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Department of Health Announces Recipients of Governor’s Awards for Excellence


Harrisburg, PA - Governor Tom Wolf today announced the recipients of the Governor’s Awards for Excellence, which includes a group from the Department of Health. Recipients from the department were part of the COVID-19 vaccine team. 

Members of the team recognized with the award include Thomas McCleaf, Jennifer Bixler, Sarah Edge, Jennie Harpster-Basiago, Christy Scheidler, Daniel Bechtel, David Mattiko, Kristine Rosancrans and Robert Kobilis. 

“I am very proud of this teams’ work which directly contributed to saving countless lives in Pennsylvania,” Acting Secretary of Health Dr. Denise Johnson said. “Their tireless efforts to adapt to challenges while keeping up with the COVID-19 vaccination roll-out, on top of their regular duties, is an inspiration to us all.” 

Beginning in October 2020, the COVID-19 vaccine team enrolled thousands of COVID-19 vaccine providers throughout Pennsylvania in preparation of the vaccine’s release in December of that year.   

In just over a year, the vaccine team facilitated the distribution of nearly 11.5 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine throughout Pennsylvania. That number is the equivalent of seven times the output of vaccines in a year of its normal program operations, which they were simultaneously managing. 

The reporting of immunizations in Pennsylvania by providers is typically voluntary, however, the mandatory reporting of the COVID-19 vaccine required the team to process an unprecedented amount of data to be shared with the public. Approximately 18 million vaccine administrations are reported to date, thanks to the vaccine team’s commitment to supporting the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and improving data quality to inform public health action.  

The Governor’s Awards for Excellence recognize commonwealth employees for exemplary job performance or service that reflects initiative, leadership, innovation and/or increased efficiency. A total of 50 employees from 12 agencies received awards for accomplishments in 2021. 


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