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2017 Spring Service Matters

Executive Corner

Message from the PSC Director

Acting Director, Al Sample

Welcome to the Spring 2017 issue of Service Matters. PSC continually looks for ways to innovate and improve. One great example of this is providing a consolidated online solution for lab supplies, which you can read all about in this edition. You will also learn about a highly successful small-business acquisition event that our team recently produced. In addition, we have information about our many services that support green practices, the inventive summit we held to improve our fleet services, and the end-user health awareness event at HHS headquarters.

We were proud to support the new administration transition through our FedResponse service with robust, responsive customer support. Our suite of services can improve your business operations and take the burden off your agency, so you can focus on your core mission. I encourage you to browse our wide range of support on psc.gov. Our service directors are available to provide you with any additional information you need about the services you currently use or would like to explore.

We strive to set the standard for leadership in shared services. We take pride in setting HHS policy in areas such as fleet, travel, environmental programs, logistics, printing, mail, and real property. PSC helps conserve government resources and — ultimately — valuable taxpayer dollars.

I wish you a successful third quarter, and please let us know how we can best serve you. Have a beautiful spring, and thank you for your continued support.

Cordially,


Al Sample
Director, Program Support Center


In Action

PSC Hosts IDIQ Small Business Industry Day 2017

Event is a Success for Agencies, Small Businesses, and PSC

idiq-speaker

John Bardis, Assistant Secretary for Administration, HHS, provides opening remarks.

It was a day of working together to achieve common goals. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization (OSDBU) and Program Support Center (PSC) held its inaugural PSC IDIQ Small Business Industry Day 2017 at the Hubert H. Humphrey Building in Washington, D.C., on April 5.

The event provided HHS agencies a unique forum to share ideas in an open dialogue with small business vendors, learn about their capabilities, and network with PSC procurement staff providing support under PSC’s Indefinite Delivery/Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) contract.

Opening remarks were delivered by John Bardis, Assistant Secretary for Administration, HHS; Michelle Street, Ph.D., Deputy Director, HHS OSDBU; and Earl Pinto, Director, PSC Acquisition Management Services. Bardis addressed the importance of small businesses and agency partnerships to support missions, the impact on the U.S. economy, and how PSC is a catalyst for fostering productive collaboration essential for the Department.

“The work that you do in helping to ensure small business gets their fair share of opportunities truly matters, because small businesses are the ones who create jobs,” he said. “What you do every day in working with our team at PSC not only matters, it is essential to job growth.”

“Small businesses are driving our economic growth,” he added. “PSC is the catalyst for us to help you achieve your objectives with small businesses. PSC awarded $225 million last year under its IDIQ contract. To your credit in working with the PSC team, we made 43 percent of awards to small business last year, exceeding our target of 35 percent. We reduced our lead time from 120-plus days for award to 60-90 days, because speed matters. The fact that our team and its customers working together can create speed to market through awarding of contracts and the resulting capital outflows, matters in creating jobs rapidly and accelerating growth. .. I am honored to be part of your team.”

This conference also included sessions focused on services available under PSC’s IDIQ contract and facilitated meetings for HHS agencies to meet firsthand with many of the small business awardees. Services under PSC’s IDIQ contract include: policy assessments/analysis, program assessments, evaluation design efforts, evaluations and data collection, performance measurement, technical assistant/expertise, data analysis, and auxiliary/support services.

An overview of the PSC IDIQ procurement landscape was presented by Dwight Deneal, Team Lead, Small Business Specialist, OSDBU, and a panel discussion entitled, “Conversation with the Contracting Officer,” was moderated by Patrick Joy, Head of Contracting Activity, PSC; along with panelists Contracting Officers Jennifer Eskandari and Ryan Collins. Finally, there was a matchmaking session which provided an opportunity for agency program staff to meet one-on-one with small business staff and discuss mission needs and capabilities.

idiq-meetup

Small business representatives meet with HHS agency staff during the matchmaking session.

Win-Win Situation

Participants — including Anita Samarth and Nicole Kemper with Clinovations Government + Health, a women-owned small business on the PSC IDIQ — said they found the event to be valuable.

“It’s always helpful to get a government-wide and agency-wide perspective on timing, what’s coming down the pike, particularly in light of the new administration change,” said Samarth. “It was also nice to get all the small businesses in one room. We reached out to other small businesses that we’ve maybe seen and interacted with to meet each other. So we like that because it’s a small sort of invite-only venue. I liked that there were some recommendations in a public forum about things like debriefings, sources sought, and feedback. That’s really important from a small business standpoint.”

“We think that qualified small businesses can help agencies exceed its small business goal and be a shining star in terms of use of small business participation. So hopefully we have more of these events so that we can encourage and give access to small businesses that are qualified,” said Kemper.

Kemper added, “What worked particularly well here are those meetings where we had someone from a contracts office perspective from PSC and someone from within the agency that actually does the work. So it was a nice partnership. That’s what I would say was probably the best.”

Muriel Richardson, Administration for Children and Families, Office of Head Start, said, “It was beneficial to meet a lot of the vendors whose names we see on the IDIQ. We met some folks who have contracts with us who were awarded the IDIQ vehicles and also to learn about other vendors on the list who may be a good fit for some solicitation down the road….Everyone today had an opportunity to walk away with something. They walked away richer than when they came in. So overall I think it was great. We were very happy to participate.”

In-Person Interactions Prove Rewarding

“We had a much better understanding of the services they provide, and that evolves as a result of a conversation,” added Richardson. “There were some very candid questions, folks really want to learn and be in a space where they can provide a better proposal. We had one gentleman who asked us tell us what they can do better to meet our needs and so we had a very nice conversation over his very sincere desire to improve and be more competitive. I felt many appreciated the opportunity to be here today. Some folks were from far away like California and other states so it was nice they took the time out of their busy schedules. It’s also very beneficial to reconnect with our PSC contracting specialists.”

Her colleague, Marcia Carter, added: “The setup helped support today’s purpose. Having us all interact face-to-face was very beneficial for the program side and clients. It was good to provide some support and advice for those who were asking questions and better ways to propose for future solicitations.”

Audrey MirskyAshby, Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation, said, “One thing I talked with all the small businesses about was the HHS contracts forecast, where all the offices post what they’re planning to do. So it’s an opportunity for people to understand that. I think this event gives us the chance to talk with people and have a conversation that otherwise probably wouldn’t happen.”

“I think there’s a lot to be gained by meeting people. I knew some of the people who were coming and I tried to look up some information about them. So I would say I learned a lot about their capabilities. It was a great way to really learn more about what people are doing and to help my office make some connections. We take our small business goals seriously.”

Samarth added: “There was great engagement. Some agencies told us about upcoming procurements. One of them we work with gave us great feedback about ‘this is what we tend to put through PSC; this is what we tend to not put through.’ So having that one-on-one ability to have conversations helps us understand why something would come through, and to make contacts was helpful.”

Gerard Smart, Office of National Coordinator, noted, “This helps to get a better understanding about a lot of these contractors that do government business, and to help give more work to these small businesses. I think it’s beneficial from my perspective and a success for us. By collecting their capabilities statements we have a repository that our program offices can access to see if it fits their requirements. That’s how we can engage the small business office and try to push contracts to them. It was good on both sides. The person I spoke with wasn’t aware that some of our program offices are looking for contractors to do the type of work she does, so once I get back to the office I am going to connect her with those leaders.”

His colleague, Tracy Mock, agreed: “I liked the face-to-face interaction, as opposed to everyone virtual these days. There’s no substitute for that.”

Check out all the photos from the event at the PSC IDIQ Small Business Industry Day 2017 photo gallery.

 

Features

PSC a Finalist for HHS IDEA Lab Ventures Funding

Did you know that PSC is one of only seven finalists competing for HHS IDEA Lab Ventures Funding? There were 39 applicants — a new record! This is a three-part competition, and PSC is one of only seven applicants competing in the third and final round.

logo: H.H.S. Idea Lab

HHS Ventures Fund

The HHS Ventures Fund invests in and supports bold ideas to transform HHS operations. The PSC team has made it to the final round with the top seven competing groups and presented their innovative project to a panel of HHS judges on February 17.

The Idea

The team’s initiative, called Streamlining Acquisitions for Lab Supplies, is about improving the business of lab supply chain management by using PSC procurement vehicles and leveraging automation. Currently, HHS users procure lab supplies through a multitude of mechanisms and sources — totaling about $300 million per year. The idea is to make buying lab supplies easier by providing a one-stop shop for purchasing laboratory supplies for HHS using an Amazon.com-type procurement and delivery model.

PSC would create a number of IDIQ (Indefinite Delivery, Indefinite Quantity) contracts with pre-negotiated best pricing and terms and conditions for lab supplies, and load that data in an Amazon.com infrastructure. HHS users would have access to the lowest possible pricing since all the demand would come through one place. The benefits would include lower costs, shorter lead and order cycle time, a simplified process, and aggregate orders. PSC can leverage its expertise in supply chain management, acquisitions management, as well as shared services with economies of scale for lab supplies.

The Team

PSC project team members include: Lori Frederick, Director, Supply Chain Management Services, PSC; Mark Burchess, Deputy Director, Supply Chain Management Services, PSC; Doris Gibson, Director, Office of Acquisition Program Support; Patrick Joy, Head of Contract Activity, PSC; and Jd Walter, Director of Customer Relationship Management, PSC. Project champions include Al Sample, Director, PSC; Bill McCabe, Chief Financial Officer, PSC; and Mike Saunders, Director, Real Estate and Logistics Portfolio, PSC.

For more information, visit the HHS IDEA Lab Ventures Fund website.

Learn more about PSC’s Medical Supply Fulfillment service and explore how PSC can support your agency by visiting the Medical Supply Fulfillment web page

 

PSC Answers Call with Concierge Support for Transition Staff

PSC has been providing timely and responsive customer service for incoming HHS executive transition staff with a comprehensive hotline service — using their signature ingenuity for an inexpensive, yet effective solution.

a flip phone, pen, paper, and carrying case.

The simple and inexpensive tools of the trade for the PSC concierge hotline service — a basic flip phone and knowledge base on paper.

PSC’s FedResponse service team has provided the support since Inauguration Day to answer just about any question that the transition staff may have. It has all been done by utilizing an inexpensive mobile phone.

“It’s a true concierge type service,” said Lori Ruderman, Director, PSC FedResponse Services. “We handle any question to help with their needs. If they need desk lamps, pencil sharpeners, training, whatever it may be.”

With no funding available for this service and needing to support the concierge program from their existing budget, Lori’s team got creative. The solution ended up being a simple flip phone with no HHS systems access and no data plan so that it does not have to be issued to a single person with a login requirement. A government-issued smartphone is tied to an individual and requires a secure log in; making it difficult to transfer back and forth between coverage staff.

A toll-free number was issued and assigned to the flip-phone. The team also keeps a small paper knowledge bank with contact information. Everything is self-contained in a small bag with pen and paper so the hotline can be handed off easily among coverage staff. Instead of an expensive, high-tech call center service that can run about $100,000, PSC’s solution only costs $23 a month. “We’ve been able to cover this in an extremely cost-effective way,” said Ruderman.

The service began with 24 hours a day/seven days a week coverage starting on January 20, 2017, and PSC has handled over 200 tickets since the inauguration. In the beginning, the volume was around 25 to 30 calls per day. Over time, the demand began to settle down. Once the volume stabilized, at around two to three calls per day, the service hours were adjusted to 7 a.m. to 9 p.m., Monday through Friday, based on the demand trends.

The team logs details of each call so that the data can be used for future requirements. In addition, they submit a daily report to the Division of Administration with details of their call activity and the status of any open tickets. Since the recent inauguration, around 45 staff have been in a staging area at HHS headquarters before going to their permanent duty locations. Approximately 15 more are expected, after going through the appointment process.

H.H.S. Executive Hotline Pie Chart showing 1 percent badging, 3 percent transit, 3 percent transportation, 8 percent general assistance, 9 percent H.R., 11 percent Supplies, and 65 percent I.T.

Various Types of Calls, Support

Calls have ranged from IT (majority) to supplies, conference lines, ITAS, parking, and transit. “In the beginning, we were getting every kind of question,” said Ruderman. “The onboarding executives gradually settled in and we made changes in response to the types of calls we received. We’ve learned to stock the space with paper so they don’t run out. We learned what types of questions they were asking. We had multiple questions for shuttle information, so we posted that information in multiple areas within the transition space.”

“We had a lot of questions about the transit subsidy in the beginning. Jamie Cooke, PSC Transit Subsidy and HHS Fleet Operations Manager, went down to the transition space and trained people on transit subsidy benefits and the calls stopped. So if we see a lot of questions on one topic, we put resources in place to address the issue.”

For an IT issue, callers get an immediate face-to-face response within minutes. “We have a partnership with the IT support staff assigned to the transition team and they also know to call us if they see anything that regularly happens that may spike calls,” said Ruderman.

PSC supported the build-out of the landing space and this service came as a result of a planning meeting with Division of Administration staff. “We are living our PSC values including simplicity, partnership, and curiosity, with this service,” said Ruderman.

To get the word out, the hotline information has been posted all over the transition space, on every cubicle, every available wall, and over the copier. “If they have trouble printing — oh, I can call the hotline,” said Ruderman. “And they’re taking the number with them. Many have transitioned to their more permanent workspaces and they’re still calling.”

Lessons Learned, Continuous Improvement

Staff received binders including information about onboarding, their agency, and HHS as whole. “I envision providing iPad type tablets in the future with everything that an executive needs pre-loaded, possibly with Siri–type capability,” Ruderman said.

“We’re going to use this data in four or eight years when we’re preparing for the next big transition. We’re going to be able to go back and say ‘OK, this is what we experienced; these are the type of calls we got.’ So we can maybe head off the majority of calls next time based on the trends we see this time.”

For phase two, once staff get in their permanent landing place, the long-term plan is to transition the hotline to a broader concierge service for PSC executive-level customers.

Ensuring the phone is answered 100 percent of the time is critical. “We have to keep in mind connectivity for areas like parking garages, and making adaptations when in noisy spaces,” said Ruderman. “If a caller gets voicemail even once, they may not trust the hotline for support. Our first priority is to keep our customers happy.”

Learn more about PSC’s FedResponse service and explore how PSC can support your agency by visiting the FedResponse web page.

 

Trending Now

Applying Green Practices to Value-Added Services

 

PSC continues to champion green and sustainable practices, demonstrate leadership, and add value to our services. PSC takes pride in making significant progress in cutting carbon pollution, improving energy efficiency, reducing harmful greenhouse gas emissions, and conserving water.

The federal government is the largest energy user in the nation and must lead by example. It is everyone's duty at the workplace and at home to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and conserve water. PSC remains strongly committed to the efficient operation, design, and build-out of buildings and data centers.

PSC has been recognized with several HHS Green Champion Awards. In conjunction with Earth Day in April, PSC is leading Earth Day events from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. at 5600 Fishers Lane in Rockville, MD on April 20, and at Hubert H. Humphrey Building in Washington, DC on April 25.

Contact gogreen@hhs.gov for more information regarding the Earth Day events or the service highlights.

Service Highlights

Go Green Get Healthy

PSC leads the HHS Sustainability Program, called “Go Green Get Healthy,” working with the operating divisions and staff divisions to incorporate green practices. PSC can provide assistance to help you develop and promote your green business line. The team is also working on an electric car energy policy.

 

Acquisitions

PSC’s acquisitions service continues to acquire green/sustainable products and services, helping all our customers achieve their sustainable goals. The team focuses on training contracting officers in this evolving and changing initiative, with emphasis on educating our customers. We’ve established controls and other monitoring features to give added support to the contracting officers. This includes conducting quarterly reviews of contract data for compliance with sustainable acquisition requirements. We have continued to enthusiastically meet the sustainable requirements of HHS and executive orders.

 

Facilities Operations and Maintenance

Robert High of the facilities operations and maintenance staff has worked at 5600 Fishers Lane for the past 28 years leading the PSC energy management program. During this time, he has implemented a large number of energy- and water-saving initiatives to reduce utility costs for his customers: HHS as a whole and, of course, the American taxpayer. Over the years, the utility savings from Robert's work have totaled more than several million dollars.

As Energy Manager, Robert worked with JBG management to obtain a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) rating for 5600 Fishers Lane. This is one of the most popular green building certification programs used worldwide, and is developed by the non-profit U.S. Green Building Council

LEED-certified buildings are resource efficient. They use less water and energy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. As an added bonus, they save money. The target rating is Platinum, the highest rating available. 5600 Fishers Lane achieved LEED Platinum status for core and shell certification, and Energy Star building certification with a 96 baseline score. On average, Energy Star certified buildings use 35 percent less energy and cause 35 percent fewer greenhouse gas emissions than similar buildings.

 

Shredding Program

PSC helps customers securely recycle sensitive documents with the PSC Shredding Program. The program has locked containers in 32 buildings plus the NIH campus. PSC shredding services has been essential to HHS organizations going through a move. For example, the service shredded and recycled 57,000 pounds (28 tons) of paper in 2016 for the PSC headquarters consolidation to Bethesda Place.

PSC's document destruction service, shredding, offers an environmentally friendly, reliable, convenient, and state-of-the-art process that ensures sensitive paper materials remain secure from the time of collection until destruction. PSC shreds 30,000 to 50,000 pounds of paper per month. Robyn Evans leads the service.

 

Personal Property Disposal

Personal property disposal includes collection, classification, interagency transfer, donation documentation, and disposal services for most surplus government equipment. Disposals are conducted in accordance with all regulatory and environmental requirements. Media, disk, and electronics destruction services are offered to ensure that proprietary, personal, or sensitive information is appropriately handled. Employees can turn in any type of government-owned electronic media. Items may include BlackBerrys, cell phones, computer hard drives, CDs, magnetic tapes, and IT security tokens. The items are shredded so data cannot be retrieved. The electronic waste is recycled. Kyle Lewis leads the service.

 

Personal Property Management

Personal property management partnered with the U.S. Postal Service’s Federal Recycling Program. The program provides HHS employees the option to recycle personally owned electronic property and used printer cartridges for free. The program is available to HHS employees across the nation. Property managers can also use the program to responsibly recycle government-owned electronic assets at no cost — an excellent option for remote sites. More information is available on the HHS@Work website Federal Recycling Program and at fedrecycling.com. Phil Lynah leads the service.

 

Printing Program Management

Printing program management helps agencies realize the benefits of printing less by focusing on low paper-consumption solutions and providing customers with options such as electronic documents (eBooks) and digital document conversion. PSC also works hand in hand with customers to publish printed media online. James Helton leads the service.

When a printed piece is necessary, PSC can also help customers design and produce a piece that is "greener" — utilizing recycled paper products and vegetable-based inks. PSC provides copy paper nationwide. Advantages include that the paper is 30 percent recycled content, PSC stores it, and can deliver the same day which cuts down on emissions from multiple delivery trucks coming to the buildings.

PSC also has a recyclable envelope program that is better for the environment at the same price as our previous envelope program. PSC's mail and publishing services is undertaking an initiative to use eco-friendly bio-preferred envelopes. The move has several benefits, including saving costs, and using a "green" practice to save trees and preserve various environmental resources.

 

Fleet Management

HHS Fleet Manager Jamie Cooke of fleet operations works with the HHS sustainability team to reduce the carbon-dioxide emission footprint with sustainable fleet planning and policy. They are reducing the volume of petroleum products each year by driving smarter — using alternative fuel vehicles and public transportation and combining trips. They have implemented electric vehicle programs and an aggressive program to use ethanol in dual-fuel vehicles.

HHS is executing a telematics trail program involving almost 300 fleet units in nearly every HHS deployment environment. The purpose of this approach is to actually use telematics in fleet programs all across the United States to gauge the impacts of new technology on safety, efficiency, and sustainability, along with new compliance mandates regarding greenhouse-gas reduction.

 

Transit Subsidy Program Management

Transit subsidy program management encourages employee use of mass transit, vanpools, and bikes through distribution of transit subsidy and Bike2Work benefits, thus reducing emissions and highway congestion. Distribution is handled via electronic reloadable fare media, the GO!card®.

 

Real Property Policy & Strategy

Real property policy and strategy provides HHS-wide real property portfolio policy development, and utilization and compliance oversight under the authority of the HHS Senior Real Property Officer and the HHS Senior Sustainability Officer. It is done in accordance with executive orders, laws, regulation and government-wide policy. PSC is committed to the implementation of common strategies for planning, acquiring, siting, designing, building, operating, and maintaining high-performance and sustainable buildings. Alfred Cypress leads this service.

 

Space Design & Construction

Space design and construction helps agencies with space design and construction management and assists federal agency customers in acquiring new space and reconfiguring space in U.S. General Services Administration owned and leased space. This office is committed to federal leadership in the design, construction, and operation of high-performance and sustainable space, based on the federal Guiding Principles for High Performance Green Buildings. Daniel Hennessey leads this service.

 

Federal Real Property Assistance Program

Federal Real Property Assistance Program transfers applicable federal surplus real properties to states and local units of government, and 501(c)(3) tax-exempt nonprofit organizations, to be used for various public health programs, including homeless assistance programs. The team also monitors and oversees the proper use of the property after it is transferred. This can include ensuring that reuse of the property has environmental benefits such as reducing the carbon footprint, less pollution, and cleaner water.

For example, on December 20, 2016, the Federal Real Property Assistance Program transferred 6.387 acres of property located at 335 Western Highway, Tappan, New York, to the Town of Orangetown. The town will remove approximately 20,000 square feet of impervious surfaces (paved asphalt) and re-vegetate the area. The town will also construct a two-stage water quality basin, approximately 5-acre feet in volume.

The basin will treat and temporarily support a drainage area of approximately 20 acres consisting of roadways, homes, driveways, lawns, and wooded areas. It will be designed to remove approximately 80 percent of phosphorous, 40 percent nitrogen, 100 percent suspended solids, 20 percent chlorides, and 60 percent fecal coliform. Overall, the transfer will benefit the community by eliminating impervious surfaces, improve storm water attenuation, improve water quality to the Sparkhill Creek, and reduce downstream flooding.

 

Environmental Health and Safety

Environmental health and safety provides technical consultation, on-site support, and training services to help partner agencies comply with safety and environmental regulatory requirements. They respond to safety, environmental, or health incidents to provide workplace employee exposure assessments and job-hazard analyses of chemical, biological, and physical hazards. Services are provided by expert consultants with the experience needed to anticipate, evaluate, and control hazards in the workplace while also maintaining and improving employee health, productivity, and morale. Consultation and evaluation services include "green" projects, environmental management systems, and associated programs. CDR Robert Gibbs leads the service.

 

Meet Mike Saunders

Mike Saunders

“I am very fortunate to be afforded this opportunity with such a great group of folks who provide valuable services to our customers.”

― Mike Saunders, Director, Real Estate and Logistics Portfolio, PSC

Mike Saunders, Director, Real Estate and Logistics Portfolio, is new to PSC and has been on the job for about six months. He brings tremendous experience, as highlighted in his biography. The Office of Communication caught up with Mr. Saunders for an interview.

What have been your biggest priorities since starting at PSC?

My biggest priority is focusing on providing continued high-level services to our customers. As a shared services provider there are a number of customers internal to HHS that come to us because we are the only option, but there are quite a few customers outside of HHS that come to us on a voluntary basis. Their business and our success is really dependent on us providing great customer support and services to meet their business needs and giving them the flexibility of freeing up resources and time to focus on their core mission areas.

There are a couple of other priorities that I have looked at and developed over the few months that I have been here. One of those is to improve our partnership with the General Services Administration (GSA). As Director of the Real Estate and Logistics Portfolio, a lot of what we do requires coordination with GSA as the federal leasing agent.

We are enhancing our relationships and dialogue with GSA at every level, because the mission of providing facilities to our customers is often dependent on having a great partnership. This has been an early focus for me and we have already made some great progress. By having recurring dialogues and meetings at various levels ranging from senior executives to action officers, together we have improved the dialogue and made us more efficient, thus strengthening our relationship with GSA.

The last priority I think I would like to highlight is the work we are doing to enhance our departmental level oversight role within HHS. As the Director of the Real Estate and Logistics Portfolio, I am also the senior real property officer for HHS. In this capacity, there are a number of things that I work on within both HHS and in partnership with our operational divisions, particularly some landholding operating divisions.

I want to ensure that we are reviewing the responsibilities that we have as a departmental oversight entity and enhance them greatly. This is something that in the last several years we met the minimums on, but we did not put enough focus on. By putting more focus on this, we can standardize our processes and move forward as a Department as opposed to a number of independent operating divisions having differing philosophies in facility management. We can look toward a more consolidated and standardized philosophy.

How does your background help in your role?

I am recently retired from the Air Force. I spent 26½ years in the Air Force as a civil engineer and a lot of what I did there, especially in the latter years managing military installations and developing policy related to real property, is directly — if not identical — to some of the work that I do in this current position. My background has prepared me very well, and while this is not a military organization, the work that we do with respect to real estate and logistics, is very similar to what I did within DOD [United States Department of Defense]. Just having federal government experience prepared me well and I think it made it a little bit easier during my initial transition than if I had come from an outside industry in the civilian sector. Having spent really my entire career in the federal government, the transition has been pretty seamless. One of the biggest changes is deciding what to wear each morning.

What are some opportunities in the short-term and long-term with the Real Estate and Logistics Portfolio? 

In today’s environment we are always striving to become more proficient in what we do. This is probably the biggest opportunity for the Real Estate and Logistics Portfolio. We have a number of drivers — initiatives like reducing the federal footprint — that are looking for ways to ensure that we become more efficient and reduce our costs. We have a couple of ideas that we are just starting to develop and we are building some consensus on, like enhancing our billing processes and we are even looking at bundling some services together to reduce the number of transactions that happen on a regular basis. We can make them a bit more streamlined and reduce some of the overhead while we continue to provide transparency that our customers would be interested in and — in some cases demand.

In short, I think we have the opportunity to become more efficient, enhance our departmental oversight role, and provide a little bit more strategic view. In the past we have been focused quite a bit on some of our tactical requirements out of necessity, but I would like to spend a bit more time in the future in looking at our vision and having a master plan for moving the program forward. Taking it a bit more strategic in the future as far as managing facilities and looking at the logistical requirements that we have for HHS and our customers out there is what I hope to accomplish.

What has been your impression of PSC?

That’s an easy question; when I first came in I was immediately welcomed with a first impression of very professional folks and some great capabilities within PSC. That was immediately apparent as I met individuals and attended meetings and things like that, that we have some very capable individuals who are all a part of the collective team.

I am really happy to be a part of the team, and I was immediately impressed as I arrived here. Even before that as I was looking at opportunities while transitioning from the military, within both HHS and PSC, I was extremely excited about a couple of different opportunities I was considering, but this was the one I was most interested in. I am very fortunate to be afforded this opportunity with such a great group of folks who provide valuable services to our customers.

What is your philosophy on leadership?

A lot of that depends on the situation at hand, but I see myself as having the role of providing resources and guidance to our team to allow other leaders to manage their business. I am not one who tends to get in the weeds or tries to micromanage; I rely very heavily on empowering my teammates and developing the overall team with succession planning in mind. For example, I am here today, but at any given point I may not be here and I want to develop a leadership team, or a leadership philosophy, that ensures there is not one single person who is critical to the organization. It is a team effort, and I am looking at ways of developing the future leaders of tomorrow.

What advice would you give to PSC employees?

My advice to the team here at PSC is to continue to provide that high level of customer service, so we can allow customers to focus in on their core businesses. That does a couple of things as a shared services provider. It frees up other resources to focus on their core missions, but it is also probably the best way of guaranteeing repeat customers and ensuring PSC remains viable.

Would you like to mention your interests away from work, like hobbies, volunteering, or service work?

I enjoy work, but I do enjoy time off too. I spend the vast majority of my free time focusing on my younger son. My older boy graduated high school a couple of years ago and went off to college. My younger son is a senior in high school, and in these last several months I want to focus on him before sending him off to college. Very often that means spending weekends in gymnasiums as I follow him through his pursuits in the sport of wrestling. Ultimately, I hope to see my younger son achieve his goal of attending the Air Force Academy later this summer and joining his older brother at my alma mater.

 

PSC Hosts Health Awareness Day

Woman points to a poster showing sugar content in various drinks for man visiting her booth.

Health Promotion Coordinator Cassie Panal of FedStrive shows Robert Lopez sugar content in various drinks.

It was a day of inspiration, activities, and tools for employees to achieve and sustain good health. Wellness booths offered the newest solutions for living healthier at work, at home, and in the community.

FedStrive’s 8th Annual Health Awareness Day was hosted by PSC’s Occupational Health Portfolio at the Hubert H. Humphrey Building on February 28. It was one of the most successful health fairs yet at the D.C. home for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

The annual event embodies the efforts of PSC to improve the health, safety, and productivity of federal employees. Attendees interacted with government programs and community organizations that offer health-related screenings, activities, and educational materials and resources.

HAD-TBonome

CDR Tomas Bonome, Director, Occupational Health Portfolio, PSC

“Today is about helping you become an active participant in maintaining good health and a work/life balance,” said CDR Tomas Bonome, Director, Occupational Health Portfolio, PSC, during opening remarks to the audience. “We want to give you all the tools and inspiration to do just that.”

Employees discovered more about their health, wellness, and fitness. The program included interesting health-related exhibits, and opportunities to learn more about individual health status through free health screenings. A lively audience of approximately 500 attendees came down to the Great Hall to enjoy a fashion show and participate in the wellness-related festivities. Attendees also heard remarks from Jewel Mullen, M.D., M.P.H., M.P.A., Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Health and Acting Assistant Secretary for Health; and Nicole Greene, Deputy Director and Acting Director, HHS Office on Women’s Health.

Other activities included a running gait analysis, ladder golf, juice sampling, a stationary tandem bicycle, and a DUI-prevention simulation. There was information on nutrition and physical activity, health literacy, disease prevention, mental health, and workplace wellness. Additionally, participants received health screenings, such as kidney function, blood glucose, glaucoma, and blood pressure. Organizations ranged from Men’s Health Network to Be the Match: National Marrow Donor Program, to the National Capital Lyme and Tick-Borne Disease Association.

The event continued FedStrive’s partnership with the Office on Women’s Health, which brought the Red Dress Fashion Show to HHS headquarters. The fashion show raised awareness of the cardiovascular health needs of women across the nation. Twenty employees volunteered to wear their most fashionable red outfits and model for their colleagues, while sharing perspectives on their personal connection to the heart health issue. FedStrive is PSC’s integrated health, wellness, and work/life balance program. The program has expanded nationally since the first Health Awareness Day and now reaches approximately 200,000 federal workers.

Dr. Mullen said: “We are here to encourage you in your wellness goals, not only to prevent disease, but to feel stronger and more vibrant — to enjoy life more fully. Supporting you in your health, physical and mental wellness, and work/life balance allows you to concentrate and excel at your jobs, which gives us, as a united HHS team, the opportunity to better serve Americans around the country.

“You are part of our HHS community, and we want you to be well and feel good. This translates to better service to those who depend on HHS and our agency’s mission — and, if you think about it, we touch almost every American’s life with the work we do here. Creating a culture of health at HHS is our investment in you that can translate to giving you the tools for an even bigger investment in yourself — the true gift of wellness and vitality.”

Positive Feedback

Participants, such as Robert Lopez with the HHS Office of Inspector General, said they enjoyed the event. “It was an eye-opener because I’m into nutrition and exercise,” Lopez said. “I stopped at one of the tables about nutrition and one of the things they had was green tea. I mentioned that I drink green tea and she showed a chart of how much sugar is in there. I was shocked. I’m like ‘Oh, I have to stop drinking this.’ I try to use stevia — it’s a natural plant. So this event is good because you always learn something new.”

Lynette Neal Watson with the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services said, “It looked interesting so I was trying to see what it was all about. I had the opportunity to get my kidneys checked. I also received information from the gym. They have lockers and it’s free so I can start working out again. I’m glad I came out. It was very informative.”

Nicole Greene with the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health noted, “I work for the Office of Women’s Health so it’s very important for women in general because the signs of heart attack and heart disease are very different from men. So it’s educating women on the signs to look for and what to do if they feel like they are having a heart attack and ways to help prevent it.

“I think having the different booths here is a lot of fun. I just did the bloodwork to get my kidneys checked and then had the session with the nurse,” Greene said. “That was interesting and informative. You’ve got National Capital Lyme here, which is a wonderful organization and they do a lot of great work and are very near and dear to my heart. PSC is here. HHS wouldn’t be the same if we didn’t have PSC. They support us in so many ways. I think this is a good way of highlighting those things. Then there’s the Red Dress Fashion Show. Staff like that. People come down and see their colleagues, coworkers, and friends walk and you get to see some spice on the runway. I watched my staff strut their stuff and hooted and hollered. They feel really good today and that’s awesome.”

Exhibitors said they enjoyed interacting with attendees. “I talked about the cardiac risk profile to identify manageable lifestyle risk factors and help make better choices to live a healthy lifestyle.” said Nurse Jane Johnson. “… We have people come in the clinic and think ‘I’m healthy, I’m working out,’ but we find out that their good cholesterol is not adequate, their sugars may be high, or their triglycerides are high, their blood pressure may be elevated. They’re eating all the wrong things. So we have a registered dietitian on staff they can follow up with. Maybe there’s been a problem with the family, they’ve had to move mom or dad in with them, there’s added stress. Not only can our Employee Assistance Program work with counseling, but the work/life program can help with supportive care.”

Check out the Health Awareness Day photo gallery and learn more about FedStrive can help your agency.

 

PSC Leads HHS Fleet Summit

Smiling man standing behind a P.S.C. table with a large P.S.C. banner next to him.

Anthony Keith welcomes attendees to the PSC table.

PSC hosted the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Fleet Summit, an annual event for agency fleet managers — led by Department Fleet Manager Jamie Cooke — to collaborate, discuss, and brainstorm fleet management elements.

The summit was held in conjunction with the General Services Administration (GSA) FedFleet week-long conference at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C., on January 30 and February 3, 2017. The HHS Fleet Summit focused on fleet topics and problem-solving discussions. Attendees participated as a team in GSA FedFleet sessions pertinent to the HHS’s key initiatives.

“It was great having everyone in one room to share ideas, work together, and have dialogues on a variety of topics,” said Cooke.

The event was attended by HHS fleet managers from different HHS agencies. The summit focused on agency-relevant topics packed with problem-solving discussions and offered a unique venue to collaborate with other HHS fleet key decision makers. Anthony Keith of PSC Transportation Services also coordinated the summit.

The two-day event was an opportunity to discuss the future state of the HHS fleet system of record, examine the asset level detail initiative, explore telematics and how it improves vehicle efficiency, review the roadmap to executive order compliance, process mapping, potential electronic vehicles and charging station availability, and more.

“The Fleet Summit was a great experience,” said Jennifer Peisach, Office of the Inspector General, Office of Investigations. “It was wonderful to be able to put a face to the names that I email back and forth with so often.”

Group picture of 8 people at the Fleet Summit.

Front Row: Jennifer Peisach, Scarlet West, Shirley Alston, JoAnn McGowan; Back Row: Jamie Cooke, Gary Boykin, Patricia Spuck, and Anthony Keith.

Shirley Alston, CDC Fleet Management Officer, said, “I found the HHS Fleet Summit to be beneficial, in that it fostered team building amongst attending OpDivs. It provided an opportunity to collaborate on topics that were of interest to all and we strategized possible solution/a way forward on some outstanding issues. We refined processes that will contribute to the continued success of the HHS mission.”

Scarlet West, FDA Fleet Manager, said, “The HHS Fleet Summit was wonderful. The opportunity to meet my fellow fleet managers and network with them was the highlight for me. We shared best practices, processes, and valuable information that I will incorporate at the Food and Drug Administration. Also, the GSA Hands on Labs was the best new workshop.”

Attendees also had access to the Washington Auto Show. For more information, including the summit agenda, visit the HHS Fleet Summit webpage.

Learn more about PSC’s Fleet Operations service and explore how PSC can support your agency by visiting the Fleet Operations web page.

 

PSC Awarded $2 Billion in Federal Acquisitions

Circle chart titled FY 2016 Contract Actions. In the center, it says, 'Made 2 billion in awards.' Largest green section says, '3,424 simplified acquisitions.' blue section says, '2,822 acquisitions simplified > acquisitions threshold.' smallest black section says, '1,116 assisted acquisitions.'

At PSC we are proud to live by our values, including impact — we accomplish amazing amounts of important work. Our services have a great impact across the federal government. For example, did you know that PSC’s acquisitions service team completed 7,925 contract actions, awarding $2 billion federal acquisitions in fiscal year 2016?

PSC’s acquisitions service provides comprehensive start-to-finish support for negotiated contracts, simplified acquisitions, and assisted acquisitions. Our certified acquisition professionals oversee the entire acquisition life cycle, including acquisition planning, soliciting and assessing offers, and negotiating, awarding, administering, and closing government contracts.

Learn more how this service can support your agency on PSC’s acquisitions services page.

 

PSC Communications

PSC Service Matters is published quarterly by the PSC Office of Communication. To ask questions, provide comments, add news or subscribers, please contact the editor, John Moynihan, at john.moynihan@psc.hhs.gov, or call (301) 492-4650. Learn more about PSC by visiting http://www.PSC.gov.