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Federal Web Site "healthfinder®" Recognized for Making Access to Reliable Health Information Free and Easy

December 20, 2000
Contact: Damon Thompson
(301) 443-4000

WASHINGTON, D.C.  Vice President Gore’s prestigious Hammer Award for innovations in public service was given today to healthfinder® for its pioneering work in bringing reliable health information to the public. The federal consumer health Web site, at, links to over 5,600 resources from government agencies, educational and health institutions and not-for-profit organizations around the country.The Vice President’s award recognized the team, from the Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion (ODPHP), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) for its creativity and successful implementation of the Vice President’s powerful reinvention formula—making government work better and cost less.

At 2:00 p.m. in the HHS headquarters, Surgeon General David Satcher handed out the award to the ODPHP healthfinder® team, led by Mary Jo Deering and David Baker, members of the healthfinder® Steering Committee from 37 federal agencies and their partners from Social and Health Services, Ltd.  “healthfinder®has always been a pioneer,” said Dr. Satcher in congratulating the team.  “It was the first comprehensive government health Web site and has been a model for ‘gateway’ sites in other sectors.”

Dr. Randy Wykoff, head of ODPHP, said “healthfinder® has always been more than just an ‘information’ site. It has special resources for professionals, seniors, families, Spanish-speaking people—and, as of this morning, a brand new ‘healthfinder® KIDS’ section just for youngsters aged 8 to 12.”

Newsweek has praised the site as “a terrific first stop,” and USA Today calls it “a prescription for headaches caused by the dizzying morass of health information on the Internet.” The New Yorker magazine recently listed it in its “favorite on-line haunts.”

In 1993, President Clinton presented Vice President Gore with a challenge—create a government that works better, costs less and gets results Americans care about.  Vice President Gore created the Hammer Award to recognize the innovative and important work done by the American government worker and those they partner with.

“I want to congratulate this team for your dedication to improving government service,” said Morley Winograd, director of the National Partnership for Reinventing Government.  “Your outstanding service has helped rebuild the trust of the American people in our government.”

“We welcome the healthfinder® team to the elite corps of Hammer Award winners,” said Winograd.  “We look forward to a continued partnership with its members as they serve as an example of how to rebuild a government to better serve America.”

The award is a $6 hammer and a note from the Vice President in an aluminum frame, bedecked with a big red, white and blue ribbon. It’s the Vice President’s answer to yesterday’s government and its mythical “$400 hammer” of federal waste.