Skip to main content

ESGR in the News


ALLENTOWN, Pa. – Pennsylvania Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR), a Department of Defense office, announced that Saint Luke’s University Hospital Network recently received the Patriot Award in recognition of extraordinary support of employees serving in the Pennsylvania Guard and Reserve.

Pennsylvania ESGR is particularly proud to present employers with a Patriot Award for their strong support of their employees serving in our nation’s Reserve forces during ESGR’s 50th Anniversary year.

Saint Luke’s University Hospital Network’s Service Manager Julie Wentzel was nominated for the Patriot Award by 2nd Lt. Casey Sullivan of the Pennsylvania Army National Guard’s 1st Battalion of the 108th Field Artillery Regiment located in Southampton.

 “I have worked for St. Luke’s under Julie’s supervision for over 4 years,” said Sullivan. Shortly after starting my career with St. Luke's, I joined the Pennsylvania ARNG to fulfill a dream I've had my whole life. From the moment I informed Julie and the staff at the Outpatient Social Work Department, they've been incredibly supportive. Within these past four years, I've been called on to fill multiple training and active-duty service needs amounting to over 18 months of time away from my civilian employment.”

Sullivan went on to say, “Julie has been incredibly accommodating and flexible with my PA ARNG training schedule and has made multiple efforts to check in and keep me involved throughout my military leave of appliances. I'm beyond thankful and proud to work for an organization that recognizes the sacrifice and service needs Guardsmen are required to fill and blessed to have a supervisor that understands, empathizes, and supports me along the way. She, the leaders, and staff at St. Luke’s are the reason I can continue to fulfill my passion of serving and advancing my career with the Pennsylvania ARNG.”

Joe Gentile, Pennsylvania East-Central Area ESGR Chair, presented the Patriot Award to Wentzel. In presenting the award, Gentile commented: “I know first-hand how critical it is to pay tribute to those companies and employers that hire and support our Guard and Reserve forces.”

In addition to presenting a Patriot Award, Gentile obtained a Statement of Support from Wentzel. The Statement of Support confirms that the company joins other employers in pledging:

• We fully recognize, honor, and comply with the Uniformed Services Employment and Re-Employment Rights Act (USERRA).

• We will provide our managers and supervisors with the tools they need to effectively manage employees who serve in the Guard and Reserve.

• We appreciate the values, leadership and unique skills service members bring to the workforce and will encourage opportunities to hire Guardsmen, Reservists and Veterans.

• We will continually recognize and support our country’s service members and their families, in peace, in crisis and in war.

“Today, supportive employers are critical to maintaining the strength and readiness of the nation’s Guard and Reserve units,” said Gentile. “I am asking all East-Central Pennsylvania employers to take a look at their current human resources policies to incorporate policies supportive of Guard and Reserve employees.” Many Pennsylvania employers provide support above and beyond their legal requirements by law by offering pay-differential to offset the loss of wages, and extension of health care benefits, which complement coverage provided by the military, when their employees mobilize.”

Saint Luke’s University Hospital Network joins a cadre of Fortune 500 companies, state and federal, agencies and thousands of America’s employers in demonstrating support for our armed forces. Gentile added: “By signing the Statement of Support, Saint Luke’s sending a clear message to its employees that while they are serving their country, they do not have to worry about their civilian jobs.”

ESGR, a Department of Defense office, 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. ESGR facilitates and promotes a cooperative culture of employer support for National Guard and Reserve service by developing and advocating mutually beneficial initiatives, recognizing outstanding employer support, increasing awareness of applicable laws and policies, resolving potential conflicts between employers and their service members, and acting as the employers’ principal advocate within DoD. Paramount to ESGR's mission is encouraging employment of Guardsmen and Reservists who bring integrity, global perspective, and proven leadership to the civilian workforce.

For more information about ESGR Outreach Programs, or ESGR volunteer opportunities, please call 1-800-336-4590 or visit

Posted in: Pennsylvania
Actions: E-mail | Permalink |