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2018 Awards for Excellence

Every year, each agency selects one outstanding group or individual as the recipient of the Governor’s Award for Excellence. It’s our chance to recognize the excellent efforts of DTS employees. Anyone can nominate an individual or team who has demonstrated excellence. DTS is fortunate to have unrivaled employees, and the nominations and awards help to recognize the hard work, extraordinary accomplishments, and innovative ideas that go into making the department awesome. All winners were recognized at an awards ceremony. See the photos from the ceremony here. 

This year, the Operation Rio Grande team has been selected as the DTS winner. Congratulations!

In July 2017, Operation Rio Grande became a top priority for the State of Utah. DTS assisted DWS in developing the “Safe Zone” and the Operation Rio Grande website www.operationriogrande.utah.gov.

The DTS team developed the initial application to support on-site assessments at the Salt Lake County Jail within two weeks. DTS staff provided 24/7 on-site support to DWS employees and community partner agencies at the Salt Lake County Jail and at Rio Grande, including training and technology equipment set up. The finished product resulted in a photo identification card issuance application that can be searched by name or fingerprint.  The card has a unique barcode that is scanned to allow entry into the safe zone, and returns information on the client in a web application, which allows the entry points to be mobile.

DTS was also tasked with designing and implementing a website www.operationriogrande.utah.gov. The assignment was given to the DTS team on a Wednesday, with a deliverable date of the following Monday. This allowed 6 days for design, development, testing, and deploy.  The Operation Rio Grande website is a communication tool reflecting the collaborative effort with multiple state, county, and local government agencies and community partners to return safety to the homeless population as well as improve quality of life.  In order to accomplish this request, the team worked 14 days straight, without a weekend or time off, working long days.

Team Members: Mark Schultz, Diane Pfeifer, Brent Fife,  Wes Miles, Ryan Burton, Amber Johnston, David Fike, Ty Burton, Gary Ray, Heather Kunz, Sudha Rajamani, Jodie Okumura, Brent Neal, Ashley Alonso, Michael Beynon, Adam Staks, Frank Luthi, Keith Scholl, Ken Wheeler

DTS Awards for Excellence

We also select some winners for the DTS Awards for Excellence. This year, we have 3 winners: the Controlled Substance Database Team, Justin Hudspeth, and Aaron Lael. Congratulations!

Controlled Substance Database Team

In 2017, DTS and the business sponsor engaged in a project to enhance CSD by designing and developing a “patient dashboard”. The patient dashboard provides a way for CSD users to quickly and easily ascertain the data they need to make a well-informed decision when prescribing or dispensing controlled substances. The data displayed calculates the total active MME (Morphine Milligram Equivalent), the number of prescribers and pharmacies visited in the last six months, along with identifying whether there is currently an active opioid and benzodiazepine mix for any given patient which increases the risk of overdose.Feedback from CSD users has been positive and show the immediate impact this tool has made.  

Team Members: John Angus, Byron Bills, Casey Wardle, Kellie Lewis, Gaetan Grimaud, Judd Houser, Sam Albornoz, Joseph Sharp


Justin Hudspeth

Justin has been dedicated to migrating state facilities off of PRI trunks for their telecom service to SIP service.  This allows agencies to be more flexible in regards to their inbound call capacity, in that SIP trunks can have the amount of sessions they support be allocated dynamically.  The true benefit of this is the cost savings to the state entities involved, though. With the ability to disconnect the PRIs and stop paying the fees agencies will see real cost savings through this migration.

Justin has assumed a leadership role in strategically planning which sites to migrate to continue progress on the initiative and has also taken on additional work outside of his traditional role to expedite these migrations and see them to completion.  He also dedicates time outside of his core work hours to facilitate these migrations as most agencies do not want the temporary service interruption during their business hours. His flexibility ensures that agency delivered services are not interrupted in the process.

This transition also moves us off of legacy PRIs to the more industry current SIP, which has less hardware directly involved, reducing the number of points of potential failure for telco service delivery.  By having less hardware in play at agency building sites, we are less susceptible to building specific failures like power outages or circuit outages.


Aaron Lael

This year Aaron Lael designed and created a web application that greatly decreased the time to resolution for one of our team’s most commonly submitted tickets. Aaron created a tool that allowed the helpdesk access to reset voicemail boxes but still allowed Voice Operations to keep the server architecture secure and access to it limited.

Aaron did the API research, code writing, and implementation of a web service that the front line help desk uses today to reset voicemail pins for users on the Cisco Unity Connection voicemail platform. This web application allows the end users to get back into their voicemail quicker, allows the Voice Operations team to focus on more technical issues, and most importantly  allows the help desk to offer 1st contact resolution on this ticket type: which is a DTS focus regarding customer service.

Aaron has a constant focus on improving efficiencies and implementing industry best practices on all of his projects. He is a great asset to DTS.