Washington, DC–(HISPANIC PR WIRE)–September 28, 2004–The National Committee for Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR), in conjunction with the Secretary of Defense, honored Saints Memorial Medical Center (SMMC) as a 2004 Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award recipient on September 21, 2004 in Washington, DC.
Prior to September 11, 2001, Saints Memorial Medical Center did not have a policy in effect for long-term mobilizations. Post 9/11, the hospital immediately changed their human resource policy to ensure that all reservists receive pay differential and continued benefits while on active duty. SMMC is a non-profit hospital often suffering many financial cutbacks. Although the funding was not in the budget, Thom Clark, CEO of SMMC, felt it was important that none of their employees experienced financial hardship or lose their jobs while serving their country. The hospital continues benefits to their activated employees and sends letters of encouragement along with care packages to all of their Reservists and to all of the deployed family members of their employees.
“To me, it is a moral obligation”, said Thom Clark, CEO of Saints Memorial Medical Center, a U.S. Navy Veteran. “It is the right thing to do.”
The Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award, a Waterford crystal eagle, was introduced in 1996 to publicly recognize the significant contributions and sacrifices made by America’s employers of Guardsmen and Reservists.
“Saints Memorial Medical Center’s exceptional support of their Reserve and National Guard employees during mobilization for the war against terrorism has set a standard for all employers to follow”, said David Janes, ESGR National Chairman. “Saints Memorial Medical Center’s advocacy of extending continuing benefits, making up pay differentials, and ensuring employees are returned to their jobs in a timely manner is truly a role model for corporate America. I am proud to have participated in the selection of Saints Memorial Medical Center for this prestigious award”, added Janes.
In support of the Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Awards, President Bush proclaimed September 26 through October 2, 2004 as National Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve Week. President Bush encourages all Americans to join him in expressing our thanks to the civilian employers and the members of our National Guard and Reserve for their patriotism and sacrifices on behalf of our Nation. The President also calls upon state and local officials, private organizations, businesses, and all military commanders to observe this week with appropriate ceremonies and activities.
The unique mission of ESGR is to gain and maintain active employer support from all public and private employers for the men and women of the Guard and Reserve as defined by demonstrated employer commitment to employee military service.
ESGR provides free education, consultation, and if necessary mediation for employers of Guard and Reserve employees. More information about ESGR Employer Outreach Programs and volunteer opportunities is available at http://www.esgr.org, or by calling 800-336-4590.
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