The Partnership for Public Service’s 15th annual awards gala the Samuel J. Heyman Service to America Medals, or the Sammies, will be held at the Andrew W. Mellon Auditorium this evening. Known as the Oscars of civil service, the Sammies will honor the federal employees who made the biggest contributions to American life. Civil servants often don’t get credit for their work and the Partnership for Public Service is using this night to give credit where credit is due. The emcees of this year’s awards will be House of Cards’ Michael Kelly, who plays the ruthless Chief of Staff Doug Stamper to President Underwood, and NBC’s Stephanie Ruhle.
The recipients of Sammies awards save lives, innovate, discover, and preserve national security. This year’s Federal Employees of the Year award will go to Jean Moody-Williams, Dennis Wagner, and Paul McGann, a team from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services who were able to reduce hospital-acquired medical conditions by 40%.
Among the other winners includes Jaques Reifman, who invented a device for army medics in the field to find out if they have internal bleeding. Undetected internal bleeding is the number one cause of death for war casualties and this device has the potential to save many of these lives. Another is Tate Jarrow, who has lead the Secret Service in investigating some of the biggest cybercrime cases in history. Jarrow will receive this year’s Call to Service award.
Another outstanding public servant will be honored tonight is Kirk Yeager, the FBI’s top explosive scientist, who will receive the National Security and International Affairs Medal for his work in training local bomb squads in how to handle live explosives.
Vice President Joe Biden will address the nominees this year in a special video message. “You could have chosen a number of professions and be making a lot more money, but you chose to serve your country. You’re professional, you’re dedicated. You’re the best the buy the American people get and they don’t know it.”
The nonprofit, nonpartisan Partnership for Public Service is an organization who makes government more effective with a number of programs like mentorship programs for incoming government workers, inter-agency briefings to decrease overlap between agencies, and courses to ensure federal employees have the most up to date training they need.
You can read more about this year’s winners here.
The live feed for the Sammies can be found here.