Road to Rome

By Trinity Cyrus | Oct 17, 2023

Last week, leaders from MicroHealth traveled to Rome to receive their International Stevie’s Awards. This year, MicroHealth received Bronze Stevie’s for:

  • Project of the Year, Grants. gov
  • Human Resources (HR) Team of the Year

Project of the Year, (Bronze)

In the ever-evolving landscape of federal grants and modernization efforts, MicroHealth has emerged as a shining example of innovation, dedication, and transformative success. Recently, the company celebrated a prestigious award for its ongoing work modernizing, a vital platform operated by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

Leading the project for MicroHealth is program manager Dawn Pilkington.

A Daunting Challenge

When MicroHealth secured the Federal contract for modernizing, they faced a monumental task. The platform, which plays a crucial role in facilitating federal grants, was showing its age.


“We worked with our customers to improve two key areas: user experience and infrastructure,” adds Pilkington. “To improve the experience, we had to start by improving the infrastructure.”

To enhance the user experience, MicroHealth set out to implement an intuitive, modern, and accessible design. They focused on creating clear user journeys for diverse applicants and grantors while ensuring compliance with Section 508 for accessibility and equity.

Second, they undertook a comprehensive infrastructure modernization, migrating the system to a secure, scalable, and serverless platform. They broke down the architecture into managed microservices and implemented an API-first approach to replace outdated web services.

In 2022, MicroHealth executed a migration of to the AWS Cloud. This move not only ensured the platform’s stability but also allowed the consolidation of data centers and paved the way for future modernization and enhancements.

A Vision Realized

“When MicroHealth began work on the contract to modernize, we encountered a platform in need of additional maintenance,” adds Pilkington. “Within eight months, we migrated the platform to the cloud and started to see significant savings in annual costs while also improving user response times.”

  • Login times were reduced by 66%.
  • Processing grant applications went from minutes to seconds.
  • Query run times decreased by an average of 90%.

These enhancements have saved users important amounts of time and streamlined their experience.

Today the team continues to make enhancements to the platform, helping continuously improve the cloud-based environment, user-response time, login times, and enhanced security and compliance.

Human Resources Team of the Year (Bronze)

At the core of MicroHealth lies its Human Resource (HR) Team led by Kumud “K” Sharma. This HR team plays a vital role in helping business leaders attract, grow, and retain top talent to meet the company’s business objectives.

“I could not be prouder of our HR team,” Sharma emphasizes. “Their dedication and tireless efforts, especially in the challenging landscape of a pandemic, have not only reshaped our workplace but have also cultivated an environment where employees can thrive, access more tools for support, and feel a part of a stronger team. We are constantly finding ways to partner across the organization and enhance the way we do business and support our employees.”

Fueling Innovation

Through their people-first approach, the HR Team consistently oversees complex issues, fostering an inclusive and diverse workplace. Through unconscious bias training, recruitment process improvements, and an inclusive company culture, the HR team has cultivated a diverse workforce that fuels innovation and creativity. As of December 2022, over 65% of employees identify as people of color.

MicroHealth’s support for employees extends beyond the workplace. The company’s foundation, established in 2020, offers a scholarship program for family members of MicroHealth employees who attend a Historically Black College or University (HBCU).

Additionally, the HR team co-hosts several internship cohorts each year, equipping interns with practical skills, a sense of belonging, and a space to grow professionally. In 2023, MicroHealth CEO Frank Tucker launched a Professional Development Series, for both interns and employees. Throughout the year, employees meet for a series of lectures and group exercises that allow them to flex their creativity and problem-solving muscles. 

In 2023, the company also completed enrollment in the DOD SkillBridge program, which helps eligible service members transition to civilian careers by providing opportunities for job training and internships with participating companies and organizations.

Health and wellness

The team’s commitment to work-life balance has had a significant impact. The Corporate Wellness Program, Be Well, which started as a pandemic pilot, now offers weekly activities to enhance employees’ fitness, stress management, nutrition, and sleep.

During the pandemic, the Preventive Leave Care (PLC) Initiative was introduced, providing employees up to 8 hours of Paid Time Off for routine preventive care visits. In 2023, the company-sponsored employee participation in a 5k, with more than one-third of participants taking part in their first-ever 5k.

Positioned for success

Together, these initiatives have fueled the growth of MicroHealth, which went from a 150-person company just a year or two ago, to as many as 275 employees in 2023.

The industry has taken notice of our accomplishments, as reflected in our rankings. In 2022, MicroHealth ranked 35 on the Washington Business Journal’s (WBJ) list of Fastest Growing Companies in the greater Washington DC area and 67 on Inc. Magazine 5000 Regionals list for the Mid-Atlantic region.

MicroHealth’s remarkable journey is a testament to their dedication to excellence, innovation, and their people-first approach. Congratulations to MicroHealth on their well-deserved recognition at the 2023 Stevie’s International Business Awards.


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