News: Neillsville (MMC Supports Military Employees - 2016)

Contact: Dolores (Mohr) Kenyon

Surnames: Fields, Meddaugh, Williams, Neville, Carter

----Source: Clark County Press (Neillsville, Clark Co., WI) 7/20/2016

MMC Supports its Employees (In the Military - 2016)

MMC Supports its Employees Who Serve in the Military

Dave Fields (right), a physician assistant at Memorial Medical Center (MM) in Neillsville and a captain in the 1-120th Field Artillery of the Wisconsin Army National Guard, and Ryan Neville, MMC president and CEO, pose for a photo at the June 14 BossLift event at Camp McCoy. (Contributed photo)

By Todd Schmidt

Memorial Medical Center (MMC) in Neillsville walks the talk in support of those who serve in the military.

MMC was recently recognized by the Department of Defense for its participation in the Employers Support Guard and Reserve (ESGR) program.

Two MMC employees, David Fields, a physician assistant who serves as a captain in the 1-120th Field Artillery of the Wisconsin Army National Guard, and Shannon Meddaugh, a registered nurse who serves as a captain in the 115th Fighter Wind of the Wisconsin Air National Guard, are engaged a minimum of one weekend of service per month and two weeks of training per year to meet their military commitment. All members of the Guard and Reserve are also subject to immediate deployment.

“MMC is proud to support the passion of David and Shannon to actively serve our country,” said Ryan Neville, MMC president and CEO. “Both David and Shannon serve two communities, Clark County and military personnel.”

Retired Army Col. Mike Williams is chairman of the Wisconsin ESGR program. He described last week how he and 120 volunteers around the state work with Guard and Reserve members and their employers.

“The ESGR program was established in 1972 to promote cooperation and understanding between Reserve Component Service members and their civilian employers to assist in the resolution of conflicts arising from an employee’s military commitment,” Williams said. “These citizen warriors could not defend and protect us at home and abroad without the continued promise of meaningful civilian employment for themselves and their families.

Williams said the ESGR program encourages employers to hire members of the Guard and Reserve.

“These employers are asked to go above and beyond, granting time off when needed and ensuring there is no pay differential, no loss in job status and no lapse in health insurance benefits,” Williams said. “In return, employers get employees who are well trained and well disciplined. They have extensive leadership and team training. They are also physically fit and drug-free. It is a win-win situation for everyone.”

MMC proudly displays a plaque professing the facility’s support for the Guard and Reserve, which reads as follows:

“MMC agrees to fully recognize, honor and comply with the Uniformed Services Employment and Re-employment Rights Act (USERRA).

“MMC agrees to provide its managers and supervisors with the tools they need to effectively manage those employees who serve in the Guard and Reserve.

“MMC appreciates the values, leadership and unique skills service members bring to the workforce and will encourage opportunities to employ guardsmen, reservists, transitioning service members and veterans.

“MMC will continually recognize and support our country’s Service members and their families in peace, in crisis and in war.”

Secretary of Defense Ash Carter noted in the highest American tradition, the patriotic men and women of the Guard and Reserve serve voluntarily in an honorable and vital profession.

“They train to respond to their community and their country in time of need,” Carter wrote. “They deserve the support of every segment of our society.”

Fields and Neville participated June 14 in a BossLift event at Camp McCoy. The BossLift exposes employers to what their Guard and Reserve employees do in training.

“BossLift enhances the value and importance of the ESGR program,” Williams said. “It demonstrates how Guard and Reserve members contribute to our national defense. Employers are taken into a military experience, and they come back with a new perspective.”

Neville said he was impressed with the BossLift event. He learned that Fields is in charge of a clinic 24/7 when he is on duty.

“We at MMC are very pleased with that,” Neville said.

Employers were treated to information programs during breakfast and lunch. Numerous employers also experienced a ride in a Blackhawk helicopter.

Williams said another facet of the ESGR experience includes participation in a real live refueling mission. Typical flights on KC 135s take off out of Green Bay and fly over Lake Michigan. Other refueling missions take place over Kansas, involving Air Force, Navy and Marine aircraft.

ESGR participants are basically hitchhikers on these refueling flights. Williams noted it takes a special security clearance, which is the only way a civilian can be on a military aircraft.

“This is an exciting event that is of great interest to employers,” Williams said. “It is another way for employers to gain respect for the training and professionalism of Guard and Reserve members.”



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