UAMS Recognized for Support of Guard, Reserve Employees
Oct. 14, 2009 | It was clear from the start, said Monica Hankins, an administrative specialist in UAMS patient business services as well as a technical sergeant in the Arkansas Air National Guard.
During a job interview, her future supervisor said she was supportive of Hankins’ Guard service even in the event that deployments took her away from work.
Lt. Col. Jeri Garland, a member of the 39th Infantry Brigade Combat Team and commander of the 39th Support Brigade of the Arkansas National Guard, shared a similar story of support. Her UAMS supervisor, Chief Information Officer Kari Cassel, and the Information Technology Department kept in touch with her during two deployments to Iraq in the past five years.
“I knew I wasn’t gone and forgotten,” Garland said of colleagues who are like family to her.
Garland and Hankins nominated their supervisors for recognition along with UAMS on Oct. 7 for their support of employees who serve in the Arkansas National Guard and Reserve.
The Arkansas Committee for Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve, an agency of the U.S. Department of Defense, presented UAMS Chancellor I. Dodd Wilson with the “Above and Beyond” Award, recognizing employers “who provide extraordinary support and cooperation to their employees” who are members of the Guard or Reserve.
Cassel and Hankins’ supervisor, Amy Watkins, a manager in the patient business services office at UAMS, received the “Patriot Award,” which recognizes individuals who support their employees who serve.
I’m honored to receive the Patriot Award,” Cassel said. “Jeri is an outstanding employee and her leadership skills, which serve the National Guard so well, are also a great asset to UAMS. We miss her greatly when she’s deployed and we are always very happy to have her back.”
Added Watkins: “I was surprised by the honor and appreciate Monica’s hard work here along with her service to our country.”
Hankins, a seven-year Guard member, serves as a dental assistant and was part of a 2007 deployment to several countries in Central America on a humanitarian mission.
“Supportive employers and supervisors are critical to maintaining the strength and readiness of the nation’s National Guard and Reserve units,” said Richard Green, a program specialist with the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve agency, who presented the awards Oct. 7.
“UAMS appreciates the military service of our employees and the sacrifices they make,” Wilson said. “We are pleased to support their service as citizen soldiers as they balance their work responsibilities with service to our country.”
As the 1.3 million members of the National Guard and Reserve continue to perform an increasing number of unique missions with America’s borders and beyond, the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve agency will continue to be the resource for the employers of citizen warriors. The agency recognizes outstanding support, increases awareness of the law, and resolves conflict through mediation.