Steve Seroka, ESGR chair for Nevada, left, along with Bill Sexton, National Guard Employment Support Program Specialist, far right, present Northeastern Rural Health Clinic with the Seven Seals award Thursday, Jan. 9. Accepting the award is Noreen Frieling, nurse practitioner and former Navy nurse, and Human Resource Manager and ESGR volunteer Nikki Berry. Photo by Makenzie Davis

Clinics support National Guard, Reserves

A local clinic was recognized recently for its efforts to support and employ members of the National Guard and Reserve.

The Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve program presented Northeastern Rural Health Clinics with the Seven Seals Award, the broadest and most inclusive award given by ESGR. It is presented at the discretion of the state chair or by ESGR senior leadership.

The seven seals stand for each of the federal reserves and National Guard organizations: The Army National Guard, Army Reserve, Marine Corps Forces Reserve, Navy Reserve, Air National Guard, the Air Force Reserve and the Coast Guard Reserve.

“It’s an honor to earn this award on behalf of Northeastern Rural Health Clinic,” said Human Resource Manager and ESGR volunteer Nikki Berry.

Berry went on to say the clinic had Noreen Frieling, a former Navy nurse, accept the award for the clinic.

“She was a former Navy nurse and has also been the backbone of our health care in the community for more than 50 years … We’d like to commend her for her service in all walks of life,” said Berry.

According to the ESGR website, “The Seven Seals Award is presented in recognition of significant individual or organizational achievement, initiative, or support that promotes and supports the ESGR mission, to include the efforts of the more than 4,500 volunteers who carry out ESGR’s mission across the Nation on a daily basis.”

Steve Seroka, ESGR chair for Nevada, and Bill Sexton, National Guard Employment Support Program Specialist, presented Northeastern Rural Health Center with the award Thursday, Jan. 9.

Seroka mentioned this award was to honor employers and coworkers for helping pick up any burden caused when those in the Federal Reserves and National Guard are called away to serve their country.

“Employers and coworkers have to pick up the job … the Secretary of Defense recognizes that burden,” Seroka said.

He also thanked Northeastern Rural Health for its dedication in allowing ESGR volunteers, like Berry, to continue to support the program.

Berry, who is an ESGR volunteer, said she was nominated by a former employee for a Patriot Award, which reflects the efforts made to support citizen warriors 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.

Along with that, having her son benefit from an ROTC program, and her dad serving in the Army, she decided to donate her efforts to helping those in the reserves and guard.

“I wanted to give back and take care of folks in the community,” Berry said.

North Eastern Rural Health Clinic celebrated the receiving of the award with a luncheon Thursday.

“We are grateful to the men and women who serve our country and for Northeastern Rural Health Clinic for employing people in the military and reserves.

“ESGR, a Department of Defense program, was established in 1972 to promote cooperation and understanding between Reserve Component Service members and their civilian employers and to assist in the resolution of conflicts arising from an employee’s military commitment. ESGR is supported by a network of more than 3,680 volunteers in 54 committees located across all 50 states,” read the ESGR website. “Volunteers, hailing from small business and industry, government, education, and prior military service bring a vast wealth of experience to assist in serving employers, Service members, and their families. Together with Headquarters ESGR staff and a small cadre of support staff for each State Committee, volunteers work to promote and enhance employer support for military service in the Guard and Reserve.”