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‘Sammies’ finalists honored for impressive work as federal employees

“Sammie” isn’t Uncle Sam’s nickname, but it does represent him well.

The name is short for the Samuel J. Heyman Service to America Medal, awarded each year to federal employees with impressive accomplishments. Heyman was the founder of the Partnership for Public Service and served as chairman from its start in September 2001 until his death in November 2009. He also was chairman of the roofing material company GAF Corp. and an astute businessman who understood the need for good government.

The Sammies honor him and the workers who make government good in so many ways. The partnership released the names of the award finalists as part of Public Service Recognition Week, which began Sunday.

“When you hear the breadth and variety of the Sammies finalists’ accomplishments, you understand why they deserve to be honored,” said Max Stier, president and chief executive of the partnership. “Federal employees excel in areas ranging from agriculture and food safety to education and public health. Their work not only serves this country, but countries and people around the world.”

That work saves lives.

Among the many accomplishments: improving tests for the toxicity of household and workplace chemicals, demonstrating that the body’s immune system can be used to fight cancer, protecting people from major earthquakes and battling Ebola in West Africa.

Read more in the Federal Diary.