimer County, City of Fort Collins and Poudre School District, to enhance and encourage a culture of collaboration between the agencies while helping to develop the skills of emerging leaders in each agency.
Citizen Information Center - One stop shopping at its best. Efforts of the Clerk & Recorder’s Office to make customer service, innovation and collaboration their ultimate priority through expansion and addition of services at the 1st floor, Larimer County Offices Building’s Citizen Information Center.
Tracer - a computer program that allows remote access and remote control to the Heating, Venting and Air Conditioning (HVAC) systems throughout County facilities as well as remote control of the fountain at the Justice Center.
Yoga on the Beach - an innovative program designed to increase revenues and extend the Horsetooth Reservoir County Park swim beach window of use by hosting morning yoga on the newly renovated and revitalized South Bay swim beach.
A ‘first annual Innovation Awards Reception’ takes place on Thursday, May 10th at the Larimer County Courthouse offices Building in Fort Collins. The Board of Commissioners applauded all the innovators, “Congratulations to everyone who participated said Commissioner Tom Donnelly, who added, “Larimer County has great employees with innovative ideas who truly care about what we do.” Commissioner Steve Johnson echoed that sentiment, “These innovations are exactly the kind of thinking we need, to give taxpayers greater value for their tax dollars.”