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Office of Resolution Management, Diversity & Inclusion (ORMDI)


Diversity & Inclusion Excellence Awards

Secretary’s Diversity and Inclusion Excellence Awards

The Secretary’s Annual Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) Awards Program was established in 1988 to recognize EEO achievements associated with legally protected classes established by EEO laws. In fiscal year (FY) 2009, the program was redesigned as “The Secretary’s Diversity and Inclusion Excellence Awards Program.” 

The criteria for selection in furthering the goals of diversity and inclusion are based on individuals’ and teams’ demonstrated efforts in growing a diverse, high-performing workforce that reflects all segments of our society and values all aspects of our human diversity; cultivating an inclusive work environment and creating an engaged organization that leverages diversity and empowers all contributors; and facilitating outstanding, responsive public service.

Congratulations to the winners! Please visit the Secretary’s Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) Excellence Awards webpage for information about that separate awards program.

Eleventh Annual Awards

  • Crystal Warning, Chief Strategy and Planning Officer, William S. Middleton        Memorial Veterans Hospital, VHA (Manager/Supervisor)
  • Tiffani Wilson, Management Analyst, Seattle Regional Office, VBA        (Nonsupervisory Employee)
  • Dr. Maurice Endsley Jr., Psychologist, VA Northern California Health Care        System, VHA (EEO/D&I Practitioner)
  • Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee (DEIC) John D. Dingell VA Medical       Center, VHA (Team) Members: Zenia Berry, Demetrice Ferguson, Fred L. Harris        III, Joy Inniss-Johnson, Edgar Molina, Wendy Myers-Cromwell and Eleanor Shaw

Tenth Annual Awards

  • James Leahy, Executive Director, Veterans Canteen Service Central Office, VHA        (Manager/Supervisor)
  • Heather Michelle Owens, Executive Secretary to the Associate Director for        Operations, Jonathan M. Wainwright Memorial VA Medical Center, VHA        (Nonsupervisory Employee)
  • Dr. Kaela Joseph, Staff Psychologist, San Francisco VA Health Care System,        VHA (EEO/D&I Practitioner)
  • Development, Security and Operations Chief of Staff Office Team, OIT (Team)       Members: Renee McDonald, Gail Bovy, Darryl Dunlap, Sheila Crowe, Michael        Salazar, Kelly Bonser, and Jason Griesbaum


Ninth Annual Awards

  • David Isaacks, Executive Director, Kansas City VA Medical Center, VHA      (Manager/Supervisor)
  • Dr. Donna Price, Clinical Psychologist, Phoenix VA Health Care System, VHA      (Nonsupervisory Employee)
  • Latoria Thompson, Equal Employment Opportunity Program Manager, Columbia      VA Health Care System, VHA (EEO/D&I Practitioner)
  • Office of Community Care (OCC) EEO)/D&I Team, VHA (Team) Members:       Brenda Smith, Kharis Blocker, Martha Tyson, Curtis Freeman, Makeeba      Charstaon, Sally Winfrey, Elisha Houston, Curtis Calnin, Christopher Sipe,      Estoria Moore, Joseph S. Williams Jr., Keith Baber, Thomas Booth, Nicholas      Literski, Chelsea L. Harris, Kolynn Traynor, David S. DiGiacomo, Kimberly      Gardiner, Travonia Estes, Mellalisha Brasley, Ar'Tee Franklin, and Philip Dugan

Eighth Annual Awards

  • Gail Graham, Director, VA Central Iowa Health Care System, VHA      (Manager/Supervisor)
  • Dr. Gayle lwamasa, National Mental Health Quality Improvement and      Implementation Consultant, Office of Mental Health and Suicide Prevention,      VHA (Nonsupervisory Employee)
  • Healthcare Leadership Talent Institute, VHA (Team) Members: Christopher A.      Adams, David C. Austin, Richard J. Bruce, Rhonda P. Carter, Annette M. Childs,      Cathy L. Culpepper, TaNeil N. James, Dione D. Madison, Ronald F. Massey Jr.,      Brenda G. McCoy, Evelyn M. McFadden-Freeman, Catherine E. Morgan,      Alexandria P. Powell, Lisa A. Red, Bradley S. Reed, Carlos J. Rodriguez, Danica      Schill, Amber E. Sears, and Magdalena M. Veigl

Seventh Annual Awards

  • Fernando O. Rivera, Medical Center Director, Southeast Louisiana Veterans      Health Care System, VHA (Manager/Supervisor)
  • James W. Zipadelli, Technical Writer, Office of Construction & Facilities      Management (Nonsupervisory Employee)
  • Alaina Taylor, Administrative Officer, Behavioral Health Service, Mann-Grandstaff      VA Medical Center, VHA (Equal Employment Opportunity or Diversity and      Inclusion Practitioner)
  • VA Western New York Healthcare System, Health Equity Committee, VHA      (Team) Members: Dr. Ursuline Bankhead, Fern Beavers, Michelle Alt, Dr. Joshua      Malecki, Shamale McMillan, Joyelle Hackett, Carol Griffith, and Terence McGuire

Sixth Annual Awards

  • Mary Allen Austria Lausman, Administrative Officer, Physical Medicine and      Rehabilitation Service, Gainesville VA Medical Center, VHA (Manager/Supervisor)
  • Monica Jones, Patient Services Assistant, Jackson VA Medical Center, VHA      (Nonsupervisory Employee)
  • Kara Merendo, EEO Manager, Workforce Management and Consulting,      EEO/Affirmative Employment Office, VHA (EEO/D&I Practitioner)
  • VA Mid-Atlantic Health Care Network VISN 6 Transgender Treatment Team,      VHA (Team) Members: Dr. John Hall, Dr. Stephanie Muff, Dr. Nancy Furst, Dr. Lisa      Israel, Dr. Audrey Atkinson, Dr. Kristie Earnheart, Dr. Kara Felton, Dr. Lorraine      Gauthier, Ms. Tiffany Hall, Dr. Elizabeth Howarth, Dr. Simone Hunter, Ms. Casie      Miltz, Dr. Amy Smith, Dr. Keisha Smith, and Ms. Rebecca Anne Stickel

Fifth Annual Awards

  • Audrey Oatis-Newsome, Director, Equal Employment Opportunity/Affirmative      Employment Program, VHA (Manager/Supervisor)
  • Maria Heliana Ramirez, LGBT Staff and Allies Special Emphasis Program      Manager, VA Palo Alto Health Care System, Menlo Park Division, VHA      (Nonsupervisory Employee)
  • Southern Arizona VA Health Care System Gathering of Healers Program      Planning Team, VHA (Team) Members: Mark Besich, George Campbell, Sharon      Hammond, Karen Hebda, Bruce Kafer, Curtis Kekahbah, Rex Kinsey, Katherine      Kretschmer, Cindy Mapelli, and Phyllis Spears

Fourth Annual Awards

  • Perdita Johnson-Abercrombie, Equal Employment Opportunity Manager, NCA      (Manager/Supervisor)
  • Dr. Leslie R. M. Hausmann, Research Health Scientist, Center for Health Equity      Research and Promotion, VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System, VHA (Nonsupervisory      Employee)
  • VISN 8 Diversity & Inclusion Sub-Committee, St. Petersburg, Florida, VHA      (Team) Members: Patricia Donaldson, Shelly Flanagin, Patricia Hawk (Co-Chair),      Gealdina Irvine, Edwin Johnson, Mary Allen Austria Lausman, Shella Miller (Co-      Chair), Sheila O'Hara, and Tonya Wieck

Third Annual Awards

  • Rory A. Cooper, VA Senior Research Career Scientist and Director, Human      Engineering Research Laboratories, VA Center of Excellence in Wheelchairs and      Associated Rehabilitation Engineering, VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System, VHA      (Manager/Supervisor)
  • Laura Johnson, Clinical Psychologist, Director of Diversity Services, and      Transgender Veteran Liaison, Edith Nourse Rogers Memorial Veterans Hospital,      VHA (Nonsupervisory Employee)
  • The Equal Employment Opportunity Committee, Harry S. Truman Memorial      Veterans's Hospital, Veterans Health Administration (Team) Members: Machelle      Dykstra, Leigh Anne Fleck, Vicki J. Freelon, L. Stephen Gaither, James E. Grady,      Sara Hake, Veronica Ramnarine, Darlayna Scott, Annette Velasco, Michael E.      Whittier, and Paula D. Williams

Second Annual Awards

  • Terry Gerigk Wolf, Director, VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System, VHA      (Manager/Supervisor)
  • Novella Brown Scott, Vocational Rehabilitation Specialist, Mental Health-      Residential Rehabilitation Treatment Program, Central Alabama Veterans Health      Care System, VHA (Nonsupervisory Employee)
  • VISN 16 Diversity Advisory Committee, South Central VA Health Care Network,      VHA (Team)

First Annual Awards

  • Adam Walmus, Director, Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center in Houston,      Texas (Manager/Supervisor)
  • Jeanette Goff, Medical Support Assistant, VA Sierra Nevada Health Care System,      Veterans Health Administration (Nonsupervisory Employee)
  • Office of Health Information Management, Medical Record Technicians Unit,      Charles George VA Medical Center in Asheville, North Carolina (Team) Ryl      Giacchetta accepted on behalf of the Team

Diversity & Inclusion Section Pages

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