Henderschiedt and Brookings Health System Receive Patriotic Employer Award

Posted: 7/11/2013

Retired Army General Keith Corbett and Specialist Sandra Sprecher presented the Patriotic Employer Award to Heidi Henderschiedt and Brookings Health System at the June 28 Board of Trustees meeting. Accepting the award on behalf of Henderschiedt and Brookings Health System was Jason Hanssen, administrator at The Neighborhoods at Brookview. On June 28, Brookings Health System Board of Trustees gathered to accept the Patriotic Employer award from the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR), part of the Department of Defense. Keith Corbett, dean of the University College at South Dakota State University, presented the award and explained why it was such a significant event.

“As a retired Army general, I know how important it is to support the men and women who serve and eagerly accept the opportunity to serve the nation when asked,” said Corbett, who represents the Secretary of Defense while presenting the Patriot Award.

The Department of Defense gave the award in recognition of former nursing home Brookview Manor’s and Brookings Health System’s continuing support of employees who serve in the National Guard and National Reserve. The purpose on the award states, “For contributing to national security and protecting liberty and freedom by supporting employee participation in America’s National Guard and Reserve Force.”

The three primary qualifications to be considered for the award include being supportive of the service member, being nominated by the service member or being nominated by a spouse whose significant other was deployed.

Specialist Sandra Sprecher, who currently works at The Neighborhoods at Brookview as a certified nursing assistant and medication aide and previously worked for nearly four years at Brookview Manor, nominated her supervisor, Heidi Henderschiedt, a neighborhood coordinator at the nursing home.

“I nominated Heidi and Brookings Health System for the award because of how the transition from war to work was so effortless,” said Sprecher. “Everyone welcomed me back with as little stress as possible. Also, I never once have been scheduled to work on my drill weekends, even if my drill weekend falls on a weekend I am supposed to work.”

Sprecher was deployed in 2011 to Afghanistan, primarily based in Helmand province, with the 200th Engineer Company of the South Dakota National Guard, stationed in Pierre. She currently serves as dental specialist for the South Dakota Medical Command of Rapid City.

“The Patriot Award gives employees a means to say ‘thank-you’ to their employers for their support of the soldier, whether it be weekend drills, annual training, or when the service member is activated,” said Corbett.

Brookings Health System supports all employees who serve in the armed forces and their military training and service leaves of absences in accordance with the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA).  

About Brookings Health System

Brookings Health System, located in Brookings, South Dakota, includes a 49-bed hospital, the 79-bed The Neighborhoods at Brookview nursing home, and Brookhaven Estates apartments. It is a non-profit, city-owned facility that offers the community a full range of inpatient, outpatient, and extended care services. The emergency room is staffed 24 hours a day and provides around the clock medical-nursing care for patient needs ranging from minor injuries to life threatening crises. For more information about the services offered at Brookings Health System, please call (605) 696-9000 or visit us on the Web at brookingshealth.org.