‘Sammies’ Go to NIH’ers
NIAID, NHLBI, NIMHD Recognized with 2021 Service to America Medals
For the second year in a row, NIH has been home of the Federal Employee(s) of the Year as selected by the nonprofit, nonpartisan Partnership for Public Service, which operates the 2021 Samuel J. Heyman Service to America Medals (“Sammies”) competition. In addition, NIH’ers were honored in a new category of Sammies.
Dr. Barney Graham, who recently retired as deputy director of the Vaccine Research Center and chief of the NIAID Viral Pathogenesis Laboratory, and former VRC research fellow Dr. Kizzmekia Corbett, now Shutzer assistant professor at Harvard Radcliff Institute, received top honors as 2021 Federal Employees of the Year. They were cited for conducting “groundbreaking research that led to the development of highly effective vaccines in record time that are protecting hundreds of millions of people from contracting the deadly coronavirus that swept across the globe in 2020 and 2021.”
Dr. Eliseo Pérez-Stable, director of the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities, and Dr. Gary Gibbons, director of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, won the inaugural Covid-19 Response medal. They spearhead two major federal programs—RADx-UP and the Community Engagement Alliance (CEAL) Against Covid-19 Disparities to reduce Covid-19-associated morbidity and mortality disparities experienced by underserved and vulnerable communities. This new medal was added to the Sammies to recognize the extraordinary efforts led by federal workers in response to the pandemic.
An hour-long virtual ceremony saluted all public servants and Sammies honorees. Watch it on youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T7-CHjaz5C4. In addition, an in-person celebration was held at the Kennedy Center. Vaccination was required and guests wore masks at all times except for photos and when drinking/eating.
Last year, the partnership named NIAID director Dr. Anthony Fauci as Federal Employee of the Year and NCI’s Dr. Ira Pastan won the group’s Paul Volcker Career Achievement Award.
The Sammies, renamed in 2010 for entrepreneur and partnership founder Heyman, began in 2002 to recognize and celebrate outstanding achievement in the public sector. Since then, the competition called the “Oscars of federal service,” has honored more than 660 federal employees.