NIH Record - National Institutes of Health

Time, Expertise Acknowledged

Optimize NIH Event Celebrates Volunteers

More than 300 NIH professionals from 27 institutes, centers and components were honored Feb. 1 for volunteering their time and expertise to the Optimize NIH initiative. 

Led by NIH principal deputy director Dr. Lawrence Tabak and deputy director for management Dr. Alfred Johnson, the virtual event celebrated the members of committees and work groups, subject matter experts, advisors and co-chairs for creating efficiencies and effectiveness in acquisitions, IT security, property, Title 42(f) processing and travel. 

The executive leads of the five teams commended the volunteers for their dedication and contributions since 2019 that continued during the Covid-19 pandemic to benefit NIH through more effective administrative support. 

Diane Frasier, director of NIH’s Office of Acquisition and Logistics Management, and Jill Harper, NIAID deputy director for science management and executive officer, thanked volunteers for their ongoing work to improve acquisition data analytics, quality and standards and to identify technology platforms and organizational structures that will serve NIH’s acquisition needs more effectively. 

Stacie Alboum, CIT deputy director, and Patrick Shirdon, NIA executive officer, lauded those promoting cyber safety through an award-winning awareness campaign, improving IT network and asset management, acquisitions and workforce recruitment strategies, and ensuring consistent policies through the active involvement of institutes and centers in the IT policy lifecycle.   

Elizabeth Van Absher, director of logistics services in NIH’s Office of Acquisition and Logistics Management; Brian Trent, NEI  executive officer; and Ellen Rolfes, NHGRI executive officer, recognized ongoing efforts to streamline the property management process for more than 180,000 assets, automate paper-based processes and expand the NIH Property Management Portal for greater accuracy of records.

Julie Berko, director of NIH’s Office of Human Resources, and Donna Siegle, NCI executive officer, thanked volunteers for ongoing efforts to standardize Title 42(f) recruitment processes, data tracking and reporting that will expedite hiring of staff in critical leadership positions. Work to build a future enterprise-wide system that will inform, automate, track and report on the overall Title 42(f) process was also saluted. 

Glenda Conroy, director of NIH’s Office of Financial Management; Ann Huston, NIMH executive officer; and Vicki Buckley, NIAAA executive officer, thanked volunteers for improving the efficiency of conference travel reporting and approvals through a new dashboard in the nVision Business Intelligence Solution, proposing changes in policies and practices and identifying tools for automating travel processes. 

Janet Shorback, director of NIH’s Office of Strategic Planning and Management Operations, closed the event, highlighting the value of involving staff from across NIH for diverse perspectives that informed community-driven improvements and strengthened partnerships, all of which are critical to successful strategic planning. 

During 2021, teams in acquisitions, property and Title 42(f) processing will continue while IT security and travel will transition to components in the NIH Office of the Director.  

Learn more about Optimize NIH at—Martha Randazzo

The NIH Record

The NIH Record, founded in 1949, is the biweekly newsletter for employees of the National Institutes of Health.

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