MACO’s DADS Index Receives High Honor From U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
Tuesday, March 13, 2018
David Shulkin, Secretary of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, named Minnesota as one of seven states to receive an Abraham Lincoln Pillars of Excellence Award at a national conference held in February. The Excellence Awards program was established by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs to recognize outstanding state programs that support veterans within their states.
The Minnesota Department of Veterans Affairs (MDVA) received the award in recognition of its Discharge Access Database System (DADS) – an Index that was designed in collaboration with MACO/MOMS, the Minnesota Department of Veterans Affairs, Minnesota IT, and Olmsted County ITS to provide a statewide military discharge index for the County Veteran Service Offices to search and request a veteran’s discharge document from the county where it was recorded.
DADS is a private index and used only by the VSOs. State Recorders provide the index data from their county. DADS is the first database of county recorded military discharge records in the United States and an example of government agencies working together to support veterans.
The Minnesota DADS program is credited as an effective program to address the four top-line issues of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs: eliminating claims backlogs, ending veterans’ homelessness, improving access to VA benefits and services, and creating innovative state programs.
The Abraham Lincoln Pillars of Excellence Award program was established by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs in 2012 to recognize best practices by state Departments of Veterans Affairs. The state departments, while independent of VA, are key partners in the mission to fulfill the promise of Abraham Lincoln: to care for those “who shall have borne the battle.”
In addition to Minnesota, awards for outstanding state programs were presented to California, Idaho, Maine, Massachusetts, Texas and Washington.
Brad Lindsay, Deputy Commissioner of Programs and Services for the Minnesota Department of Veterans Affairs said that this is the highest honor that MDVA has ever received. He also thanked the MACO/MOMS team for the creation and implementation of the DADS program.