March 19, 2015

VUMC lauded for supporting employees in National Guard

Tennessee Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR) presented the Above and Beyond Award to VUMC for its support of employees in the National Guard and Reserve. Attending the presentation were: (front row, left to right) Vanderbilt’s Donna Pavlick, Janet Rachel and Candy Lindsay, and (back row, left to right) Carl Lambert, ESGR; Keith Vencel, Vanderbilt; Marvin Wells, ESGR; and Vanderbilt’s John Carr and Damian Marshall.

Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC) recently received the Above and Beyond Award from the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR), given to employers whose support surpasses the legal requirements of the USERRA (Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act) law.

VUMC’s award was presented for supporting Navy Lt. Cmdr. Jesse Ehrenfeld, M.D., MPH, associate professor of Anesthesiology, Surgery, Biomedical Informatics and Health Policy, during his current tour as the Anesthesiology Department Head for the Role 3 Multinational Medical Unit in Afghanistan.

Ehrenfeld described the support Vanderbilt has given him during his tour.

“They have reached out to my family. They have sent us care packages. There is nothing they could have done —that they did not do for me. I am proud to serve, and proud to work at a place like Vanderbilt,” he said in his nomination letter.

Vanderbilt is currently a nominee for the 2015 Secretary of Defense Freedom Award, the highest award presented by the ESGR at the national level.

Candy Lindsay, senior director of Talent Management and Operations, accepted the award Feb. 27 on behalf of Vanderbilt in the presence of several other Veteran employees and signed a statement of support, affirming the Medical Center’s dedication to serving its Guard and Reserve employees.

Upon his return, Ehrenfeld will present the Patriotic Employer Award to his supervisor.

The United States has a voluntary force, and the reserve component represents close to 50 percent of the total force. By law, employers have mandatory obligations to their Guard and reserve employees.

The USERRA protects service members’ reemployment rights when returning from military service.

It also bans hiring discrimination based on a candidate’s military service or obligation.