Newsroom > DHHS News Release

May 27, 2010

Kathie Osterman, Communications and Legislative Services, (402) 471-9313

DHHS Helpline Assists Nebraskans
Call 1-800-254-4202

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Lincoln – Better customer service is the reason the Department of Health and Human Services has renamed a toll-free hotline for people who have questions or concerns to the “DHHS Helpline.”

“DHHS is responding quickly to a wide range of questions and information requests,” said Kerry Winterer, CEO of Nebraska Health and Human Services. “We know people have real concerns, and we want them to know a real person will answer their questions about the services we provide.”

The DHHS Helpline was formerly called the System Advocate. During Fiscal Year 2009, the System Advocate had more than 4,500 calls, e-mails and walk-in contacts. The main users are consumers of DHHS services, citizens and providers.

Winterer doesn’t think the former name was descriptive enough. “We’re a large organization and we need to be available to those who have questions or concerns,” he said. “I wanted a name that said to people ‘we are here to help you,’ and I think the new name does a better job of that.”

Winterer said the agency will reach out to let people know the Helpline exists. Last week, DHHS sent information about the Helpline to partner agencies that serve similar populations in an effort to publicize the number and e-mail address.

The DHHS Helpline is available Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. - 5 p.m., Central Time. The toll-free statewide number is 1-800-254-4202. Lincoln callers should use 402-471-6035 and e-mails can be sent to

“I want people to know we care and that we’re available,” Winterer said. “This is a one-stop number making it simpler for people to call with any question or concern about DHHS.”

Winterer added that DHHS recently started a Facebook page and a Twitter account, also in an effort to be more customer focused. “People get information from a variety of sources,” he said, “and these are additional ways to reach them about our services and programs.”

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