The Employer Support for the Guard and Reserve Patriot Award was presented to Jane Schepmann, vice president and chief nursing officer for Clara Barton Hospital, during a ceremony Friday afternoon at the Hoisington facility.
“I am just so honored by this,” Schepmann said during the reception. The event was attended by a host of her Clara Barton co-workers and hospital administrators.
Presenting the award was Great Bend City Administrator Howard Partington, who also serves as the ESGR area representative. She was nominated by Josh Wren, a citizen soldier who worked as a certified nurses aide under her supervision.
“There are not a whole lot of these things given out,” Partington said. With only a handful awarded across the state each year, it just goes to show how much of an honor it really is.
Following the presentation, the administration signed a statement of support, a certification that the organization agrees to continue to support Guard members, Reservists and their spouses.
The first in ESGR’s series of awards is the Patriot Award. An employee serving in the National Guard or Reserve, or the spouse of a Guard or Reserve member, may nominate individual supervisors and bosses for support provided directly to the nominating Service member and his or her family.
According to information from the ESRG’s website, the Patriot Award “reflects the efforts made to support guard and reserve members through a wide-range of measures including flexible schedules, time off prior to and after deployment, caring for families and granting leaves of absence if needed.”
Patriot Awards are awarded to individual supervisors, not to an entire staff or organization as a whole.
Falling under the Defense Department, the ESGR promotes cooperation and understanding between civilian employers and their National Guard and Reserve employees. Established in 1972, ESGR operates within the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Reserve Affairs.
ESGR develops and promotes supportive work environments for service members in the Reserve Components through outreach, recognition, and educational opportunities that increase awareness of applicable laws and resolves employer conflicts between the service members and their employers, Partington said.
ESGR informs and educates service members and their civilian employers regarding their rights and responsibilities governed by the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act of 1994.
A native of the Lawrence area, Schepmann worked in Topeka and Wichita before coming to Hoisington. She has been at Clara Barton since 2007, taking her position in 2009.