GracePointe Crossing senior living community and its parent company Presbyterian Homes & Services (PHS) received the Patriot Award from the U.S. Department of Defense on Wednesday, Feb. 22.
The honor is awarded by the National Committee for Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR) to recognize civilian employers who support a strong National Guard and Reserve force. Corporal Jennifer Nielsen, USMC, who is employed as a Certified Nursing Assistant at GracePointe Crossing, nominated her employer and will make the presentation.
Nielsen has been deployed three times in the past six years of reserve duty.
In her nomination she said of PHS and GracePointe Crossing, “They have always supported me in each of my deployments and have been behind me 110 percent. I couldn’t have done this without them.”
Employers are nominated by employees who are active in the military reserves. Employing organizations qualify for recognition when they practice leadership and personnel policies that support employee participation in the Guard and Reserve. Receiving this recognition makes GracePointe Crossing and PHS eligible for other regional and national ESGR awards based on the level of support described by Nielsen in her nomination.
“Without supportive employers, Guard and Reserve members would not be able to go forward to protect our country,” said Jim Rostberg, Isanti County Veteran’s Service Officer. “We’re very appreciative of Presbyterian Homes and GracePointe Crossing.” Rostberg said that he presents only 3 or 4 such awards each year.
PHS has supported Nielsen by allowing her to return to her job at GracePointe Crossing at the same terms as when she left for each deployment. Nielsen found encouragement from co-workers who kept in contact with her while she was away. GracePointe Crossing residents, many who are military veterans, often express their pride in Nielsen’s service.
“We recognize that the National Guard and Reserve are essential to our nation and the well being of our communities,” said Laurie Sykes, Campus Administrator. “We feel it is not just our obligation to work with schedules of our military it is an honor. We appreciate the dedication and values that service members such as Jennifer bring to the workforce.”
Formerly Grandview Christian Ministries and Cambridge Health Care Center, GracePointe Crossing has been owned and managed by Presbyterian Homes & Services since 2008.