HOUSTON (January 29, 2015)

Memorial Hermann Southwest Hospital employees Esther Batarseh and Vinoth Joseph were recently recognized with Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR)’s Patriot Award for their effort to support “Citizen Warriors” in the service of our country. The ESGR is a component of the United States Department of Defense.

U.S. Army reservist Osvaldo Marcenaro, a radiology technician at the hospital, nominated Batarseh, Director of Hospital Operations and Joseph, Manager of Radiology Services at Memorial Hermann Southwest, for the award.

Staff Sgt. Marcenaro is a member of the 4005th U.S. Army Hospital. He left for Fort Hood in October 2013 supporting Operation Enduring Freedom. He returned to Memorial Hermann Southwest 390 days later in Nov. 2014 following his mission of medically processing soldiers deploying or returning from Iraq, Afghanistan, Africa and other locations. Marcenaro was awarded the Army Commendation Medal recognizing his outstanding work and leadership.

“My supervisors made it easy for me to serve my country,” Marcenaro said. “I serve because I love my country, but more importantly, I serve so others do not have to. While I still had other worries, Memorial Hermann removed a big burden from my mind and let me concentrate on the mission. Their loyalty and support of me and other service members in the company makes me want to give back more to my leadership, the hospital, my coworkers and especially the patients.

“I learned a long time ago that the way a company treats their employees is the same way the employees treat their customers,” Marcenaro continued. “I can truly say that I am happy to come into work because of the wonderful culture we have at Memorial Hermann.”

Memorial Hermann Southwest stepped up to support Marcenaro during his difficult time of leaving behind his home, his family and his job to serve his country. While deployed, Marcenaro continued to receive fulltime benefits, but more importantly, his job and future at Memorial Hermann were secure.

“Considering all that our country has done for us, this is a small way we can give back to our service men and women,” said Batarseh. “We support our troops in their efforts to keep us safe and help countries around the world work on their peace efforts. It meant a great deal to us to have one of our own be deployed and to support him during this time.

“We wanted to ensure this was the least stressful moment in Osvaldo’s life as he got ready to leave behind loved ones and complete his assignment,” Batarseh continued. “Our goal was to honor him the same way he has honored our country by his service. His service and dedication is not only evident in the military, but also here in our radiology department at Memorial Hermann Southwest. We are grateful to have him back as one of our own.”

Not all companies follow Memorial Hermann’s example in supporting citizen soldiers. While federal law does not allow employers to penalize service members because of their military duties, every year thousands of National Guard and Reserve troops coming home from service find themselves with no job or benefits.

The ESGR “seeks to foster a culture in which all employers support and value the employment and military service of members of the National Guard and Reserve in the United States.” The Patriot Award “reflects the efforts made to support Citizen Warriors through a wide-range of measures, including flexible schedules, time off prior to and after deployment, caring for families and granting leaves of absence if needed."