This personal dust monitor for miners was developed by NIOSH, MSHA, the National Mining Association, Thermo Scientific, the United Mine Workers, and the Bituminous Coal Operators Association.

NIOSH CDC Win HHS Innovation Awards

The winners were chosen by a vote of HHS employees. Secretary Kathleen Sebelius praised them and said innovation "is the lifeblood of continual improvement in our department's performance in serving Americans."

Both NIOSH and its parent agency, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, are among the six inaugural HHS Innovation award winners, the department announced Aug. 4. The NIOSH award recognizes its work with industry and labor groups on a personal dust monitor to measure miners' cumulative exposures.

HHS employees voted on the winners. The HHSinnovates program is working to foster a culture of innovation in the department. "We launched the HHSinnovates awards program this year because we recognize that innovation is the lifeblood of continual improvement in our department's performance in serving Americans," Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said. "I am proud of all the candidate innovations that were nominated in this first cycle, and I thank all the employees who took part in reviewing and voting for the winners. I look forward to making HHSinnovates a permanent feature of the HHS landscape."

CDC won for a recycling pilot program that cleans and recycles plastic containers which had held biohazard materials, rather than sending them to waste landfills as before. Sandy Steiner, Sandy Martin, and Kathy Slawson of CDC are the winning team.

The NIOSH dust monitor team includes John Volkwein and Jeffrey Kohler of NIOSH; Bruce Watzman of the National Mining Association; Mike Nemergut of Thermo Scientific; MSHA Assistant Secretary Joe Main; Dennis O'Dell of the United Mine Workers; and Joe Lamonica of the Bituminous Coal Operators Association.

CDC also won an award for its one-day Course on Public Health and Aging, developed to increase the understanding of all CDC employees of the needs of the rapidly aging U.S. population and the potential roles of public health in serving older populations. This team is Letia Boseman, Jeffrey Hall, Kristine Day, Andree Harris, Jason Lang, and Stacey Mattison, all of CDC.

"The president has consistently challenged our front-line workers to help deliver a government that works, and thanks to the HHSinnovates program, we have a novel, open process to reward those who are doing just that," said Aneesh Chopra, U.S. Chief Technology Officer and associate director for Technology at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. "I commend HHS and Secretary Sebelius for setting a great example, as this Administration continues to work toward new heights of openness and creativity."

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