HHSinnovates announces Round 3 Winners

HHS employees are invited to submit innovations through the HHSinnovate program which began in 2010 as part of the Open Government efforts to encourage innovation. This week Secretary Sebelius announced the six winners of Round 3. The winners are selected from online voting of the HHS community. The winners are then invited to present their innovations with the Department’s leadership. Each round has awarded six honors the first in October of 2010 and the second in May of 2011. Of the final six, three are the Secretary’s Picks and three are honorable mentions.

Secretary’s Picks

National Database for Autism Research – The National Institutes of Health (NIH) developed a National Database for Autism Research (NDAR), which is poised to bring together 90 percent or more of all human research data concerning autism spectrum disorders (ASD).

Making Vital Health Information Accessible, Understandable and Actionable – The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has developed “Vital Signs,” a program that dramatically transforms the way scientific information is distilled and released by CDC. It is a dual information initiative that develops customized messages written for professional and lay audiences using scientific data from CDC surveillance programs as the foundation of its messages. The program relates the public health problem, its context, and critical interventions in a simple, straightforward way using plain language that all can readily understand; and then provides the message in many formats and through various outlets, including podcasts, Twitter and Facebook postings, banners, widgets, and Q&A forums, so people of all ages will see, hear, and understand, and will recognize its relevance to their lives.

Light-Emitting Diode Cap Lamp – The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and external partners developed a new mine workers cap lamp, using a special form of illumination, known as light-emitting diodes (LED) that can be programmed or “tuned” to suit individual needs and provide lighting that is superior to the traditional single light beam spot.

Honorable Mention

Increasing and Supporting Tribal Grantees – Facing challenges of constant turnover within Tribal Child Welfare Programs and a desire to increase the number of Tribes applying for title IV-B grants (non-competitive grant for Tribal Child Welfare programs), the Tribal Child Welfare Team within the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) Region VI Children’s Bureau created a solution for improved accessibility to grant funds.

Video Search: An Open-Source Software Tool – The National Library of Medicine (NLM), part of the NIH, has developed unique new software that offers rapid retrieval of medical and public health films created by the U.S. government, including historical materials. The software is based on a combination of open-source and inexpensive commercial tools augmented with speech recognition technology. It solves the challenge of accurately searching digital videos with embedded transcripts, including full-text search and the ability to go immediately to the portion of film where the search word or phrase occurs.

Making Healthy Eating the Easy Choice in Federal Facilities – A collaborative effort by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the General Services Administration (GSA), and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) resulted in comprehensive “Health and Sustainability Guidelines for Federal Concessions and Vending Operations.” These landmark guidelines address both nutritional and environmental impacts of food service while aligning employee health and dietary demands with cafeterias, snack bars, and vending operations.

Read about all of the innovations at the HHSinnovate site.