2016 Rising Star Awards

Walter Maikish

Federal Regional Sales Manager, Cisco

Meet the rest of the Rising Stars

2016 Rising Stars
Click here for profiles of all the 2016 winners.

Although Walter Maikish has worked with NASA and the departments of Agriculture, Energy, Commerce and Interior, his work with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has been one of his most important undertakings.

After a rough start for HealthCare.gov, it was crucial that CMS have strong communications channels between it and doctors, third-party experts, patients, insurance companies and other stakeholders. Maikish spearheaded the development of a collaboration platform that allows CMS to communicate easily with those groups and with larger audiences.

Thanks to his leadership, CMS is now able to more easily communicate changes in the programs among its multiple stakeholders, including doctors and insurance companies. The platform also helps people stay up-to-date on benefits information and better understand the open-enrollment process.

Not only did he quickly grasp the nuances of CMS and its complex communications needs, but he also worked seamlessly with partner Lockheed Martin, which oversees the system’s day-to-day operations.

In addition, Maikish helped the Department of Veterans Affairs implement an overarching strategy for unified communications so it could streamline its communications efforts across the agency.

That project enabled VA headquarters to open up lines of communication between executives and the agency’s vast network of medical centers and hospitals, resulting in a 35 percent savings in operational costs and speeding decision-making processes that can result in better care for veterans.

Maikish also led the redesign of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s data center. The new platform enables more dynamic application development and makes it easier for people to apply for patents and trademarks.

His managers say his uncanny ability to see the big picture at federal agencies and then understand how technology can transform that vision is his greatest strength.

About the Author

Mark Rockwell is a senior staff writer at FCW, whose beat focuses on acquisition, the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Energy.

Before joining FCW, Rockwell was Washington correspondent for Government Security News, where he covered all aspects of homeland security from IT to detection dogs and border security. Over the last 25 years in Washington as a reporter, editor and correspondent, he has covered an increasingly wide array of high-tech issues for publications like Communications Week, Internet Week, Fiber Optics News, tele.com magazine and Wireless Week.

Rockwell received a Jesse H. Neal Award for his work covering telecommunications issues, and is a graduate of James Madison University.

Click here for previous articles by Rockwell. Contact him at mrockwell@fcw.com or follow him on Twitter at @MRockwell4.


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