Two of the Indian Health Service’s many dedicated and talented engineers were recognized during the United States Public Health Service Engineer Category Awards Ceremony.
The annual award ceremony coincides with National Engineers Week to recognize the role of U.S. Public Health Service engineers who create safer, healthier and more productive environments in which to live and work.
Capt. Steven Raynor, acting deputy director of the IHS Headquarters Division of Facilities Planning and Construction, was named IHS Engineer of the Year for his work in planning direct service health care facility construction. He analyzes population demographics to determine the required number of medical exam rooms, dental chairs, and spaces for pharmacy, imaging, wellness, eye care, audiology, etc. for new healthcare facilities. His contribution is vital in providing state-of-the-art facilities to meet the healthcare needs of American Indians and Alaska Natives.
Lt. Melissa de Vera, IHS Bemidji Area field engineer, received the Rear Adm. Jerrold M. Michael Award, for her service, demonstrated leadership and outreach that has impacted the next generation of US Public Health Service Commissioned Corps engineers through her role leading the Engineer Professional Advisory Committee (EPAC) Connectors and through her informal mentoring of other young engineers. She has supported collaborative learning and engagement that has improved the work of other engineers in her office and the delivery of the public health program where she is stationed.
USPHS engineers design, construct and provide technical assistance to local operators of water supply and waste disposal systems serving Native American homes and communities. They also manage a wide array of facility design, constructions, renovation, operation and maintenance activities in Indian country and at PHS research/laboratory and public health centers.
Rear Adm. Randall Gardner is the chief engineer of the United States Public Health Service and works for the Indian Health Service Headquarters Office of Environmental Health and Engineering. He is a graduate of Howard University and the George Washington University.