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Gov. Kevin Stitt launches 'Front Porch' initiative to simplify Oklahomans' interaction with health, human services agencies

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Gov. Kevin Stitt at a press conference at the Oklahoma City Capitol March 1.

Gov. Kevin Stitt announced Wednesday that his administration is launching an initiative aimed at better integrating services offered by the state health and human services agencies. 

The “Front Porch” initiative is intended to simplify how Oklahomans interact with several state departments, according to a press release from Stitt’s office. 

Agencies that the administration hopes to streamline include the Oklahoma Health Care Authority, the Department of Health, the Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services, the Department of Human Services, and the Office of Juvenile Affairs, among others. 

“I’ve seen how hard we’ve made it for (Oklahomans) to engage with us,” said Tom Bates, interim commissioner of the Department of Health, who will lead the initiative. “We make Oklahomans go to multiple offices and multiple websites just to get the services they are entitled to, and it’s all very confusing. ... Moving to a more integrated, customer-centric approach will be transformative for our state.” 

John Budd, Stitt’s chief operating officer, expressed hope for the new program in the release.

“I can’t wait to start working with (Bates) on this governor’s initiative,” Budd said in the release. “It will change the lives of Oklahomans for the better. (Bates) is smart, knowledgeable, humble and collaborative, and he knows how to get things done.”

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