PHILADELPHIA – Pennsylvania Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve, a Department of Defense program, announced today Michael Crescenz VA Center received the ESGR Pro Patria Award in recognition of the extraordinary support of center’s employees who serve in the Pennsylvania Guard and Reserve.
Wesley Craig, ESGR state chair Emeritus and Southeast Pennsylvania Area Chair said that “The ESGR Pro Patria Award was created to publicly recognize U.S. employers providing extraordinary patriotic support and cooperation to their employees who have answered their nation’s call to serve. Supportive employers are critical to maintaining the strength and readiness of the nation’s Guard and Reserve units.”
Craig went on to say: “National Guard and Reserve members bring tremendous skills and capabilities to our workforce, and employer support for their military service is critical to maintaining the strength of our Guard and Reserve units. By valuing the military service of their Guard and Reserve employees, employers are directly supporting the readiness and retention of our All-Volunteer Force, and our national defense.”
The Crescenz VA Center joins thousands of American employers who have reviewed and amended their current human resources policies to ensure compliance with the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA). Many employers provide support far beyond what USERRA requires, including pay differential to offset the loss of wages, and extension of health care benefits to complement coverage provided by the military when their employees mobilized.
The center was nominated for the Pro Patria Award by Army Reserve Maj. Mary Anczarski who served for two years in Afghanistan at medical clinics in and around Kabul. Anczarski stated in part that “Her entire department carefully tracked her travels, stayed in touch while she was gone, and welcomed her with open arms when she returned. They quickly updated all her credentials upon return. They always ensure she had time off for all training events.”
Craig presented the award to the hospital’s director, retired Rear Adm. Karen Flaherty-Oxler who thanked all department leaders present in the boardroom for ensuring that USERRA is understood and followed throughout the entire chain of command. In presenting the award, Craig noted that the center has a long history of supporting guard and reserve employees, as demonstrated by it being the recipient of several Patriot Awards, a Seven Seals Award and an Above and Beyond Award.
ESGR is a Department of Defense program that develops and promotes supportive work environments for service members in the National Guard and Reserve through outreach, recognition, and educational opportunities that increase awareness of applicable laws. ESGR also assists in resolving conflicts between Service members and their employers.
For more information about ESGR outreach programs or volunteer opportunities, call 1-800-336-4590 or visit www.ESGR.mil.