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News | Jan. 19, 2023

Sara Brown earns WRNMMC’s Junior Civilian of the Year -- Administrative

By Bernard Little, WRNMMC Command Communications

Sara Brown earned Walter Reed National Military Medical Center’s Junior Civilian of the Year (CoY) – Administrative. Brown serves as payroll lead in the Budget/Payroll Department at WRNMMC. She received the award Jan. 10 during the January WRNMMC Director's Town Hall meeting.

“The [CoY] award honors employees whose dedication, competence, and exemplary performance increase WRNMMC’s efficiency, enhances agency pride, and increases employee morale,” according to Ivan Jones, Civilian Awards Program manager at WRNMMC.

According to the nomination for her to receive the award, Brown recently took over the role as the lead for the Payroll Department, overseeing and processing more than 2,700 employee timecards every pay period, covering $13 million in bi-weekly pay.

“Each pay period, she diligently worked with customers covering all directorates with any payroll issues or question, averaging 150-plus a month, to ensure all staff members are paid accordingly and on time,” the nomination states. “During the recent transition of the payroll database from Army to Defense Health Agency, she took the initiative to proactively work with timecard certifiers and senior leaders in the command, which resulted in 100 percent of employees not having payroll issues.”

“Ms. Brown led the command’s process for ATAAPS (Automated Time Attendance and Production System) training for all new employees at WRNMMC,” the nomination added. This included providing payroll orientation training for approximately 30 new employees every pay period.

“Despite being down 25 percent in [staffing], she ensured her team provided support to WRNMMC staff on their payroll issue within 24 hours or sooner,” the nomination continued. “Additionally, she made sure to send routine reminders to more than 120 command timekeepers, certifiers and supervisors, ensuring timecards were submitted before deadline and ensuring employees were paid on time.”

In addition, Brown was instrumental in the review and submission of all civilian pay audit samples to the National Capital Region Market audit team. “Due to her efforts, the command’s civilian pay program passed the recently conducted Defense Health Agency Financial Statement Walkthrough conducted by the Department of Defense Independent Public Auditors in June 2022 with flying colors and earning her and her team accolades from WRNMMC and Naval Support Activity leaders,” the nomination added.

She is credited with designing and implementing a program to address audit findings and noting areas within payroll in need of improvement. “These efforts will enable the command to maintain audit compliance within civilian payroll processing of one of the Military Health System’s largest civilian pay programs, worth more than $357 million annually,” the nomination concluded.
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