The Partnership for Public Service has named 33 federal employees or federal employee teams as Samuel J. Heyman Service to America Medal finalists. They will be honored May 9 in Washington as part of Public Service Recognition Week.
"The Service to America Medal finalists epitomize the true spirit and value of public service," said Max Stier, the partnership's president and CEO. "Their stories showcase the good that our public servants do each and every day behind the scenes on behalf of the American public."
The finalists are contenders for nine Service to America Medals, including Federal Employee of the Year. Medal recipients will be announced Sept. 13.
The medal categories and finalists:
Call to Service Medal
• Shane Morris, supervisor, Diplomatic Courier Service, State Department, Germany: Overcame numerous obstacles during the Arab Spring uprisings to ensure that U.S. diplomats in the Middle East could securely dispatch and receive classified documents and equipment.
• Jacob Taylor, physicist, National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, Md.: Came up with an original scientific theory that could lead to medical imaging in microscopic detail for better health care, while also developing innovative technology to allow greater quantities of data to speed across the Internet with less energy and at lower cost.
• Deborah Temkin, research and policy coordinator for bullying prevention initiatives, Education Department, Washington: Leads the governmentwide campaign against bullying, working with the White House and federal agencies to educate school districts and governments at all levels on what they can do to protect young people from this painful and sometimes fatal problem.
Career Achievement Medal
• James Cash, chief technical adviser, Office of Research and Engineering, National Transportation Safety Board, Washington: For nearly three decades, has used his engineering expertise to extract information from airplane cockpit recorders and other recording devices to determine the causes of major transportation accidents.
• Allen Dobbs, chief medical officer, National Disaster Medical System, Health and Human Services Department, Washington: Improved the way disaster victims receive health care by creating electronic systems to track those receiving medical treatment, to quickly assign emergency medical teams and to assess emerging threats and resource needs.
• Patricia Hayes, chief consultant, Women Veterans Health Strategic Health Care Group, Veterans Affairs Department, Washington: Spent a career breaking barriers and advancing the health care needs of women in a male-dominated veterans health care system.
• Lynne Mofenson, branch chief, Pediatric, Adolescent and Maternal AIDS Branch, National Institutes of Health, Rockville, Md.: Played a pivotal role in preventing the AIDS epidemic among children by studying ways to prevent mother-to-child transmission.
Citizen Services Medal
• Susan Angell, executive director, Veterans Homeless Initiative, Veterans Affairs Department; Mark Johnston, deputy assistant secretary for special needs, Office of Community Planning and Development, Housing and Urban Development Department; and the Homeless Veterans Initiative Team, Washington: Led an interdepartmental program that reduced veteran homelessness by 12 percent in one year as part of an ambitious national goal of finding shelter for all veterans by 2015.
• Heidi King, director, Patient Safety Solutions Center, Tricare Management Activity, Defense Department; and James Battles, social science analyst, Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Health and Human Services Department, Washington: Created and implemented a health care professional team training program that has become the gold standard for eliminating thousands of preventable patient deaths each year due to medical errors.
• Livia Marques, director, People's Garden Initiative, Agriculture Department, Washington: Led a nationwide initiative that resulted in the creation of more than 1,600 community-based "People's Gardens" and the donation of 1.3 million pounds of produce to the needy.
• Michael McBride, supervisory financial analyst, Internal Revenue Service, Atlanta: Established partnerships with more than 4,000 organizations that have annually enlisted nearly 90,000 volunteers to prepare millions of federal tax returns for disadvantaged filers.
• Lance Rodewald, director, Immunization Services Division, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta: Enhanced the nation's publicly funded vaccine programs to protect greater numbers of children against life-threatening diseases by adding new vaccines and modernizing distribution.
Homeland Security Medal
• Arthur Friedlander, senior scientist, Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases, Fort Detrick, Md.: Steered the development of new and highly promising anthrax and plague vaccines now in clinical testing, and generated recommendations for post-exposure treatment of anthrax to protect the public in the event of a bioterrorist attack.
• Kelly Menzie-DeGraff, director, disaster services, Corporation for National and Community Service; and team, Washington: Directed more than 300 AmeriCorps members deployed to Joplin, Mo., where they coordinated the work of 60,000 unaffiliated volunteers who converged on the community to help after the devastating May 2011 tornado.
• Nael Samha, program manager, Office of Technology, and Thomas Roland Jr., program manager, Office of Field Operations, Customs and Border Protection, Alexandria, Va.: Created a smartphone application that allows customs and border agents in the field to access law enforcement databases in real time, which has led to enforcement actions against more than 450 drug traffickers, weapons smugglers, illegal immigrants and potential terror suspects since March 2010.
• Daniel Stoneking, director, private sector, Office of External Affairs, Federal Emergency Management Agency, Washington: Forges partnerships with private-sector organizations to galvanize their participation in the planning, response and relief efforts for communities struck by tornadoes, hurricanes and other disasters.
Justice & Law Enforcement Medal
• Shauna Henline, senior technical coordinator, Frivolous Return Program, Internal Revenue Service, Ogden, Utah: Saves the U.S. Treasury billions of dollars by leading the government effort to identify and bring to justice tax evaders and unscrupulous promoters of fraudulent income tax filing schemes.
• Michael Hertz, deputy assistant attorney general, Civil Division, Justice Department, Washington: Recovered billions of dollars from perpetrators of fraud against the federal government through innovative use of the False Claims Act.
• Kelly Maltagliati, special agent-in-charge, Archival Recovery Team, Office of Inspector General, National Archives and Records Administration, Washington: Led the recovery of thousands of priceless American historical documents stolen from the National Archives, including papers from the Civil War and Presidents Lincoln, Franklin Roosevelt and Truman.
• Louis Milione, special agent and group supervisor, Drug Enforcement Administration; and DEA team, Washington: Led a high-stakes federal undercover investigation spanning three continents that resulted in the arrest and conviction of the "Merchant of Death," the world's most notorious arms trafficker.
Management Excellence Medal
• Elliott Branch, deputy assistant secretary, acquisition and procurement, Department of the Navy, Washington: Through savvy acquisition and procurement, ensures war fighters have the right equipment when they need it, at the best possible value for the American taxpayer.
• Danette Campbell, senior telework adviser, Patent and Trademark Office, Washington: Designed and leads the government's most successful teleworking program that has saved millions of dollars, increased productivity and boosted employee job satisfaction and commitment.
• Arleas Upton Kea, director, Division of Administration, Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., Washington: Simultaneously managed the critical tasks of doubling the FDIC's workforce to respond to the nation's financial crisis and oversaw a culture change initiative that led to employees being more satisfied with and committed to their jobs.
• Joseph Kennedy, deputy associate director; Ray Decker, assistant director, veterans services; and Hakeem Basheerud-Deen, deputy assistant director, veterans services; Office of Personnel Management, Washington: Successfully increased the number of veterans hired by the federal government by matching their skills with government careers.
• Alice Muellerweiss, dean, VA Learning University, Veterans Affairs Department, Washington: Established a new unified approach to training and career development to help VA employees nationwide more effectively meet the needs of veterans.
National Security & International Affairs Medal
• Michelle Bernier-Toth, managing director, Overseas Citizens Services, State Department Bureau of Consular Affairs, Washington: Leads the effort to prepare the staff at U.S. embassies and consulates to help protect and evacuate Americans caught up in uprisings, wars and natural disasters.
• Richard Boly, director, Office of eDiplomacy, State Department, Washington: Created innovative social media and online platforms for State employees around the world to collaborate, share information and connect with important outside audiences.
• Joyce Connery, director for nuclear energy policy, National Security Council, Washington: Helped organize and create the agenda for an international summit that reduced and secured vast amounts of plutonium and highly enriched uranium, and that outlined additional steps to keep nuclear materials out of the hands of terrorists.
• Charles Scoville, chief, Amputee Patient Care Service, Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, Bethesda, Md.: Enables combat amputees to lead active lives and potentially return to duty, through an internationally recognized rehabilitation program that uses a novel sports medicine approach.
Science & Environment Medal
• Myron "Ron" Diftler, Robonaut Project lead, Robotics Systems Technology Branch, NASA; and the Robonaut2 Team, Houston: Developed the first humanoid robot ever sent into space, a revolutionary machine with a humanlike hand that can take over simple, repetitive or dangerous tasks now performed by astronauts.
• Barbara Linder, senior adviser, National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda: Developed and tested innovative ways to prevent and treat the growing epidemic of Type 2 diabetes in children, particularly among minority and disadvantaged children, who are at greatest risk for this disease.
• Kyle Myers, director, Division of Imaging and Applied Mathematics, Office of Science and Engineering Laboratories, Food and Drug Administration Center for Devices and Radiological Health, Silver Spring, Md.: Sets the scientific standards to ensure that the pictures produced by medical imaging devices are accurate and can be reliably used to assist in the diagnosis of serious diseases.
• Neal Young, chief, Hematology Branch, National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda: Saves lives through cutting-edge research and treatments for patients with bone marrow failure diseases, including the rare and once deadly blood disorder known as aplastic anemia.