The nonprofit, nonpartisan Partnership for Public Service announced in late May the 2019 Samuel J. Heyman Service to America Medal (Sammies) finalists – 26 federal employees and teams from more than 20 federal agencies and 15 states as well as Washington, D.C. and Haiti.

The Sammies have earned a reputation as the premier awards program recognizing America’s best in government.

“Following the longest government shutdown in history, it’s imperative that we celebrate and recognize the important and critical work of our nation’s civil servants,” said Max Stier, president and CEO of the Partnership for Public Service. “The 2019 Service to America Medalsshowcase our remarkable federal workforce who serve the public good and address many of the country’s greatest challenges.”

The 2019 finalists’ achievements include pioneering and perfecting a modeling program that predicts where people lost at sea will be found, cutting search and rescue times and saving thousands of lives; implementing facial recognition systems that simplify and fortify airport security; developing a way to quickly locate and assist chronic healthcare patients who are at risk of losing life-sustaining equipment due to widespread power outages; and uncovering and prosecuting the largest bribery and corruption scandal in the history of the U.S. Navy.

Other finalists include those who have revolutionized scientific research and our understanding of the long-term effects of concussions in veterans and athletes; transformed the historic Kennedy Space Center into a globally distinguished multiuser launch site for government and commercial space exploration; discovered six different genetic origins of kidney cancer and provided the foundation for the development of targeted therapies that have saved thousands of lives; and strengthened our nation’s defenses against nuclear and radioactive threats by developing performance standards and tests for detection systems that screen nearly 7 million cargo containers entering U.S. seaports each year.

Read more and vote for the People’s Choice award