Department of Defense Recognizes Valley Children’s for Support of Military Personnel


On Thursday, May 25, the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR) presented the “Above and Beyond Award” to Valley Children’s Healthcare. The award recognizes employers at the local level who demonstrate exemplary support of their Guard and Reserve employees that goes beyond government-mandated benefits. The award is given in limited numbers by State Committees to employers who have had at least one of their supervisors/managers recognized with a Patriot Award.

In October 2016, the Patriot Award was given to Laboratory Support Leads Sharon Weber and Tiffany Donaghy for their support of Laboratory Support Technician Joseph Ortiz, who is in the Army Reserves.

The ESGR is a Department of Defense program established in 1972 to develop and promote supportive work environments for members of the National Guard and Reserves.

“Valley Children’s Healthcare is humbled to be recognized for our efforts in supporting our military guard and reserve employees,” says Valley Children’s President and CEO Todd Suntrapak. “The real honor is having service men and women as part of the Valley Children’s Healthcare team. The leadership, teamwork, strong work ethic, loyalty and value of ‘service before self’ demonstrated while serving our country is also exhibited in the workplace. Our patients, staff and community are on the receiving end of their commitment to service and for that, we are forever grateful.”

During Thursday’s awards ceremony, Valley Children’s security manager Christine Jackel-Patrick received the “Seven Seals” Award. It is given to an individual who ensures when a reservist is being deployed every measure is taken to support the service member’s successful return to work.

“As a veteran, I can relate to the challenges members of the military can face in the workplace,” says Retired Colonel Jack Davidson, area chair for the Central San Joaquin Valley ESGR. “I am so thankful to hear that such a well-respected employer like Valley Children’s not only values people like me – but also appreciates service to our country.”

During Thursday’s event, Valley Children’s recognized the more than 85 employees and physicians who are either currently in the reserves or National Guard or who are military veterans.

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