WEST HAVEN, Conn. – The Connecticut Federal Executive Association announced the winners of the 2009 “Excellence in Government” awards program at a May 8 ceremony held at Villa Capri in Wallingford. University of Connecticut School of Social Work graduate Donna LaVorgna Cramond, LCSW, MBA (class of 1973) was named the winner in the “Unsung Hero” category. Donna works for VA Connecticut Healthcare System in West Haven, Conn., where she is the social work department supervisor as well as coordinator for the Contract Nursing Home Program. Donna has worked for the VA for 32 years.

An avid runner, Donna was recognized for her efforts in organizing the inaugural Veterans Day 5k walk/run in 2008. Organizers had hoped the mid-week race would attract at least 75 entrants and were thrilled by the support from more than 250 entrants – including high school cross country teams and young children. The event was held on the grounds of the VA Connecticut Healthcare System West Haven campus. The race received extensive media coverage with proceeds benefitting indigent veterans who receive care at the hospital. Because of her efforts in the inaugural event, the healthcare system has decided to make this an annual event. Donna served as the race coordinator in addition to her regular duties as a supervisor in the social work department.

The Connecticut Federal Executive Association represents more than 20,000 federal employees here in the state. The “Excellence in Government” awards program is held annually to recognize the top federal employees in 15 categories. Winners are named at a ceremony during National Public Service Recognition Week which is observed the first full week in May.