Washington Life Magazine
Washington Life Magazine

Service to America Medals
Partnership for America

The 2003 Service to America Medals, or SAMMIES, were presented at a dinner and awards gala at the National Building Museum on October 15, 2003. The medals, awarded to nine recipients, honor those who have shown a strong commitment to public service and have made an innovative and high impact contribution in their field of government. A selection committee made up of prominent journalists, political leaders, educators, and CEO's of large corporations chose honorees from varying sectors of public service, including the Departments of Homeland Security, Justice, and Energy.

Each public servant honored proved to the committee that they met a critical need for the nation. Social Services Award winner Denise Johnson has made her goal the worldwide eradication of polio by 2008. Currently, she manages $300 million in grants as well as the purchase of 600 million doses of polio vaccine. Career Achievement Award winner, Dr. James Bagian spent his federal career ensuring safety in various sectors of the government as a NASA physician and astronaut; a U.S. Air Force flight surgeon; and an engineer with HUD, the Navy and the EPA. He is highly regarded for improving the safety of Veterans Affairs hospitals and ensuring the safe ejection of Navy pilots from fighter jets.

Cokie Roberts served as emcee and married duo du jour, Mary Matalin and James Carville played their usual bating game. Most winners received awards ranging from three to five thousand dollars, with top awards of $10,000 for the Federal Employee of the Year and the Career Achievement Award. Nominations for the 2004 Service to America medals are now being accepted.

Photos by Kyle Samperton


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