The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio (UT Health San Antonio) will continue standing with the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR) by signing a statement of support recognizing the service and sacrifice of its employees and students.
Statements of support will also be signed by the deans of the institution’s School of Dentistry, Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, School of Health Professions, The Joe R. and Teresa Lozano Long School of Medicine, School of Nursing and School of Public Health.
UT Health San Antonio’s Military Health Institute will host a signing event solidifying the university’s dedication to ensure employees and students in the National Guard and Military Reserve receive support so they are able to best perform their military duties. Currently, there are 481 military-affiliated employees and 367 military-affiliated students.
“We have a special connection to our military community who are also part of our own community,” said William Henrich, MD, MACP, president of The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio. “When our faculty, staff and students are called to serve, we must also answer the call to support them.”
Established in 1972, the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve is an office of the Department of Defense. The main goal is to promote cooperation and understanding between service members and their civilian employers. The ESGR educates and informs employers of what it’s like to serve in the military. The program also provides information, resources and assistance to service members.
Service members often come to civilian organizations with advanced skills, certifications and education. According to ESGR, their employment is essential to maintaining the All-Volunteer Force for the future.
“We salute our service members and the unique skills they bring to our institution,” said Byron Hepburn, MD, FAAFP, a retired Air Force major general, and director of the Military Health Institute. “Signing the statements of support clearly demonstrates our organization’s promise to stand with our military service members. We are grateful for their service and this partnership.”
Along with the signing event, there is an awards ceremony recognizing employers and individuals.
Accepting for UT Health San Antonio, Henrich will receive the Above and Beyond Award, presented by ESGR State Committees recognizing employers at the local level who have gone above and beyond the legal requirements of the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA). ESGR states that going above and beyond means an employer provided their Guard and Reserve employees additional, non-mandated benefits such as differential or full pay to offset lost wages, extended health benefits and other similar benefits. Service members may nominate their employer for the Above and Beyond Award.
Additionally, a member of the UT Health San Antonio faculty will receive the Patriot Award, which goes to an individual supervisor who made efforts to support service members through a variety of measures. Those efforts include flexible schedules, time off before and after deployment, caring for families and granting leaves of absence if needed. The recipient of the Patriot Award will be announced at the ESGR signing event.
The signing and award ceremony is Monday, July 31, at 2 p.m. in the lobby of the Academic and Administration Building, located on the main campus of UT Health San Antonio.
To learn more about UT Health San Antonio’s Military Health Institute and its mission to improve the lives of military service members, veterans and their families, visit militaryhealthinstitute.org.