In Our Doers Profile, we highlight some of the hardworking and talented individuals in public human services. This issue features Pankaj Bhanot, Director of the Hawai'i Department of Human Services.
Name: Pankaj Bhanot
Title: Director, State of Hawai'i Department of Human Services (DHS)
Years of Service: 17 years of public service with the Hawai'i DHS; started as an emergency hire in September 1999.
Rewards of the Job: The vision of DHS Hawai'i is to ensure that the residents of Hawai'i THRIVE. Our mission is to encourage self-sufficiency and support the well-being of individuals, families, and communities in Hawai'i.
It is very rewarding to work with dedicated, passionate, and compassionate peers who are Team-Oriented, Human-Centered, Respectful, Intentional, Visionary, and implement programs that are Evidence-Based.
Accomplishments Most Proud Of: I fulfilled the promise I made to my maternal grandmother as a 14 year old that I would pursue a career in public service to make a difference in the lives of others.
We successfully implemented the DHS business process transformation/ reengineering effort to redesign the eligibility determination processes related to SNAP and TANF. Hawai'i DHS has won the SNAP Timeliness bonus award for federal fiscal year 2014 and the SNAP Program Access Index bonus for federal fiscal years 2012, 2013, 2014, and 2015.
We also successfully implemented the Bridge-To-Hope (BTH) program. BTH is a nationally recognized, model partnership between the University of Hawai'i and Hawai'i DHS, supporting post-secondary education as a means for TANF recipients to achieve life-long economic self-sufficiency, leaving not only public assistance, but also poverty. BTH positively impacts both education and families. Students report that BTH:
* Meets DHS Work Participation Requirements;
* Adds time for study;
* Provides more time with children;
* Puts focus on education;
* Gives hope for quality of life; and
* Improves self-esteem.
For additional information on BTH please visit http://www.hawaii.edu/bridgetohope/.
We also successfully implemented the Supporting Employment Empowerment (SEE) Hawai'i Work program, a nationally recognized subsidized wage program for TANF recipients. SEE Hawai'i Work provides TANF recipients with on-the-job training opportunities while assisting employers with their employment needs. Subsidized...