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Vol. LXVI, No. 1
January 3, 2014

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STEP Forum on Benefits of Physical Activity

The staff training in extramural programs (STEP) committee will present “Move: Physical Activity Benefits Everyone,” on Tuesday, Jan. 14 from 9 a.m. to noon in Lister Hill Auditorium, Bldg. 38A.

We are born to move...but are we moving enough? Research has revealed that physical activity offers huge health benefits, including reduced risk of several life-threatening diseases and improved mental health. Moderate forms of exercise may also help people with adverse health conditions. This forum will show that moving more can improve the health and well-being of everyone, from the couch potato to the avid athlete.

NIDDK Unveils New Web Site, Improvements Geared to Researchers

On Dec. 16, NIDDK launched a new web site that significantly improves upon its predecessor at

“NIDDK’s health information has always been well received by more than 20 million online users annually,” said NIDDK deputy director Dr. Gregory Germino, who helped spearhead the project. “Our goal with the revised web site is to provide the same level of clear and current information for researchers.”

Content for NIDDK’s new site was updated following more than 2 years of planning across the institute. Intramural investigators’ publications and research areas are now more clearly presented to encourage research collaborations and help the public find opportunities to participate in clinical trials. Data and sample repositories are also more readily available. Meanwhile, health information and education program pages remain easy-to-navigate sources of reliable information.

“More easily accessible information about funding and research training will help a new generation of scientists take the next step in their careers,” said NIDDK director Dr. Griffin Rodgers. “People can also learn about the latest NIDDK-supported basic, clinical and translational advances.”

The web site will continue to evolve using a data-driven approach that incorporates feedback from the public and a close study of how people interact with the new site. NIDDK leadership and staff are committed to maintaining the new site so it continues to be a useful resource for current and potential grantees, fellows, collaborators, media and the public.

Dr. Jack Yanovski (r) received the Oded Bar-Or Award for Excellence in Pediatric Research.

Obesity Society Honors Two NIH’ers

The Obesity Society recently honored two NIH’ers, one for distinguished public service and one for excellence in pediatric research. Karen Donato (l), acting director of NHLBI’s Division for the Application of Research Discoveries, received the society’s Atkinson-Stern Award for Distinguished Public Service. Dr. Jack Yanovski (r) received the Oded Bar-Or Award for Excellence in Pediatric Research. Yanovski is chief of the section on growth and obesity in NICHD’s Program on Developmental Endocrinology and Genetics.

Be Ready for Inclement Weather

The inclement weather season is off to quite a start this winter, with OPM issuing 3 weather-related operating statuses over a 2-week period in late November and early December. If the start of the season is any indication of what is to come, it is important to assess your emergency preparedness.

Key questions to consider: When was the last time you teleworked? If you are not a regular teleworker, consider selecting a day to ad hoc telework and ensure your equipment is ready to go. How will you reach your supervisor if you need to request unscheduled leave or telework? Winter weather can sometimes lead to power outages—what work do you have available to do offline? Are there documents waiting to be updated or events you can start planning?

Important resources to review: Know your tier designation and understand how it affects you in various operating statuses. Bookmark the NIH OHR Operating Status page for quick access.

In addition, new guidance on Washington, D.C., area dismissal and closure procedures was released by the Office of Personnel Management; it includes changes to delayed arrival announcements and emphasizes the importance of being telework-ready.

Dr. Pamela M. McInnes

NCATS Names McInnes Deputy Director

Dr. Pamela M. McInnes has been named deputy director of the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences. She brings expertise in translational and clinical research, extensive extramural management experience and a record of accomplishment in trans-NIH and public-private collaborations. McInnes most recently served as director of the Division of Extramural Research at the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research. Prior to NIDCR, McInnes spent 16 years at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

C-SPAN Broadcast Originates at NIH

C-SPAN’s Washington Journal hosted its full 3-hour program on the NIH campus Dec.

C-SPANís Washington Journal hosted its full 3-hour program on the NIH campus Dec. 6. The show focused on the impact of sequestration on certain areas of research. NIH director Dr. Francis Collins (r) was the first guest, followed by four institute directors who appeared for 30-minute segments that included discussion with host Steve Scully and Q&A from callers. Washington Journal features elected officials, government administrators and journalists as guests, answering questions from the host and from members of the public, who call in to the studio or submit questions via email and social media.

Photo: Maggie Bartlett

NIH Hosts Symposium on Intimate Partner Violence

A trans-HHS symposium on intimate partner violence was held at NIH recently. The goal was to identify gaps in research in screening and counseling for IPV in primary health care settings and to shape priorities in the national research agenda. Ultimately, the departmentís goal is to promote effective strategies for health care practitioners for screening and counseling. Symposium participants, including keynote speaker Dr. Jacquelyn Campbell (at right) of Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing, reviewed the current body of evidence on screening and counseling research for IPV across the lifespan and identified gaps in research for screening and counseling for IPV in primary health settings. In addition, participants discussed effective IPV screening guidelines and appropriate counseling and intervention tools for health care practitioners. A trans-HHS symposium

Annual Leave—Use It or Donate It!

At this time of year, employees should review their annual leave balances, with the carryover (240 hours for non-SES members) limitation in mind. Annual leave in excess of the carryover limitation is considered “use or lose” leave and must be used before the end of the leave year (Saturday, Jan. 11, 2014) to avoid forfeiture.

Donate any “use or lose” leave you do not plan to use. This will help protect the income of colleagues who are experiencing medical emergencies.

Employees may donate leave to the NIH Voluntary Leave Bank or a Voluntary Leave Transfer Program (VLTP) participant. These programs allow employees to donate accrued annual or restored leave to others who are faced with a personal or family medical emergency. Employees who have been approved for either program have exhausted their own leave and have a medical emergency that prevents them from working.

Donations are made in ITAS at

After login, select “Donate to Leave Bank” or “Donate to VLTP.” If you select Leave Bank, identify type of leave and amount of hours you wish to donate. Click “OK.” If you select VLTP, choose the name of an approved recipient, identify type of leave, amount of hours and click “OK.”

Details on the Leave Bank can be found at, or contact the NIH Leave Bank Office at (301) 443-8393 or Find info on VLTP at

WISER Survey Now Extended to Jan. 15

Though it may look like the annual HHS employee satisfaction survey, the WISER Survey seeks to add to our knowledge base about diversity at NIH and address issues about personal success, diversity, inclusion and mentoring. Without this new information, we will not be able to identify some of the barriers faced by employees and trainees and make improvements. Paper and online versions of the survey can be found at Help us create an inclusive and supportive environment for research at NIH. For more information, contact or (301) 827-4000.

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