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Pentagon honors Bassett for supporting troops

By THE DAILY STAR, ONEONTA, N.Y. (TRIBUNE NEWS SERVICE) Published: January 30, 2016

The Bassett Healthcare Network received recognition Thursday for going “above and beyond,” through a Department of Defense initiative, according to a media release.

The Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR) Above and Beyond Award was presented Thursday to Bassett by Major General Patrick Murphy, Adjutant General of New York State.

Bassett was nominated for the award by Dr. William LeCates, medical director at Bassett Medical Center in Cooperstown. He is a lieutenant colonel in the New York Army National Guard and has completed three deployments since 2013. The ceremony took place at the Cooperstown facility.

“Bassett has shown outstanding support for its drilling and deploying reservists for many years,” he said in a media release. “Employees at every level give selflessly of their time and energy. Thanks to the kindness of my co-workers, I am able to deploy with peace of mind knowing that my patients will receive the best care possible, and that my family will receive whatever extra help might be needed during my absence.”

The ESGR is a Department of Defence office created in 1972 to promote cooperation and understanding between Reserve Component Service members and their civilian employers, according to its website.

In making the presentation, Murphy said, “Through your support of Lt. Col. LeCates and others, you have impacted countless lives. Our gratitude is represented in the awarding of Above and Beyond to Bassett.”

Murphy leads 16,000 members of the New York Army and Air National Guard and almost 3,500 members of the New York Naval Militia and New York Guard, a state volunteer force.

He said, “The sacrifices of those of us that wear the uniform as well as the sacrifices of our families are just one part of the equation. The support system we have back home when we serve is critically important; all of you are there for our servicemen and women every day making it possible for us to deploy in service to our country.”

In accepting the award, Bassett President and Chief Executive Officer Dr. Vance M. Brown said, “I thank the men and women who protect our nation, and recognize their service. The sacrifices, however, don’t end there. When one of our employees is deployed in service to our country, so many others step up back here at home and take on the extra responsibility of filling that void. We also need to honor the families our military men and women leave behind; the sacrifices they make classify them as true heroes.”

LeCates, who joined the New York Army National Guard in 2008, deployed to Afghanistan in 2010 and 2013 and most recently returned from serving in Liberia last year.

The Above and Beyond Award is presented by ESGR State Committees to recognize employers at the local level who have gone above and beyond the legal requirements of the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA) by providing their Guard and Reserve employees additional, non-mandated benefits such as differential or full pay to offset lost wages, extended health benefits, and other similar benefits.

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©2016 The Daily Star (Oneonta, N.Y.)
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