VA » Health Care » Ralph H. Johnson VA Medical Center » Features » Charleston VA honored for supporting DOD employees
Ralph H. Johnson VA Medical Center
Charleston VA honored for supporting DOD employees
By Meredith Hagen, Lead Public Affairs Specialist
Monday, July 11, 2016
Ralph H. Johnson VA Medical Center was honored April 5 by the South Carolina Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve, a Department of Defense office, with an Above and Beyond Award in recognition of extraordinary support of its employees who serve in the Guard and Reserve.
"The ESGR Above and Beyond Award was created by ESGR to publicly recognize American employers providing extraordinary patriotic support and cooperation to their employees, who like the citizen warriors before them, have answered their nation's call to serve," said Eli Wishart, SC ESGR state chair. "Supportive employers are critical to maintaining the strength and readiness of the nation's Guard and Reserve units."
Charleston VAMC Assistant Director Felissa Koernig accepted the award on behalf of the medical center and signed a statement of support - solidifying the facility's commitment to fully backing employees who choose to serve part time in the armed forces.
Ralph H. Johnson VA Medical 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. Many employers provide support far beyond what USERRA requires to include pay differential to offset the loss of wages, and extension of health care benefits, which complement coverage provided by the military when their employees are mobilized.
"The VA medical center employers are very accommodating when their military employees are called for duty," said Ralph H. Johnson VAMC Chaplain and Air Force Reserve Lt. Col. John Painter. "I am able to serve fully and without worry about the status of my civilian job."
Jaconda Lightburn, chief of safety service; Matthew Liston, recruitment and placement supervisor; Tonya Lobbestael, public affairs officer; Lorenzo Moses, chief of chaplain service; and Jeffrey Sage, chief engineer, received Patriot Awards for their continued support of Guard and Reserve employees. Holly Cookson, engineering service administrative officer; Christina Delp, industrial hygienist; Meredith Hagen, lead public affairs specialist; Kimberly Mingo, human resources specialist; John Painter, chaplain; and Malissa Robinson, clinical nurse educator, who all serve in the Air Force Reserve, submitted the nominations.