Each year the Computerworld Honors Program recognizes individuals and organizations that create and use information technology to promote and advance public welfare, contribute to the greater good of society and change the world for the better.
We are proud to say that four Cisco nominees from public sector, including one school district and one university, were selected as Gold Medal Laureates because of their innovative uses of collaboration technology. Brief descriptions of all four are listed below.
California Correctional Health Care Services
Every year, the California Correctional Health Care Services (CCHCS) provides healthcare for over 166,000 inmates at 33 adult correctional facilities throughout California. However, many of the prisons under CCHCS’ care are located in rural areas, where healthcare specialists are in short supply. To tackle this healthcare discrepancy, the CCHCS implemented a robust solution: the CCHCS Telemedicine Program. Through the Telemedicine Program, CCHCS contracts with private healthcare entities to provide virtual specialty care services to California inmates—an initiative that necessitates collaborating with over 7,000 California healthcare and prison staff including doctors, nurses, administrative staff and pharmacists.
Mooresville Graded School District (MGSD)
MGSD in North Carolina encompasses eight schools and over 5,500 students in grades K-12. Of the 115 school districts in North Carolina, MGSD ranks 99th on the state’s per-pupil-expenditure (with first place spending the most). Additionally, the district faces a high poverty rate. MGSD developed and launched a revolutionary strategic program—the Digital Conversion Program—to employ technology resources to improve teaching and learning with a focus on academic achievement, engagement, opportunity and equity. Since the Digital Conversion Program’s 2008 implementation, student achievement at MGSD has skyrocketed.
Ninth Circuit Court, FL
The Ninth Judicial Circuit in Florida serves Orange County (Orlando) and Osceola County (Kissimmee) and represents a population of over 1.37 million. To address the rising demand for interpreters and create efficiencies in the court process, the Ninth Circuit developed a remote, centralized interpreting system that provides on-demand virtual language interpretation services to courts. By integrating video and audio technology into the court, the Ninth Circuit was able to change the entire system of interpreter service provision, effectively aligning supply and demand in a way that has allowed the Court to eliminate unnecessary expenditures, cover more transactions and improve the quality of interpretation within the judicial system.
University of Southern Mississippi (USM)
USM is a comprehensive doctoral and research-extensive university. The devastation of Hurricane Katrina, the BP oil spill, and the following flood that inundated the Mississippi Sound caused faculty and staff to leave the region, and required some classes to be taught in trailers. With faculty having to travel between sites, office hours for students seeking help suffered. Travel budgets were exhausted and travel between the various locations became an inefficient process—hindering those critical sessions of collaboration between staff that enable a university to grow and develop. USM created the Distance Learning and Collaboration (DLC) initiative to bridge the gap between disparate USM faculty and staff members at the various campuses, university and teachers, and the university and surrounding K-12 districts.
An awards gala will be held on June 4, 2012 at Andrew W. Mellon Auditorium in Washington, D.C. to recognize the Laureate Class of 2012.
We congratulate this year’s recipients and are proud to see how Cisco technology benefiting society!