HHS rewards innovative bureaucrats for miners' safety lamps, more

The Department of Health and Human Services on Monday recognized six winners and runners-up in a semi-annual contest aimed at sparking innovation within the agency's sprawling bureaucracy.

Winners of the HHSinnovates program include designers of a cap lamp that has greatly improved the ability for mine workers around the world to detect floor hazards and peripheral obstacles. Other winners helped create a national database for autism research and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's "Vital Signs" program for disseminating scientific information to professionals and the general public.

Honorable mentions went to employees who helped Indian tribes access child welfare grants; enabled the rapid retrieval of medical and public health films created by the U.S. government; and established "health and sustainability guidelines" for federal concessions and vending operations.

"Innovation doesn't happen overnight. It requires investment in creative minds," HHS Office of Personnel Management Director John Berry said in a statement. "High-performance government means giving our employees the opportunity to create and invent and serve the American people with all their heart and soul; it means thousands of managers in thousands of workplaces changing the office culture, changing the way they motivate their teams."

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