Acting District Health Officer Aaron Ueno has been recognized for his service with a Governor’s Innovation Award. Gov. Linda Lingle named Ueno as the recipient of the December 2008 ‘Innovation in Government’ award.
Ueno was named State Manager of the Year in October for building capacity within the Hawaii Island District Health Office to respond to bioterrorism, disasters and pandemic emergencies. He worked with state and county agencies and the community to establish the Hawaii County Medical Reserves Corps, which uses volunteers who are trained to respond to emergencies within their own communities.
The MRC is organized by the state Department of Health and operated by the Hawaii District Health Office in cooperation with the Healthcare Association of Hawaii, University of Hawaii, state Civil Defense and county Civil Defense agencies. The corps helps fill gaps in medical and public health response not covered by other agencies.
Ueno partnered with state and county agencies to bring the Hawaii District Health Office Civil Defense Procedures up-to-date. The MRC program currently has more than 120 trained volunteers ready to support and assist emergency personnel in the event of a disaster.
Also recognized were: Oahu surfboard shapers Jeff Bushman and Kyle Bernhardt, founders of Country Feeling Surfboards, which is devoted to surfboards made with environmentally friendly material, including soy- and sugar-based foams; plant-based and solar-activated resins; as well as hemp, silk, and bamboo cloth; and Visionary Insulation Products, Ltd. of Oahu, distributor of a new insulation product that has 45 percent less heat loss than commonly used industrial insulation material.
Lingle praised Ueno and his fellow honorees for their ingenuity and determination to find creative solutions to critical issues facing Hawaii.
“While we focus on addressing immediate needs and overcoming the current economic situation, these innovators are helping our state remain focused on creating a stronger future,” said Governor Lingle. “Their innovative ideas, tenacity and willingness to try new approaches will ensure Hawaii is well-positioned to lead in the 21st century.”
Lingle initiated the Governor’s Innovation Awards in May 2008 to acknowledge and encourage innovation across all sectors statewide. The awards, which are presented monthly, recognize deserving individuals, companies, nonprofits, organizations and government agencies that are developing innovative products, services and processes.
Nominees are evaluated monthly by a 15-member selection panel comprised of industry, education and government representatives statewide, and the committee makes recommendations to Lingle for her selection. Nominations are submitted online and are judged on creativity; effectiveness in achieving a goal or purpose; transferability and adoptability by others; and significance in addressing an important local or global issue, problem or opportunity.
— Find out more:
Governor’s Innovation Awards: www.hawaii.gov/gov/innovation-…