Michigan's MI Bridges website wins national award honoring digital innovation

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:  Dec. 18, 2018

MDHHS CONTACT: Lynn Sutfin, 517-241-2112

DTMB CONTACT: Caleb Buhs, 517-303-4038

LANSING, Mich. – Michigan’s improved MI Bridges portal– the self-service website where residents apply for public assistance benefits, manage their cases and explore community resources – has been named a recipient of the International Data Group’s 2019 Digital Edge 50 Awards.

“Between the technological innovations, collaboration between organizations and focus on customer needs, the significance of MI Bridges’ effective use of technology for customers is evident,” said Terrence Beurer, deputy director of Field Operations Administration for the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS).

The Digital Edge 50 Award recognizes organizations that have made great strides toward being digital-centric. The program evaluates nominated projects on complexity, scale, business outcomes and innovation. Winning entries are digital transformation initiatives with significant, measurable business impact. Fifty winners from across the nation are selected.

In 2015, Gov. Rick Snyder shared his vision for the state to embark on a journey to change the way Michigan residents were served by state government. To help meet this goal, the state departments of Health and Human Services and Technology, Management and Budget initiated a project to build an improved MI Bridges system.

The strong collaborative nature among MDHHS staff, customers and community partners allowed for the delivery of a truly integrated digital platform to better connect with Michigan residents as they work toward self-sufficiency.

The new MI Bridges was piloted to MDHHS customers in Muskegon County beginning in September 2017 and incrementally rolled out statewide through April 2018.

Since the initial release, residents have created 792,000 MI Bridges accounts, submitting 665,000 applications in less than half the time required to complete an application previously.

In addition to the operational benefits of an enhanced and integrated system, MI Bridges offers customers the ability to:

  • View their MDHHS benefits and correspondence received from MDHHS.
  • Share a document with MDHHS by uploading a picture of their document directly to their case using a computer, tablet or smartphone. 
  • Explore and connect to resources offered by local community organizations throughout Michigan.
  • Apply for benefits using a simplified and easy-to-understand application.
  • Report changes about their case or renew their benefits.
  • View MI Bridges in English, Spanish and Arabic.

MI Bridges also offers enhanced capabilities for community partners. Community agencies can choose to receive online referrals from customers through MI Bridges. In addition to the more than 30,000 Michigan 2-1-1 resources that are integrated into MI Bridges, the system also integrates with the Women, Infants & Children program, the Michigan Energy Assistance Program and the Great Start to Quality childcare database to provide additional resources and referral options for customers.

MI Bridges can be accessed at Michigan.gov/mibridges. Michigan residents do not need to have an existing MDHHS case to use the new website. Anyone can log in to find helpful resources and services in their local community.

The Digital Edge 50 award is the fourth honor for the MI Bridges project this year. The revamped system took the top spot in the Information Communications Technology Innovations category from the National Association of State Chief Information Officers, won the IT Solutions Management 2018 Recognition Award for Excellence in Health and Human Services Technology in the Best Use of Technology for Customers category and received an Excellence in Technology award at the Michigan Digital Government Summit.

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