September 30, 2020 Press Release Governor Tom Wolf today praised the recipients of the Governor’s Awards for Excellence for 2019 and thanked all state employees for their dedication to public service.“Today, we are recognizing the extraordinary accomplishments of commonwealth employees in service to their fellow Pennsylvanians,” said Governor Wolf. “They have demonstrated innovation, work ethic, self-sacrifice, and compassion for others at the highest levels. The positive impacts of their efforts will be felt for many years to come.”“The Governor’s Awards for Excellence celebrate the best among us as state employees,” said Secretary of Administration Michael Newsome. “I want to congratulate all of our nominees for their exceptional contributions.”Twenty-one state agencies submitted a total of 124 nominations prepared by their employees, with five individual and six group nominations selected as winners for this year’s awards.Corporal Adam Kirk – Pennsylvania State PoliceFor extraordinary bravery and sacrifice in the line of duty. Corporal Kirk was shot in the chest while conducting a welfare check at a residence in Tioga County in December 2019. Despite being severely wounded, Corporal Kirk and two Troopers maintained a perimeter outside the residence until back up and medical assistance arrived, preventing the assailant from fleeing and possibly harming others.Troop A Community Enforcement Team – Pennsylvania State PoliceTrooper Anthony Arbaczewski, Corporal John Isoldi, and Trooper Zachary Del SordoFor conceiving and developing new tactics to combat the opioid crisis and keep illegal guns and weapons out of communities. By proactively cultivating investigative leads and building relationships with other law enforcement agencies, the team has been instrumental in multiple homicide investigations, fugitive apprehensions, and heroin/fentanyl seizures.Greene County Fire Recovery Team – PennDOTWilliam Baird, William Gipe, Christopher Inman, Tamie Kiger, Timothy Mankey, Ryan Medvitz, Terrence Pearsall, Jack Rice, Tammy Tedesco, and Leslie WynnAfter a fire destroyed their offices and maintenance garage, the team mobilized to quickly resume operations from alternate locations and plan for the construction of a new facility, all while continuing to serve the traveling public.Sarah Baker – PennDOTFor leading the effort to make REAL ID-compliant driver licenses and photo ID cards available to Pennsylvanians. She made sure PennDOT’s program complied with applicable laws and regulations, coordinated the construction of five new driver’s license centers, contributed to the design of IT infrastructure to support the program, and conducted extensive research to provide an optimal customer experience.Unemployment Compensation Chat Service Team – Department of Labor and IndustryCharles Ballard, Geoffrey Lanning, Garrett Malick, Ryan Miscavige, Jerrie Lee Moyer, Wendy Peters, Richard Plesnarski, Jennifer Poorman, and Shawn PriceFor developing, testing, and implementing a live chat feature to serve Pennsylvanians contacting unemployment compensation service centers, allowing staff to provide better customer service to claimants, expedite claims processing, and reduce call volumes. Since its launch in July 2019, the chat feature has hosted more than 300,000 UC Live Chats with claimants.Community HealthChoices Team – Department of Human ServicesWilmarie Gonzalez, Jennifer Hale, Michael Hale, Randolph Nolen, Daniel Sharar, Jill Vovakes, and Kristen WiermanFor leading the largest phase of implementation of Community HealthChoices, a program for older Pennsylvanians and individuals with physical disabilities. Their carefully planned coordination and communication with participants, stakeholders, advocates, local officials, and managed care organizations, as well as health care, home care, and long-term care providers, resulted in a successful roll out with no disruptions in care or services.Patient Advocacy Program Team – Department of Health and Office of AdministrationCraig Costigan, Colleen DiVittore, John Krahel, Stanley Murzynski (OA), Tamara Seiler, Jared Shinabery, and Carrie Thomas GoetzFor establishing the Patient Advocacy Program within the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program to assist patients who lose access to care due to the arrest of a provider, surrender of a DEA license, or closure of a clinic. They have provided rapid response for 11 events affecting large patient populations and direct outreach to over 1,060 individuals. They also disseminate alerts to counties when there is an unusually high numbers of drug overdoses.Adam Overmiller – Department of HealthFor developing an innovative geographic information system mapping tool that captures and shares data on the languages people speak. The tool can target communications tailored to populations that lack proficiency in English, allowing agencies to improve their outreach and achieve better outcomes for all Pennsylvanians.Ruffed Grouse Preservation Team – Pennsylvania Game CommissionScott Bearer, Robert Blystone, Jeremy Diehl, David Gustafson, Clayton Lutz, Timothy Hoppe, Daniel Jones, and Lisa WilliamsFor pioneering new strategies to restore habitats essential to the reversal of declining populations of Pennsylvania’s state bird, which has been devastated by the West Nile Virus. By identifying areas capable of supporting ruffed grouse that are also at low risk for the virus, the commission is better able to target its habitat restoration efforts where they are most likely to be successful.Daniel McIntyre – Department of CorrectionsFor implementing multiple innovations in corrections, parole, and reentry. They include using virtual reality technology to help juvenile offenders reentering society after lengthy sentences, working with mentally ill and hospice inmates, and training staff. He also led the use of GPS for low-level drug offenders as an alternative to incarceration or community corrections centers (CCCs) and created job placement and transportation services for reentrants residing at CCCs.Tyler Banas – Department of AgricultureFor stepping in to assist when a non-profit responsible for providing food access to 1.3 million low income Pennsylvanians in Southeastern Pennsylvania suddenly went out of business. Tyler helped the new provider get up to speed with its responsibilities as a distributor, as well as the proper handling of perishable items, all while fulfilling his regular job duties. Governor Wolf Honors 49 State Employees for Excellence in Public Service SHARE Email Facebook Twitter
Melbourne: Prajnesh Gunneswaran’s consistency helped him seal his maiden appearance in the main draw of a Grand Slam by qualifying for the Australian Open men’s singles event here Friday. The 29-year-old from Chennai came from behind to beat Japan’s Yosuke Watanuki 6-7(5), 6-4, 6-4 in the third and final qualifying round. Prajnesh is only third Indian in five years to feature in the men’s singles main draw of a Grand Slam, the other being Somdev Devvarman and Yuki Bhambri. While Yuki played in all four Grand Slams in 2018 before a knee injury cut short his season, Somdev, who is now retired, last played at the 2013 US Open. “It’s obviously huge for me. First time ever in a Grand Slam main draw, something I have always dreamt of. I am really happy, don’t have words to describe it but its big deal for sure,” Prajnesh told PTI. “I am very proud that I stuck to it and put in all this work. I got here much later than most people do. I had the tennis to reach here, now just need to rest and recover for the main draw,” Prajnesh added. Read More | Federer, Djokovic aim for seven-star performance in AustraliaThe Indian has secured himself AUD 40,000 (Rs 20 lakh) for winning three qualifying rounds and at least AUD 75,000 more (approx Rs 38 lakh) as main draw prize purse, which will take care of his major expenses in the 2019 season. Talking about the match, Prajnesh said, “It was nowhere near as good as I wanted it to be. Read More | Murray – challenging the might of Novak Djokovic, Federer and Nadal”I stayed tough mentally and fought really hard. I did not really play too flat; I felt a lot of pressure from the beginning to the end. In between I played very defensive, attacked here and there. It was more a battle of nerves. It was very close, the key was that I stayed tough throughout and I put a lot on the opponent and I did everything possible to find a way to win.” Prajnesh will open his campaign American world number 39 Frances Tiafoe and if he crosses the opening hurdle, he is likely to face fifth seed and Wimbledon finalist Kevin Anderson. “Let’s see how it goes. It will be a tough match, I have to play well.” The Chennai southpaw enjoyed a successful 2018 in which he reached four Challenger-level finals and won two titles. For all the Latest Sports News News, Tennis News News, Download News Nation Android and iOS Mobile Apps.