Following a year of unexpected challenges brought by a once-in-a-generation pandemic, VA’s Office of Information and Technology (OIT) leaders were recognized for rising to the occasion and pivoting to mobilize innovative information technology and digital solutions that enabled seamless delivery of healthcare and other services to Veterans and their families.
Announced Dec. 1, the 2020 FedScoop50 Awards recognized VA Assistant Secretary for Information and Technology and Chief Information Officer James P. Gfrerer as one of its “Golden Gov Executive of the Year” recipients, an honor bestowed following Mr. Gfrerer’s leadership during the rapid mobilization of IT and digital resources that were unexpectedly required as the nation began grappling with coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19).
“Despite this challenge, [Mr.] Gfrerer led his team to quickly shift to enable transformation and change. As one of the largest federal agencies, the VA maneuvered gracefully to telework, during the pandemic,” FedScoop50 Awards administrators said.
In addition to Mr. Gfrerer’s recognition, several other OIT leaders and team-members were honored by FedScoop, including Charles Worthington, VA’s Chief Technology Officer, who received a “Federal Leadership of the Year” award. Mr. Worthington led technology and design teams during COVID-19 mobilization at VA that produced immediate solutions for Veterans and clinicians, including a COVID-19 chatbot that supported Veterans’ ability to safely access healthcare information during limited access to VA facilities caused by the pandemic.
FedScoop also recognized Thomas Osborne, MD, director of VA’s National Center for Collaborative Healthcare Innovation, as “Tech Champion of the Year.” Dr. Osborne leads teams of researchers, technologists and clinicians that are developing emerging tech solutions to accelerate effective treatments for Veterans. In 2020, Dr. Osborne succeeded in implementing the first 5G-enabled hospital in California, which gives doctors the potential for more flexibility in treating patients, including those contending with COVID-19.
In a nod to VA’s next generation of IT leaders, FedScoop 50 also recognized Chad Oglesbee, Director of Mobile Technology and Endpoint Security Engineering, with the “Most Inspiring Up and Comer” award. Mr. Oglesbee and his team performed critical tele-work expansion duties as VA pivoted thousands of workers to remote status during COVID-19, said FedScoop50’s awards administrators.
In total, this year’s VA award recipients embodied Secretary Wilkie’s commitment to delivering exceptional customer service to our nation’s Veterans, their families, and caregivers, through VA’s digital transformation.
Our commitment to digital and IT transformation is shaped by daily dedication to customer service and the close collaboration of our workforce, managers, and leaders. Ready to join us in improving Veterans’ care? Check out all current information and technology career opportunities on DigitalVA. You can also contact VA’s Office of the Chief Human Capital Officer at 512-326-6600, Monday thru Friday, 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. CST or by submitting a resume to VACareers@va.gov.