Sanford Health to receive Department of Defense Freedom Award

The award is given to employers who provide exceptional support to workers in the National Guard and Reserve.

FARGO, N.D. — When it comes to taking care of those who have risked their lives for our country, Sanford Health is an expert.

Not just among employers in the Red River Valley, but among all employers across the nation.

The health care system has been recognized by the U.S. Department of Defense as one of the 2020 Employer Support Freedom Award recipients.

The award is given to employers who provide exceptional support to workers in the National Guard and Reserve.

“Sanford has really taken a lead on this,” said Sanford Health’s safety manager and U.S. Army veteran, Matthew Shaske. “They really care for their veterans employees that they have. They have a lot of programs out there to bring veterans as they come out of the military and really provide them an avenue into civilian life.”

The attention and commitment to caring for its military employees enabled Sanford Health to be chosen as one of the 15 recipients out of more than 2,600 nominations.

Sanford Health offers a continuation of benefits while service members are deployed, gives out $20,000 a year in scholarships to military students, partners with the Army to guarantee young military members an interview after their service, and has a differential pay policy.

“When a young soldier or sailor is deployed, the difference of what the Department of Defense gives them, compared to what they are getting here at Sanford, we make up the difference,” said Sanford Orthopedics manager of Athletic Training, Brad Reed.

Reed has worked for Sanford since 1997 and is an active member of the National Guard. In 2018, he received the organization’s first ever Veteran of the Year Award; another Sanford initiative designed to pay respects to those who have served.

“It was quite an honor. I was treated like royalty for a while. A long time. It has been very nice to be recognized and it feels like you are getting the backing that you need as an employee here at Sanford,” said Reed.

Sanford Health hopes all its military employees share the same sentiment as Reed, continuing to make part of the company’s mission to properly serve those who have served others.

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