Top Performers Recognized at 2012 USAMRMC Decision Gate Awards

Dr. Kenneth Bertram presents certificates to Decision Gate 2012 award winners

Dr. Kenneth Bertram, USAMRMC Principal Assistant for Acquisition, presents certificates to Decision Gate 2012 award winners Oct. 31. From left to right, Dr. Moshe Shmuklarsky, Col. Bryan Smith, Bertram, Kevin Curry, Christine Parker, and Scott Colmyer. (Photo by Chelsea Bauckman)

The U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command honored its top acquisition team members during the 3rd annual Decision Gate awards ceremony at Fort Detrick, Md., Oct. 31. Developed in 2004, Decision Gate is the process utilized by the USAMRMC to implement federal regulations, laws, and processes regarding research, development, and acquisition.

"The Decision Gate process continues to provide our Integrated Product Teams with critical direction and guidance from our senior leadership, which helps to accelerate the fielding of much needed products to our warfighters," said Rob Steigerwald, Decision Gate coordinator.

"Dr. [Ken] Bertram and Dr. [Frazier] Glenn are both huge supporters of the Decision Gate process," said Steigerwald. "They recognize the value of the process in developing and delivering medical capabilities to the field as quickly and efficiently as possible."

As usual, this year's winners were chosen via nominations from sources which included the Research Area Directorates, Project Management Offices, laboratories, and senior leaders. Overall, there were 44 nominees among the seven categories.

Awards were presented by Dr. Kenneth Bertram, the Principal Assistant for Acquisition, and Dawn Rosarius, director of Plans, Programs, Analysis and Evaluation, to the following nine winners:

  • Maj. Vanessa Melanson and Scott Colmyer (tied), Rookie of the Year
  • Col. Bryan Smith, Integrated Product Team Chair of the Year
  • Kevin Curry, Product Lifecycle Review Committee Chair of the Year
  • Dr. Maryanne Vahey, DG Advocate of the Year
  • Col. Richard Gonzales, Best DG Brief of the Year
  • Christine Parker, Best DG Staff Support
  • Dr. Nisha Charkoudian and Dr. Moshe Shmuklarsky (tied), Best DG Integrated Product Team Member

At this year's ceremony, two "rookies" to Decision Gate shared the spotlight in a tie for top honors: Maj. Vanessa Melanson of the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research and Scott Colmyer of the U.S. Army Medical Materiel Agency. Melanson, a first-time IPT chair, led the Arthropod Vector Detection assay effort and was praised for strong leadership in developing, delivering, and securing approval of the assay's materiel development decision. As chair of the Coliform Analyzer IPT, Colmyer was tasked with regrouping his team to bring the effort up-to-date, and as a result of his work, the CA program is currently on track for a Milestone C Decision Review in fiscal year 2013, followed by initial procurement.

The success of these two individuals is representative of all nine 2012 Decision Gate winners.

"The common theme shared by this year's winners is that they all desire to follow the Decision Gate tenants and participate fully in the Decision Gate process," said Steigerwald. "The fruit of their efforts is reflected in the quality of their work -- they understand the value of the Decision Gate process, and thus their teams' efforts are much more focused and effective."

Steigerwald said that the value of the Decision Gate process is perhaps most evident when a development effort in Decision Gate becomes a product and is delivered to the field. For instance, in FY12, this process helped deliver a new Adenovirus vaccine for warfighters, allowing for greater disease protection of Service members in all four U.S. military branches and the Coast Guard.

The U.S. military began administering Adenovirus Type 4 and Type 7 Vaccine to recruits in basic training over a four-week period that began the week of Oct. 24, 2011. Since then, the manufacturer has shipped 266,000 doses of Adenovirus Vaccine to the nine basic training sites, and the Services have administered approximately 201,000 doses of vaccine. These immunizations have prevented an estimated 15,000 cases of Febrile Respiratory Illness among military trainees.

Clearly, this is a good thing - brought to fruition through the use of the USAMRMC's Decision Gate process.

"The ultimate goal of the Decision Gate process is to field critical medical capabilities to our warfighters," said Steigerwald. "However, Decision Gate also helps move products towards fielding as quickly and efficiently as possible by providing the necessary oversight and management structure to do so."

"The increase in acquisition milestone reviews from two in previous years to five in FY12, along with the addition of several new products to the process, helps to confirm that the Decision Gate process is working as intended," said Steigerwald.

Steigerwald congratulated all winners and nominees of this year's awards, and stated that he looks forward to even more success throughout the USAMRMC in the upcoming year.

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Last Modified Date: 09-Nov-2012