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Gov. Riley Forms Task Force to Strengthen Alabama’s Families

MONTGOMERY – Gov. Bob Riley today announced the formation of a task force of citizens and government agency leaders who will work to determine the most efficient method of delivering services from the government’s health and human services programs.

“I believe we can do a better job of using the $7 billion in state and federal funds that are now spent on human service agencies to help more Alabama families become self-sufficient and to break out of that cycle of dependency so many families find themselves stuck in generation after generation,” Gov. Riley said.

“Too often, the state measures success in its human services system by how much is spent on these programs and by how many are served by these programs.

Instead,” Gov. Riley said, “success should be measured by how much these programs actually improve the lives of families and by how much we reduce the need for these programs.”

The Governor’s Task Force to Strengthen Alabama’s Families – made up of 13 citizens from across the state and

11 agency directors and members of Riley’s Cabinet – will review programs under a wide range of departments including Medicaid, the Department of Human Resources, the Department of Public Health and the Department of Children’s Affairs, among others.

Barbara Everett of Rehobeth, the wife of U.S. Rep. Terry Everett, will serve as president of the Task Force.

Finance Director Drayton Nabers will be the Task Force’s chairman.

Funding for the Task Force comes from a $250,000 grant the state received from the Annie E. Casey Foundation.

The foundation is a private charitable organization dedicated to helping build better futures for disadvantaged children in the U.S.

Alabama is only the second state in the nation to undertake such a comprehensive review of its human services programs.

Illinois launched a similar effort on human services reform in the mid-1990s with a $225,000 grant from the Annie E. Casey Foundation.

Members of the Governor’s Task Force to Strengthen Alabama’s Families:

Phillis Belcher, Executive Director

Greene County Industrial Development Board

Jim Dimas, Senior Associate

The Annie E. Casey Foundation

Baltimore, Maryland

Honorable John England

Circuit Judge for Sixth Circuit – Tuscaloosa County

Mrs. Barbara Everett, President of Task Force


Diane Irby, Executive Director

United Way of Southwest Alabama


Vanessa Leonard, Esquire


Kate Nielsen, President

Community Foundation of Greater Birmingham

Gary Palmer

Alabama Policy Institute


Lenora Pate, Esquire



Kathleen Sauer, President

Enterprise Chamber of Commerce

Mayor Loretta Spencer

City of Huntsville

Luther Strange, Esquire

Bradley, Arant, Rose and White


Jim Williams, Executive Director

Public Affairs Research

Council of Alabama

Samford University


Agency Directors and Riley Cabinet Members on the Task Force:

Tim Alford

Office of Work Force Development

Donal Campbell

Department of Corrections

Irene Collins

Department of Senior Services

John Harrison

Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs

Carol Herrmann

Alabama Medicaid Agency

Drayton Nabers, Jr., Chairman of Task Force

Finance Director

Kathy Sawyer

Alabama Department of Mental Health and Retardation

Steve Shivers

Department of Rehabilitation Services

Dalton Smith

Senior Advisor to the Governor

Dr. Page Walley

Department of Human Resources

Dr. Don Williamson

Department of Public Health

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