TACOMA, Wash. – From the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Oregon National Guard has been providing assistance to Oregonians and beyond.
From providing vaccinations, setting up field hospitals, delivering PPE (personal protective equipment), shipping ventilators to New York, Guardsmen of the Oregon National Guard left their civilian employment to help fight the pandemic. This unburdened health care workers, freeing them up in many communities and allowing them to focus on taking are of those who were sick.
Activating these Guardsmen included required bringing those who had both military leadership and medical expertise to lead the effort, such as Coordinated Care's Chief Medical Officer, and Oregon Army National Guard’s State Surgeon Col. Mark Maddox, who was assigned as the Commander of Joint Task Force Guardian, the Oregon National Guard's COVID-19 vaccination support effort.
In recognition of tremendous support Maddox received at work, Beth Johnson, president and CEO at Coordinated Care of Washington, was presented with a Patriot Award by Ohad Lowy, south sound area co-chair for the Washington Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR), a Department of Defense program whose mission includes recognize employers who provide support for their employees who serve in the Reserve Component.
“Mrs. Johnson is highly supportive and encouraging of military duties and leadership roles in the Oregon Amy National Guard,” said Maddox.
“National Guard and Reserve members bring tremendous skills and capabilities to our workforce, and employer support for their military service is critical to maintaining the strength of our Guard and Reserve units,” said Lowy. “By valuing the military service of their Guard and Reserve employees, employers are directly supporting the readiness and retention of our All-Volunteer Force, and our national defense.”
“As the State Surgeon for Oregon, I had a lot of military involvement during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Maddox. “She [Johnson] has been supportive all the way, even with short notice for the activation to support COVID operations in Oregon. Because of her support, I was able to serve in my full capacity.”
Additionally, on behalf of Coordinate Care of Washington, Johnson was also presented with the ESGR Above and Beyond Award.
“The ESGR Above and Beyond Award was created to publicly recognize U.S. employers providing extraordinary patriotic support and cooperation to their employees who have answered their nation’s call to serve,” said Lowy. “Many employers provide support far beyond what USERRA requires, including pay differential to offset the loss of wages, and extension of health care benefits to complement coverage provided by the military when their employees mobilized.”
Coordinated Care of Washington was awarded the Above and Beyond Award for providing its employees pay differential to offset the loss of wages when those employees were called to serve. “Coordinated Care is supportive by continuing my benefits and supplementing the loss of income that would normally occur with mobilization,” explained Maddox. “I am better able to focus on my military duties, knowing my family is well taken care of during these times.”
“Thank you for this recognition,” said Johnon. We are humbled to have incredible staff like Dr. Maddox, our Chief Medical Officer at Coordinated Care, who actively serve our country. I am so proud to have a leader within our organization who exemplifies service to others in such a significant way to improve the health of the community locally and nationally. I am genuinely touched and honored that in supporting troops, like Col Maddox’s in his recent assignment to assist in the COVID-19 response, we received the “Patriotic Employer Award” and for Coordinated Care to receive the “Above and Beyond Award.” It seems like that support is the least we could do.”ESGR is a Department of Defense program that develops and promotes supportive work environments for service members in the National Guard and Reserve through outreach, recognition, and educational opportunities that increase awareness of applicable laws. ESGR also provides assistance in resolving conflicts between Service members and their employers.
For more information about ESGR outreach programs or volunteer opportunities, call (800) 336-4590 or visit www.ESGR.mil/WA.
Pictured: Beth Johnson (far right), president and CEO at Coordinated Care of Washington, was presented with a Patriot Award by Ohad Lowy (middle), south sound area co-chair for the Washington Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR), a Department of Defense program whose mission includes recognize employers who provide support for their employees who serve in the Reserve Component. Johnson was nominated by Coordinated Care's Chief Medical Officer, and Oregon Army National Guard’s State Surgeon Col. Mark Maddox (far left), who was assigned as the Commander of Joint Task Force Guardian, the Oregon National Guard's COVID-19 vaccination support effort. Additionally, on behalf of Coordinate Care of Washington, Johnson was also presented with the ESGR Above and Beyond Award for providing benefits above and beyond the requirements of USERRA.