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ESGR in the News


MANKATO, Minn. – ESGR volunteer John Kingrey is shown with Dr. James Hebl, Mayo Clinic Health System Regional Vice President, Southwest Minnesota Region, after receiving an Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR) Patriot Award.

Dr. Hebl was nominated by Maj. Russell Tontz, a senior flight surgeon with the U.S. Air Force Reserve at Fort Snelling, Minnesota. Previously he was on active duty in the Air Force for 10 years and 3 years with the South Dakota National Guard.

Tontz is an occupational medicine physician with the Mayo Clinic Health System in Mankato. The award was given Jan. 27. In his nomination, Tontz wrote that his deployment in 2021 came at a very difficult time for a healthcare organization because it was during the COVID Pandemic. Dr. Hebl and his team supported Tontz’s medical practice, but also his family during his absence.

The Mayo Clinic Health System was a recipient of an ESGR Above and Beyond Award in 2022.

ESGR is a Department of Defense program which seeks to foster a culture in which all employers support and value the employment and military service of members of the National Guard and Reserve in the United States. For more information about ESGR outreach programs or volunteer opportunities, call (800) 336-4590 or visit

Photo left to right: John Kingrey ESGR and Dr. Jim Hebl MD
(Photo courtesy of Rosie Myer)

Posted in: Minnesota
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