Highlighting the many ways that government makes a difference in the world is critical to attracting and retaining top talent. The Samuel J. Heyman Service to America Medals highlight dedicated federal employees who have made significant contributions to our country. Honorees are chosen based on their commitment and innovation, as well as the impact of their work on addressing the needs of the nation.
On September 22, 2014, the Partnership for Public Service presented eight outstanding public servants with the Samuel J. Heyman Service to America Medals (Sammies). Having earned the reputation as the “Oscars” of public service, the achievements of the 2014 medal recipients range from improving the lives of paralyzed veterans to arguing 125 cases before the Supreme Court to recovering nearly a billion dollars in stolen Medicare funds.
All of the 2014 Sammies finalists are outstanding federal employees who are making high-impact contributions to the health, safety and welfare of countless Americans and others around the world.
On Thursday, October 3, the Partnership for Public Service presented nine outstanding public servants with the Samuel J. Heyman Service to America Medals (Sammies). Having earned the reputation as the “Oscars” of public service, the achievements of the 2013 medal recipients range from eradicating polio in India to landing an exploratory vehicle on Mars to saving the Air Force more than $1 billion in 2012 by reducing energy consumption. The top medal, Federal Employee of the Year, was presented to a National Institutes of Health team of doctors led by Drs. Julie Segre and Tara Palmore for revolutionizing the way hospital-acquired infections can be identified and halted through genetic sequencing of the bacteria. An estimated 100,000 U.S. patients die annually from hospital-acquired infections.
“We will never get what we want out of our government if its successes aren’t identified, celebrated and replicated,” said Max Stier, Partnership for Public Service president and CEO. “Smart, dedicated public servants are making contributions that change the world for the better every day, and it is especially meaningful that we happen to be recognizing them at a time when Congress has closed the doors on their great work.”
The Samuel J. Heyman Service to America Medals pay tribute to America's dedicated federal workforce, highlighting those who have made significant contributions to our country. Honorees are chosen based on their commitment and innovation, as well as the impact of their work on addressing the needs of the nation.
During a distinguished 38-year career at the Department of Justice, Edwin Kneedler has represented the government’s interests before the Supreme Court more than any other attorney currently practicing law. He has personally argued 125 cases on matters ranging from immigration and heath care to affirmative action and free speech.
As a top career deputy in the Solicitor General’s Office, Kneedler has lent his immense experience, institutional knowledge and credibility to help craft the government’s positions in hundreds of additional cases before the nation’s highest court, assisted attorneys preparing legal briefs and arguments, and served as the conscience and moral compass of the office.
Each year, phony Medicare claims filed by durable medical equipment suppliers, home health care agencies, pharmacies, physicians, and assisted living and rehabilitation facilities defraud the federal government of billions of dollars.
In Florida, which has the nation’s highest proportion of residents over the age of 65, schemes to bilk the federal health insurance program are rampant, with the Miami area considered ground zero for health care fraud.
That’s where two special agents from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Omar Pérez Aybar and Reginald J. France, have come into the picture. In partnership with Joseph Beemsterboer, Dan Bernstein, Randy Culp and Joseph Jeziorski from the Department of Justice (DOJ), Aybar and France coordinated investigations for 12 special Healthcare Fraud Enforcement Action Teams (HEAT).