The University of Tennessee Health Science Center (UTHSC) College of Dentistry received the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR) Patriot Award for its nearly 30 years of support for U.S. Naval Reserve Commander and Assistant Professor Bryan Schmidt, DDS.
“People don’t always understand the commitment it takes to support those who are a part of the Guard,” said Dr. Schmidt, who teaches in the Department of Periodontology. “I often have to be away for weeklong exercises or for work in the post-graduate clinic at Walter Reed Hospital. These assignments sometimes come during March through April, which are critical months in our UT clinic. This creates a shortage when I am out. Others, particularly Dr. Bland, have to cover for me at these times.”
UTHSC College of Dentistry Dean Tim Hottel, DDS, MS, MBA, and Department of Periodontology Chair Paul Bland, DDS, were each presented certificates and pins acknowledging the award. The College of Dentistry was recognized during a formal presentation held on May 2 at Naval Support Activity Mid-South.
According to the ESGR website, the Patriot Award 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. Twenty-one employers from the Memphis area are receiving the award.
ESGR, a Department of Defense office, comprises dedicated and trained volunteers and staff. Its purpose is to develop and promote employer support for Guard and Reserve service by advocating for relevant initiatives, recognizing outstanding support, increasing awareness of applicable laws, and resolving conflict between employers and service members.