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Innovation reigns supreme in annual ‘Best of Kentucky’

Click here to see photos of all award winners
Kentucky Department of Homeland Security recently received recognition for its Suspicious Activity Reporting System (SARS) at the 2011 Digital Government Summit in Frankfort.
The SARS program was one of four innovative state IT projects honored with a Best of Kentucky Award during the annual summit sponsored by Government Technology Magazine that was held at the Capitol Plaza Hotel in Frankfort on April 19, 2011.  The program took top honors in the “Best Application Serving the Public” category.
The reporting system offers citizens the ability to quickly and easily report suspicious activity through the agency’s Web site or by using a new free iPhone application. Since the application was released, DHS officials have reported the ability to expand their information base, analyze information more effectively, and focus agency and law-enforcement personnel on credible and immediate threats.
Homeland security officials said the application helps law enforcement identify patterns of suspicious activity, pinpoint areas of greater risk, and makes first responders and intelligence liaison officers aware of potential threats.
The magazine presents the award each year to a Kentucky agency responsible for designing, developing and deploying applications or improving existing systems that directly deliver services more efficiently and effectively to the public.  Government Technology Magazine sponsors the summit to provide an opportunity for technology leaders from across the state to gather and share ideas on crucial IT issues.  Municipalities, along with local and state government agencies in Kentucky, are increasingly turning to technology to reduce government operating costs, and the annual event provides a forum for collaboration on technology solutions and fiscally sound business practices.
Commonwealth Office of Technology was asked to assemble a panel of state government IT specialists to judge the 37 nominations submitted this year, according to Brian Kiser, the agency’s executive director of the Office of Enterprise Technology. 
Other winners announced at this year’s event include:

Best IT Collaboration Among Organizations
The Kentucky Health Information Exchange provides the technical infrastructure for statewide electronic data exchange between hospitals, physician offices, commercial laboratories and pharmacies, and a number of other healthcare entities such as the state’s public health laboratory and infectious disease control programs.
The conceptual foundation for the exchange grew out of the push for a nationwide electronic health network to convert paper medical records to electronic data that can be shared more readily. Having timely access to and retrieval of a patient’s consolidated medical history enables providers to make more informed clinical decisions at the point of care and leads to improved quality of care, patient safety, and improved health outcomes.

Most Innovative Use of Technology
Northern Kentucky University partnered with the San Ramon Valley Fire Department District to create an application to strengthen its relationship with the public.
Application users trained in cardiopulmonary resuscitation are notified if someone nearby is in cardiac arrest and directs them to the exact location while notifying them of the closest public access defibrillator and simultaneously dispatching paramedics. The application can also send or push notifications to app users reminding them to check or change their smoke alarm batteries or to send important information such as burn bans.
Best Risk Management Initiative
The Vulnerability Assessment Integration with the Software Development Life Cycle Program was designed and developed by the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services to ensure the services they provide are safe and secure for the citizens of Kentucky. 
The cabinet ensures citizen information remains private when accessed via electronic methods, including web based applications.  The cabinet is also extending the reach and accessibility of services through web based applications, two of which are greatly impacting the health and well being of citizens:  The Kentucky Health Information Exchange (KHIE) and Child Support Modernization Project (CSM).

Visionary Award
The 2011 Visionary Award was presented to Dr. Gail W. Wells, vice president of academic affairs and provost at Northern Kentucky University.
Dr. Wells is responsible for the graduate and undergraduate programs in the Colleges of Arts and Sciences, Informatics, Education and Human Services, Business, Health Professions, and the Salmon P. Chase College of Law. She also oversees the school’s honors program, university programs, enrollment management, Steely Library, and Information Technology.
With firm beliefs that technology plays a strong role in education, during her tenure she established an enterprise resource planning system that provided the university with the tools to automate many business functions, identify inefficiencies, and streamline and eliminate ineffective business processes. She also supported applied technology projects developed in the Center for Applied Informatics (CAI).
Through collaborative research, internships, student/faculty/staff projects and business development opportunities, students are gaining real world experience working with small businesses, non-profit organizations and other government entities. More than 150 students have been employed by the CAI since its inception, and 40 mobile research and development projects have been regionally and internationally recognized.


Last Updated 5/20/2011