NEWS RELEASE

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

April 22, 2011

ALBUQUERQUE, NM – ­­­ The U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) announced UNM Hospital has been selected as a semifinalist for the 2011 Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award. The Freedom Award is the DoD’s highest recognition given to employers for exceptional support of their employees serving in the Guard and Reserve.

University of New Mexico Hospital distinguished itself from a pool of 4,049 nominations submitted by service members in 2011. Employers chosen as semifinalists support their Guard and Reserve employees through a variety of formal and informal initiatives, including providing the difference between military and civilian salary during deployments, continuation of full benefits, sending care packages and supporting the families of employees fulfilling military obligations.

“Our nation’s ability to rely on the Guard and Reserve through nearly 10 years of war and during historic natural disasters is made possible by the tremendous support of employers,” said ESGR National Chair James G. Rebholz. “The employers selected as semifinalists have distinguished themselves by going above and beyond what the law requires, and I want to thank them for their critical support on behalf of our service members and our nation.”

Final award recipients will be selected in early summer and honored in Washington, D.C. at the 16th annual Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award Ceremony in September. Last year’s recipients met privately with Vice President Joe Biden and Secretary of Defense Robert Gates prior to the ceremony. The Freedom Award was instituted in 1996.

For more information regarding the Freedom Award, visitwww.FreedomAward.milor contact Gary Kaiser or Lt Col Bill Shuert, NM ESGR, at 505/271-7117/7122 or by email atESGR-PA@osd.mi.


Contact: Luke Frank, 272-3322