Service to America winners announced, NIH employee named Fed of the Year

Wednesday - 9/12/2012, 8:00pm EDT

The Partnership for Public Service named the winners of the Samuel J. Heyman Service to America Medals or Sammies and gave the top honor, Federal Employee of the Year, to Lynne Mofenson of the National Institutes of Health.

Lynne Mofenson, Federal Employee of the Year

Mofenson is the branch chief of Pediatric, Adolescent and Maternal AIDS Branch at the National Institutes of Health. Her work has contributed to efforts to end mother-to- child transmission, aiming for an HIV/AIDS-free generation. (Click here to listen to Mofenson's interview with Federal News Radio.)

"The Service to America Medals are a powerful illustration of the good that government does, which positively affects our lives every day," said Max Stier, Partnership for Public Service president and CEO, in a statement. We will never get what we want out of our government if we focus solely on its shortcomings and fail to celebrate its successes."

The Partnership will hold the awards ceremony Thursday evening in Washington. Finalists were nominated by their colleagues. The Partnership received more than 400 nominations this year.

Meet all of the 2012 Sammies finalists.

The other Sammies winners are:

NATIONAL SECURITY AND INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS MEDAL

Charles Scoville
Chief, Amputee Patient Care Service, Walter Reed National Military Medical Center

Starting in 2007, Scoville developed a new approach to amputees that stressed sports medicine and athleticism. Now his patients are climbing Mount Everest, competing in triathlons and even returning to active duty.

Listen to the interview.

CAREER ACHIEVEMENT MEDAL

James Cash
Chief Technical Advisor, Office of Research and Engineering, National Transportation Safety Board

Cash has spent nearly three decades deciphering information from electronic recording devices to help determine the causes of major aviation and other transportation accidents, leading to reforms and greater safety for the traveling public. He is the government's top expert on cockpit voice recorders, which help determine the system failures and human errors that cause airplane crashes.

Listen to the interview.

CITIZEN SERVICES MODEL

Susan Angell
Executive Director, Homeless Veterans Initiative, Department of Veterans Affairs

Mark Johnston
Acting Assistant Secretary for Community Planning and Development, Department of Housing and Urban Development

Angell and Johnston worked together on an interdepartmental program that reduced veterans homelessness by 12 percent in one year as part of an ambitious national goal of finding shelter for all veterans by 2015.

Listen to the interview.

JUSTICE AND LAW ENFORCEMENT MEDAL

Louis Milione and the Operation Relentless Team
Special Agent and Group Supervisor, Drug Enforcement Administration

Milione 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.

Listen to the interview.

HOMELAND SECURITY MEDAL

Nael Samha
Program Officer, Office of Technology

Thomas Roland, Jr.
Program Manager, Office of Field Operations (Roland), U.S. Customs and Border Protection

Samha and Roland 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 aliens and potential terror suspects since March 2010.

Listen to the interview.

MANAGEMENT EXCELLENCE MEDAL

Elliott B. Branch
Deputy Assistant Secretary, Acquisition and Procurement, Department of the Navy

Branch scrutinizes and helps shape every major acquisition for the Navy and Marines, ensuring our warfighters have the right equipment when they need it, at the best possible value for the American taxpayer.

Listen to the interview.

CALL TO SERVICE MEDAL

Jacob Taylor
Physicist, National Institute of Standards and Technology

Taylor, a 34-year-old physicist at NIST, has made pioneering scientific discoveries that in time could lead to significant advances in health care, communications, computing and technology.

Listen to the interview.