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Omaha Children’s Receives Secretary of Defense Award

Sep 02, 2020 04:25PM ● By MED Magazine

Children’s Hospital & Medical Center has received the 2020 Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award, the highest U.S. government honor to employers for support of National Guard and Reserve employees. 

Children’s is one of 15 employers nationwide to receive this prestigious national award, chosen from more than 2,600 nominations received from Guardsmen and Reservists. Almost one-half of the U.S. military is comprised of the Guard and Reserve. The Department of Defense shares these citizen warriors with their civilian employers, many of whom provide significant support to their employees who serve in the Guard and Reserve. This award recognizes employers who provide the most outstanding support for their Guard and Reserve employees and is presented annually by the Secretary of Defense. 

While this award is typically presented during a large-scale event at the Pentagon, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it will be awarded to Children’s at a brief ceremony in the hospital’s Atrium on Friday, Sept. 4 at 11:30 a.m. Media are invited to attend in-person, and must remain masked and socially distanced. Lt. Gov. Mike Foley will be in attendance, as well as other high-ranking state and local military representatives. Please contact Sarah Weller, Children’s manager of Public Relations, at 402.639.6998 if you plan to attend. 

“Our National Guard and Reserve employees answer two calls: one to duty and one to our civilian mission here at Children’s—to improve the life of every child. We respect both callings, and they have our full measure of support in their service to their country and community,” said Rodrigo López, Children’s interim President & CEO. “We are proud to accept this once-in-a-lifetime honor, and proud to support our military members and their families. They have our utmost gratitude and respect.” 

“The citizen warriors of the National Guard and Reserve have evolved from a strategic reserve to become an integral component of the operational force,” said Defense Secretary Dr. Mark T. Esper. “Having employers who support their military service is critical to their success and the success of our National Defense Strategy. We salute these exemplary employers for their steadfast commitment to their Guard and Reserve employees, their patriotism and their contributions to the defense and security of our great Nation.”