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Durham County Wins Excellence In Innovation Award from NCACC

Post Date:08/30/2017


Durham, NC — The North Carolina Association of County Commissioners (NCACC) has awarded Durham County Government its Local Government Federal Credit Union (LFGFCU) Excellence in Innovation Award for efforts to improve employee recruitment and retention with the County’s Emergency Medical Services (EMS) department.


The LGFCU Excellence in Innovation Awards recognize North Carolina county government employees who develop successful programs that help counties improve services to residents. Durham County EMS and County Strategic Initiatives staffers Rafael Baptista and Caley Patten partnered to use human-centered design to study and address recruitment and retention challenges within the EMS department. Human-centered design, also known as design thinking, is an approach to problem solving that, according to the organization IDEO, “starts with the people you’re designing for and ends with new solutions that are tailor made to suit their needs.” Through intensive interviews, ride-along opportunities and performance data analysis, staff helped EMS leadership and County management better understand the various recruitment and retention challenges and discover ways to prioritize limited resources to address these challenges.


“The design thinking project engaged caregivers that historically had not participated in large group discussions, which gave them an opportunity to shape the organizational culture,” Acting EMS Director Kevin Underhill said. “That group of new and seasoned caregivers, along with the command staff, generated ideas and recommendations which significantly helped improve the morale, culture, and operational performance of Durham County Emergency Medical Services.”


Durham County was recognized and honored at an awards reception during the NCACC Annual Conference, to be held in Durham August 10-13, 2017.




About the Durham County Strategic Initiatives Team

Durham County Strategic Initiatives is a three-person internal consulting team based in the County Manager’s Office. The team works with employees across the enterprise as well as community partners to advise, innovate and inspire. Strategic Initiatives focuses on strategic planning, innovation support and skill building and consultative services. For more information, contact Michael Davis at (919) 560-0062.