Newsroom > DHHS News Release

August 2, 2010

Jeanne Atkinson, Communications and Legislative Services, (402) 471-8287

State Division of Behavioral Health Honored for Supporting National Guard and Reserve Employees

Lincoln – The Division of Behavioral Health has received the “Pro Patria” award as outstanding public sector employer for 2009, the highest recognition given by the Nebraska Committee for Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR). The Division is in the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS).

ESGR is a Department of Defense volunteer organization that works with employers and Guardsmen and Reservists to help minimize conflicts between military duties and civilian career responsibilities. Approximately 46 percent of the total available United States military manpower is made up of military reserve components.

“The Pro Patria award is one way of saying ‘thank you’ on behalf of the thousands of Guard and Reserve employees in Nebraska for supporting their sacrifices in service to our nation during this time of conflict,” said Major General (ret) Walt Zink, Chair of the Nebraska Committee for ESGR.

Over the past four years the Division of Behavioral Health has honored and supported employees’ professional military and civilian growth and overall well-being in numerous ways. During employees’ military transitions, the Division has been very supportive and caring of their families, providing gifts to families during times of out-processing, training and/or deployment.

Division of Behavioral Health director Scot Adams accepted the award on behalf of the Division, but stated the award was for the entire Department of Health and Human Services.

“It’s an honor to receive this award, and I know that this Department and other state agencies have fostered a sense of caring for our military service members, and we're proud to support that effort," he said. “If these employees are willing to sacrifice their time in support of their country, we should respect that sacrifice and support them and their families in the work place.”

The Pro Patria ( for {one’s} country) award is presented annually to one Nebraska employer in three categories: small private business, large private business, and a public sector employer. It honors Nebraska employers who’ve provided the most exceptional support to our national defense through leadership practices and personnel policies that support their employees who serve in the National Guard and Reserve.