Gov 2.0 Roundup: Week of November 12

Health and Human Services gets involved in the text4baby program, the Veteran’s Administration joins the online conversation with its new blog, the Army makes medical care resources more accessible for wounded warriors on a new web site, and the White House invites your last minute vote on this year’s SAVEAward contest, all in this week’s version of the Rock Creek Roundup.

–Partnering with the National Healthy Mothers Healthy Baby Coalition and sponsor Johnson and Johnson, the Department of Health and Human Services this week joined the text4baby program. A free service that delivers health, nutrition and emergency care tips to new and expectant mother’s mobile phones, the text4baby service is customized to give timely tips based on the baby’s due date or birth date. Health and Human Services plans on publicizing the text4baby program via federal health clinics and Medicaid, and staffers are looking closely at the program as a case study for future health-focused mobile applications.

–Earlier this week, the Veteran’s Administration jumped into the blogosphere with the launch of its new blog VAntage Point. Headed by former soldiers and experienced bloggers Alex Horton and Lauren Bailey, VA officials hope that the blog will be seen as a way for veterans and their families to have a two-way conversation with the department. Blog creators want the blog to serve as a path for veterans to speak directly about their concerns and issues to the department, and plan on asking veterans to get involved in the blog by providing posts and guest columns.

–For a soldier who’s seriously wounded or ill, having to go to one website to access benefit information and a completely different website to learn more about available resources can add frustration to an already painful situation. But this week, the Army launched a new website aimed at bringing information about medical care into a central place for the estimated 16,000 soldiers and veterans who require at least half a year of care. The new site, www.wtc.army.mil, developed by the Army Warrior Transition Command (WTC), was created in response to direct feedback from more than 1,600 severely wounded warriors and veterans. The site gives information on the Army’s disability evaluation system, in addition to providing contact information for community resources available to help soldiers and their families.

–Which do you think would be the best way to save tax dollars—by posting seized property notices online instead of in newspapers, stopping the mailing of the Federal Register to employees, ending express delivery of empty containers, or requesting that mine operators use online forms? Share your opinion on the best idea by casting your vote in the President’s second annual SAVEAward contest. Finalists were chosen from thousands of entries submitted by federal employees, and the winner gets to sit down with the President and discuss his/her idea. Be sure to act fast–voting closes at 8PM Eastern on Friday, November 12.

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