CDC Medical Officer Honored with 2020 Sammies Award

Vikram Krishnasamy, M.D., MPH

Vikram Krishnasamy, M.D., MPH

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) health scientist Vikram Krishnasamy, M.D., MPH, has been awarded the Samuel J. Heyman Service to America Medal®external icon by the Partnership for Public Service.

Krishnasamy, a senior medical officer at CDC’s National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, was honored in the Emerging Leaders category for his leadership in battling the ongoing epidemic of opioid overdose deaths. The awards, known as the “Sammies,” recognize federal employees whose professional contributions exemplify the highest attributes of public service.

“Dr. Krishnasamy’s work embodies CDC’s mission of saving lives and protecting people from public health threats,” said CDC Director Robert R. Redfield, M.D. “This recognition is well deserved, and it symbolizes his commitment to addressing our Nation’s most pressing public health issues with determination and innovation.”

A track record of leadership in public health emergencies

In 2019, more than 60 medical professionals in six states were arrested for illegally prescribing and distributing opioids. By forming an innovative alliance between law enforcement and public health officials, Krishnasamy’s team ensured that patients dependent on pain medications would be directed to legitimate medical care and addiction treatment providers.

Krishnasamy also launched an online program that has trained more than 1,000 CDC staff and public health officials on how to support states in coping with the opioid crisis. He has most recently been involved with CDC responses to the COVID-19 pandemic and e-cigarette-associated lung injuries.

The Partnership for Public Service, a non-partisan, non-profit organization, has sponsored the Sammies awards and campaign for the last 19 years. The medal bears the name of the founder of the Partnership for Public Service. The program has honored more than 500 outstanding federal employees since its inception in 2002.

For profiles and videos of current and past honorees, and to nominate a federal employee for a 2021 Service to America Medal, visit

The Sammies will be celebrated and livestreamed during a one-hour special presentation at 8:00 p.m. EDT on Monday, October 5, 2020, on the Partnership for Public Service’s Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube pages.

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