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Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center - Houston, Texas

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5 Houston VA Employees Recognized at Public Service Awards

May 9, 2007

HOUSTON — Today, the Houston Federal Executive Board and the Federal Business Association presented five public service awards to employees of the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC).

Approximately 25,500 federal employees work for more than 100 Federal agencies in the Houston/Galveston area.  The public service recognition awards are one of the most important and coveted forms of non-monetary recognition available to employees of the United States Government. 

The award winners from the MEDVAMC are Tracie Ann Karimi, Administrative Support category; Lindi Sue Hendon, Employees with Disabilities category; Clainent (Warring) Johnson, Trades and Crafts category; Darcie Asakura, Professional category; and Linda Thomlinson, Customer Service category.

In her position of administrative officer for the Business Office Service Line, Karimi is extremely passionate about her role as preceptor and mentor for the bachelor and graduate students from Houston area universities. Her efforts have supported the federal government’s goal of bringing new blood into civil service; nine former interns are now employed by the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Despite her hearing impairment, Hendon in her position as budget analyst position is eager to ensure the Business Office Service Line operates efficiently and effectively. She is acutely aware of her responsibility to ensure appropriated funds are properly expended and no deficits occur.

Even though his position as lead material handler does not include equipment inventory management, Johnson took the initiative to assist inventory personnel with bar coding, data entry, and accountability of new, incoming equipment and equipment already in use. He took the initiative and created a new equipment tracking system when more than 300 hospital beds were replaced with new ones.

As the administrative dietitian for the MEDVAMC, Asakura is responsible for planning all meals served to hospitalized veterans. Additionally, she participates in planning and preparing catering for such special events as the DeBakey Portrait Unveiling Ceremony and the Star of Hope Men’s Shelter Holiday Meal. She takes advantage of these unique events to give the Dietetic interns at the MEDVAMC a full range of management, technical, and hands-on experience needed for their professional success.

As an Emerging VA Leaders (EVAL) graduate, Thomlinson, an accounting technician, researched and developed a video and power point presentation training program to educate employees on various ways to resolve patient complaints. This training continues to have an astonishing impact on MEDVAMC staff and has been requested by the new EVAL class, the Shell Future Youth Training Program, and various departments at the MEDVAMC.

The Federal Executive Boards were established in 1961 by a Presidential Directive to improve coordination among Federal activities and programs outside of Washington, D.C. The need for effective coordination among the field activities of Federal departments and agencies was then, and is still, very clear. Approximately 88 percent of all Federal employees work outside the national capital area. Federal programs have their impact largely through the actions of the field representatives of the departments and agencies.

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