We are highlighting the hard work of public servants across federal, state, and local governments throughout Public Service Recognition Week. Join us in celebrating how their efforts make each day #GovPossible!
Last year, President Biden signed an Executive Order (EO) to improve customer experience and service delivery. This EO directed a “whole of government” approach to improve how people experience federal services and programs during moments in their lives when they need government support the most.
Federal Government leaders worked with the President’s Management Council to choose important events in people’s lives that require help from multiple federal agencies and levels of government. These events became the basis for the five Life Experience projects:
- Approaching retirement,
- Birth and early childhood for low-income mothers and children,
- Facing a financial shock and becoming newly eligible for critical supports,
- Navigating transition to civilian life, and
- Recovering from a disaster.
In honor of Public Service Recognition Week, the Performance.gov team spoke with leaders and team members working directly on the Life Experience projects. These committed public servants are actively making it #GovPossible for Americans to more easily access the benefits and services they need during life’s most critical moments.
CX Life Experience Highlights
The video clips below highlight each Life Experience project. Let’s meet this team of public servants who are helping implement these efforts across the country.
Birth and Early Childhood for Low-Income Mothers and Children
Maya Mechenbier, Project Manager at U.S Digital Service (USDS)
For parents of all income levels, carrying and delivering a child is one of the most significant experiences of their life — but the stresses and burdens are greater for low-income families. The Life Experience project Maya Mechenbier works on directly supports new mothers and families in communities, from providing child care subsidies, housing and nutrition support, and resource guides, to providing information about your rights as a mother at work.
“I'm continually surprised to learn about something new that someone's doing at some part of [the Department of Health and Human Services] that is just dedicated to better serving families and dedicated to experimenting with interesting ways in which we can support folks through this really important journey.”
Facing Financial Shock
Sarah Esty, Senior Advisor for Technology and Delivery at the Department of Health and Human Services
Millions of American families face unexpected financial difficulties every year like an unexpected medical bill, the loss of income, a raise in rent, or loans coming out of deferment. Many families miss out on receiving crucial support to re-establish financial stability as a result of a confusing web of information about services, application procedures, and complicated payment systems. Sarah Esty and the Life Experience team aim to make it easier for families to find and use the support they need to get through tough times and become financially stable again.
“It's a huge privilege and responsibility to be the voice for those people and for especially the kids, to think about what they need to grow up and thrive, and to speak for them because they can't speak for themselves.”
Transitioning to Civilian Life
John Boerstler, Chief Veterans Experience Officer at the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)
Each year, approximately 200,000 service members leave the military and must reorient their lives. This includes fundamentals like their employment and education, finances, housing, health, and even relationships. John Boerstler and team work toward solutions to help these service members use the resources that are available to them. This will help them feel more comfortable starting their new life outside of the military.
“After enlisting in the Marine Corps, when I was 17 years old, and wearing a uniform for a few years, [to now being] back in federal service in a different kind of uniform, public service is incredibly important to me, and incredibly meaningful to be able to serve alongside incredible public servants on my left and my right here at VA.”
Recovering From a Disaster
Michael Windle, Program Analyst at the Federal Emergency Management Agency
An increasing number of Americans face natural disasters each year, yet they often lack the support necessary to fully recover. It’s during these moments when disaster strikes, people rely on the government’s help and support. Michael Windle is part of the Life Experience project that helps survivors with the process of recovering from a disaster.
“Our team of designers and researchers traveled to Houston to work closely with service providers and to actually interview folks who had survived a disaster. People who came from families who were impacted by hurricanes were able to sit down, talk to us, tell us their story, and tell us about the hardships that they continue to face. It was great to have a team that was so engaged and willing to chat with the individuals who had lived [these] experiences.”
Anshul Kumar, Digital Service Expert at USDS
Anshul Kumar and his Life Experience team are working closely with the Social Security Administration and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to assess how to make the process of signing up for Medicare easier for everyone.
“Navigating retirement as a life experience can be challenging … To me public service means putting the needs and requirements of Americans and the public we serve above all else.”
There are a total of nine Life Experience projects that provide a new model for how the Federal Government should better design and deliver benefits, services and programs to the American people when it matters most. Thank you to all the teams working on the ground to make these projects a success — their efforts make it #GovPossible for Americans to navigate these significant moments in their lives.
Celebrate #GovPossible with us! Follow along as we celebrate public servants throughout #PSRW on Twitter and LinkedIn. For more information about PSRW, read President Biden’s Public Service Recognition Week Proclamation!
We invite you to follow along with us on Performance.gov, which will be updated quarterly with progress on agency and PMA priorities and strategies. For further information, we encourage you to follow our Twitter and LinkedIn, and to subscribe to our newsletter to receive updates in your inbox.