Division Title

2012 Winners

The National Institutes of Health, Office of Research Services, Division of Occupational Health and Safety are saluting a group of professionals making a difference in safety. The NIH Mission First, Safety Always award was created to recognize NIH personnel who have demonstrated leadership, innovation and involvement in their organization’s safety culture.


This year we received 23 nominations! Each nomination went through an anonymous review process that included blind scoring, without names or institute, against the following criteria:


  • Leadership attributes that set the nominee apart from his or her peers

  • Initiating and/or leading a successful safety initiative

  • Engaging peers and transforming the safety culture of the organization

  • Promoting safety as an important part of their program

  • Working to correct unsafe or unhealthful workplace conditions or hazards

On August 29, 2012, winners of the award were honored during a formal ceremony at the NIH Safety, Health and Wellness Day and presented with a “Certificate of Award” by NIH leadership, Dr. Lawrence Tabak, Dr. Michael Gottesman and Dr. Alfred C. Johnson.

Picture of Safety Award Winners 

This year’s winners represented 10 institutes located on the campuses of NIH. They work in institutes varying in size. We are proud to recognize our winners!


Trevor Blake
National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI)
"Trevor is innovative, persuasive and understands the value of safety for both the office and lab environments because she has been both a wet bench scientist and administrator.  She makes safety training fun and is able to demonstrate the importance with real life examples."
Caren Chancey
Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
"Caren continually offers alternatives to safe places in the lab, such as the donning and doffing of PPE in the BSL3 facility."
Michelle Cook
National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)
"Ms. Cook worked in coordination with the NIMH/DIRP Veterinary Branch to evaluate and redesign enhanced safety training for employees working with non-human primates."
Carolyn Harrison
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS)
"Carolyn insists on safety being the top consideration at all times, and never compromises this principle.   She has also worked to create a culture where safety is everyone's responsibility, so people check each other for metal, and can always speak up if they see something unsafe."
Paul Hawver
Office of Research Facilities (ORF)
"Paul is closely involved with the emergency generator testing program.  During monthly operational tests, Paul identified a trend of employee complaints regarding diesel exhaust odors present in Building 10.  He worked with DOHS to track and monitor exhaust intrusions into their air handling units.  He is currently working with an engineer to eliminate the nuisance from the building systems."
Diana Masselle
Office of Research Services (ORS)
"After following up on an incident report , Ms. Masselle determined there were opportunities to improve the safety environment that included a review, recommended training and improved safety for all staff.  She contacted all parties involved from AED, Ergonomics, and Noise and Degaussed evaluation.  This was based on a single walk through."
Megan Mikula
Clinical Center/Nursing
"Megan was able to successfully transform the culture of handling hazardous drugs into a safety procedure.  She created buy in from the staff by initiating a monthly interactive journal club; beginning it with hazardous drug safety.  She continued to discuss the importance of maintaining the hazardous drugs in a contained area."
Dr. David Remondini
Center for Scientific Review (CSR)
"Dr. Remondini holds regular meetings with evacuation floor team members to make sure they understand their roles and to make sure all team members have the equipment needed in the case of an emergency."
Elisa Spillare
National Cancer Institute (NCI)
"Mrs. Spillare revised and updated all of the laboratory safety records and developed protocols for safe handling of chemicals and pathogens routinely used in our laboratory."
Dr. Eric Wawrousek
National Eye Institute (NEI)
"Dr. Wawrousek expanded the safety inspection process from labs in the DIR to office areas in the Division of Extramural Research and Information Technology, which had previously gone without input from safety personnel."