October 7, 2009

UAMS Receives Awards from U.S. Department of Defense for Support of Guard, Reserve Member Employees

LITTLE ROCK – The University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) and two supervisors were recognized today by the Arkansas Committee for Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve, an agency of the U.S. Department of Defense, for their support of employees who serve in the Arkansas National Guard and Reserve.

UAMS Chancellor I. Dodd Wilson, M.D., was presented with the agency’s “Above and Beyond” Award, recognizing employers “who provide extraordinary support and cooperation to their employees” who are members of the Guard or Reserve. UAMS Chief Information Officer Kari Cassel and 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.

“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.

Cassel was nominated by Lt. Col. Jeri Garland, a member of the 39th Brigade in the Arkansas Army National Guard and a director of inpatient electronic medical record services in the UAMS Information Technology Department. Watkins was nominated by Tech. Sgt. Monica Hankins, a member of the 189th Medical Squadron in the Arkansas Air National Guard and an administrative specialist in the UAMS patient business services office.

“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.”

Green said UAMS joins with 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 (USERRA). Many employers provide “Above and Beyond” support with pay differential to offset the loss of wages, and extension of health care benefits that complement coverage provided by the military when their employees are mobilized.

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. More information about ESGR Employer Outreach Programs and volunteer opportunities is available at www.esgr.mil, or by calling Richard Green at 501-282-2626.

UAMS is the state’s only comprehensive academic health center, with five colleges, a graduate school, a new 540,000-square-foot hospital, six centers of excellence and a statewide network of regional centers. UAMS has 2,775 students and 748 medical residents. Its centers of excellence include the Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Institute, the Jackson T. Stephens Spine & Neurosciences Institute, the Myeloma Institute for Research and Therapy, the Harvey & Bernice Jones Eye Institute, the Psychiatric Research Institute and the Donald W. Reynolds Institute on Aging. It is the state’s largest public employers with more than 10,000 employees, including nearly 1,150 physicians who provide medical care to patients at UAMS, Arkansas Children’s Hospital, the VA Medical Center and UAMS’ Area Health Education Centers throughout the state. Visit www.uams.edu or uamshealth.com.