Jee W. Hwang, economist supervisor at his reserved parking space. Courtesy/HSD
SANTA FE ― New Mexico Human Services Department (HSD) Cabinet Secretary David R. Scrase, M.D. recently rewarded state employee, Jee W. Hwang, economist supervisor for the Income Support Division at HSD for discovering a discrepancy, researching and identifying errors in the March, April and May monthly statistical reports and correcting the data for the June report before it was published.
Hwang is recognized for identifying a problem, fixing it and bringing it to his supervisors. Sec. Scrase gave Hwang his reserved parking space for 30-days.
The mission of the Income Support Division is to relieve, minimize or eliminate poverty and to make available certain services for eligible low-income individuals and families through statewide programs of financial assistance, food assistance, employment assistance and training services.
“As I mentioned in my May Directive to ASPEN-using employees, HSD highly values the accuracy of the data in our systems,” said David R. Scrase, M.D., cabinet secretary for HSD. “I am proud of Jee’s work and appreciate the fact that he found the calculation errors in our data, found the sources of the errors, informed his supervisors, corrected the sources of the error, produced accurate data, and reposted it on our website. I would love to be giving my parking spot away EVERY month if it means that we are providing better data, or service, or more timely and accurate benefits to New Mexicans.”
Hwang has been with the Income Support Division of HSD since April 2019. Prior to HSD, he was with the New Mexico Department of Transportation, served as an assistant professor of Economics for the College of Business Administration at Northern New Mexico College in Española and as a statistics and research consultant for the Graduate Resource Center at the University of New Mexico. Hwang has a B.S. and M.S. in Economics from East Carolina University and earned a Ph.D. in Economics from the University of New Mexico in 2014.
“We’re thrilled to have Jee W. Hwang on our team and recognize him in a meaningful way,” said Karmela Martinez, division director for the Income Support Division at HSD. “He has a passion for the accuracy of his work and takes our mission to heart. His positive example supports encouraging outcomes across our division as well as helping the New Mexicans we serve.”
The Human Services Department provides services and benefits to more than 1 million New Mexicans through several programs including: the Medicaid Program, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) Program, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Child Support Program, and several Behavioral Health Services.
“I appreciate the gesture from Secretary Scrase. I was just doing my job and glad to be of service,” Jee W. Hwang said. “It’s good to have a leader that encourages integrity and honesty which boosts positive energy into the projects we’re working on and to have a governor who cares about the work and the people we serve. It makes us feel like we are all doing something to contribute – I’m glad to help.”