DETCOG receives national award for Ike recovery project

WASHINGTON, DC (Press release) – The Deep East Texas Council of Governments (DETCOG), based in Jasper, TX received a 2010 Innovation Award from the National Association of Development Organizations (NADO) Research Foundation for its Hurricane Ike Disaster Case Management Pilot Program.

DETCOG's Hurricane Ike Disaster Case Management Pilot Project (DCM), was funded by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), and the Texas Health and Human Services Commission (THHSC). The purpose of the DCM Pilot Project was to provide needed long-term disaster case management services to persons in the twelve county DETCOG Region, and five surrounding counties, impacted by Hurricane Ike. It also gathered best practices and data for HHSC and FEMA. The pilot program will assist in formulating a disaster case management model for future disasters as required under the Post Katrina Emergency Reform Act.  By the time the program ends in December 2010 it will have assisted over two thousand hurricane-impacted clients.

DETCOG's Program was judged by NADO on the basis of several criteria.  They include uniqueness/level of innovation, significant demonstrated regional impact, ability to be replicated and long-term viability of the program or long-ranging impacts.  Executive Director, Walter G. Diggles, Sr., sited the persistence and dedication of the DETCOG professional staff and great support from Health and Human Services staff and FEMA for helping make this award possible.

NADO is a Washington, DC-based association that promotes programs and policies that strengthen local governments, communities and economies through regional cooperation, program delivery and comprehensive strategies. The association's Innovation Awards program recognizes regional development organizations and partnering organizations for improving the economic and community competitiveness of our nation's regions and local communities. Award winners were showcased during NADO's 2010 Annual Training Conference in San Diego, California.

"For more than 20 years, NADO's Innovation Award has provided regional development organizations throughout the nation a unique opportunity to showcase creative projects like Hurricane Ike Disaster Case Management Pilot Program, which make it possible to advance the economic growth and sustainability of our nation's regions. This recognition brings to the forefront the important work of regional organizations and their critical role in promoting economic development for rural and small metropolitan communities," said NADO President Mike Norton, executive director of the Northwest Arkansas Economic Development District in Harrison, Arkansas.