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Delaware Health and Social Services

DHSS Press Release

Date: December 21, 2015

Rita Landgraf, Secretary
Jill Fredel, Director of Communications
302-255-9047, Cell 302-357-7498


NEW CASTLE (Dec. 21, 2015) - Department of Health and Social Services (DHSS) Secretary Rita Landgraf and Dr. James Flynn, assistant professor at the University of Delaware, were honored with the Delaware Association for Public Administration's Public Service Awards for 2015, and graduate student Tim Danos received the Outstanding Student Public Service Award. All three were honored at DAPA's annual awards winner on Dec. 17 at Buena Vista.

In accepting her award, Secretary Landgraf, who has led DHSS since 2009, said, "There is no finer job than that of public service." She thanked her nominator, former state Sen. Myrna Bair, for honoring the profession.

Among the changes Secretary Landgraf has led are building Delaware's community-based services for seniors, people with disabilities and individuals with behavioral health challenges; leading the reform of Delaware's public mental health care system to better support people with serious and persistent mental illness as they live in their own homes in the community; responding to the state's addiction epidemic by increasing services and supports for individual and their families; enhancing opportunities for people with disabilities to live, work and participate as active members of the community; and implementing and leading ongoing change in the health care system by expanding access and changing the way that health care is delivered and paid for in Delaware.

Flynn, who has been with the University of Delaware for 35 years, said he was honored to accept the award on behalf of the thousands of people he has worked with over that time. He was nominated as a "pillar of public service for UD."

"As the president of DAPA, I have the privilege to work with, and learn from, the best of the best in public administration," said Kathy Murphy with UD's Institute for Public Administration. "They are public servants working on complicated issues in complex bureaucracies who care deeply about their work and the people they serve."

Danos, a second-year, part-time graduate student in the Master of Public Administration Program with concentrations in nonprofit and community leadership, works full time as an admissions counselor in UD's Office of Undergraduate Admissions. His research and studies have focused on education policy, including access to higher education and sustainable community leadership.

The Delaware Association for Public Administration (DAPA) is made up of more than 70 Delawareans dedicated to the field of public administration and public service. Established in 1971 as a statewide, multi-disciplinary member organization, it is also the Delaware Chapter of the American Society for Public Administration (ASPA). It is Delaware's premiere professional organization for those interested in, involved with, and/or committed to promoting public service.

DAPA provides a strong organizational network for those concerned with public administration in Delaware by fostering professional and social contacts at all levels of state government, educational institutions, and quasi-public and private organizations. DAPA sponsors events to introduce new ideas and foster discussions of complex issues so that public administrators become better informed.

Each year, DAPA recognizes outstanding Delawareans who have made substantial contributions to professional public management and service in Delaware. The Public Service Award is given to individuals who serve as role-models, champions, leaders and change-makers in field of public administration. Past award winners include Cari DeSantis, Cabinet Secretary for the Delaware Department of Services for Children, Youth and their Families; George Wright, Executive Director of the Delaware League of Local Governments; Lolita Lopez, President & Chief Executive Officer of Westside Family Healthcare; Myrna Bair, Director of the Women's Leadership Development Program at the University of Delaware and former Senate Minority Leader for the State of Delaware; and Tania Culley, Esq., Office of the Child Advocate.

NOTE TO MEDIA: Photos from the awards event are available for download at DHSS' flickr page:

Delaware Health and Social Services is committed to improving the quality of the lives of Delaware's citizens by promoting health and well-being, fostering self-sufficiency, and protecting vulnerable populations.

Last Updated: Monday December 21 2015
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