HHS Assistant Secretary Bardis Visits, Tours
HHS Assistant Secretary for Administration John Bardis and his chief of staff Rasheed Williams visited NIH on July 10.
They were met by NIH principal deputy director Dr. Lawrence Tabak, Clinical Center CEO Dr. James Gilman, NIH deputy director for administration Dr. Alfred Johnson and NIH associate director for science policy and acting chief of staff Dr. Carrie Wolinetz. The group first set out for the CC’s pediatric oncology unit to meet with a youngster undergoing treatment there.
After chatting with the patient, Bardis and company headed for a meeting with Dr. Carlos Zarate, chief of NIMH’s Experimental Therapeutics & Pathophysiology Branch and section on the neurobiology and treatment of mood disorders. He also introduced one of his patients to the group.
Next up was a conference room briefing with NIH director Dr. Francis Collins and several IC directors—Dr. Anthony Fauci of NIAID, Dr. Gary Gibbons of NHLBI, Dr. Richard Hodes of NIA, Dr. Stephen Katz of NIAMS and Dr. Roderic Pettigrew of NIBIB.
As a final stop, the group went to the NIH Cogeneration Plant, where they were met by Office of Research Facilities Director Dan Wheeland, Dr. Farhad Memarzadeh, director of ORF’s Division of Technical Resources, and Joe Nieves, chief of the division’s Utilities Generation Branch, for a tour of the facility.
NIH owns and operates a plant that uses natural gas as a fuel and produces electricity and steam for the Bethesda campus.
“NIH cogeneration produces about 40 percent of the required steam and electricity simultaneously,” Memarzadeh pointed out. “It is one of the lowest emission cogeneration plants in the world. Cogeneration saves NIH an estimated $7 million a year in steam and electricity costs.
“NIH Central Utility Plant, CUP, is one of the largest utility plants in the world,” Memarzadeh continued. “Annual electricity consumption for the chiller plant is equivalent to 100,000 Maryland homes. Annual natural gas consumption for the heating plant is equivalent to 26 million gallons of gasoline. Over 20 million data points a day are collected and analyzed using 300,000 advanced calculations from about 4,500 continuously running analyses.”