DENVER--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Oct. 16, 2013-- DaVita®, a division of DaVita Healthcare Partners Inc.(NYSE: DVA) and a leading provider of kidney care services, has been awarded the Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award in honor of its commitment to supporting National Guard and Reserve employees. DaVita received the award at the 18th annual Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award ceremony on Sept. 26, 2013, in Washington, D.C.
“Our commitment is to our community first and a critical part of that is making sure that we support our National Guard and Reserve teammates,” said Kent Thiry, CEO of DaVita. “I am honored that we were selected for this award but even prouder that these individuals choose to work for us.”
The award ceremony was hosted at the Ronald Reagan Building in Washington, D.C. Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR) formally recognized 15 employers that have been named recipients of this year’s Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award. Previous award recipients and Department of Defense leadership were in attendance, in addition to trade associations and civilian government leaders.
“This week, we honor members of the National Guard and Reserve who carry that legacy forward,” said President Barack Obama. “We thank the employers who support them; and we reaffirm our promise to provide our troops, our veterans and our military families with the opportunities they have earned.”
The Freedom Award is the Department of Defense’s highest honor for employer support of National Guard and Reserve employees. The 2013 award recipients represent large and small businesses, as well as public sector agencies. They have distinguished themselves from a field of nearly 2,900 nominations submitted by Reserve Component Service members. These employers have gone above and beyond their legal obligations to military employees, offering formal and informal initiatives that ensure service members and their families are taken care of throughout all types of military service. The recipients’ measures of support included creating special hiring programs; providing personal support to families, such as home maintenance; and continuing full benefits, salary and additional paid leave options during deployment.
DaVita is the dialysis division of DaVita HealthCare Partners Inc., a Fortune 500® company that, through its operating divisions, provides a variety of health care services to patient populations throughout the United States and abroad. A leading provider of kidney care in the United States, DaVita delivers dialysis services to patients with chronic kidney failure and end stage renal disease. DaVita strives to improve patients’ quality of life by innovating clinical care, and by offering integrated treatment plans, personalized care teams and convenient health-management services. As of June 30, 2013, DaVita operated or provided administrative services at 2,010 outpatient dialysis centers located in the United States serving approximately 159,000 patients. The company also operated 48outpatient dialysis centers located in ten countries outside the United States. DaVita supports numerous programs dedicated to creating positive, sustainable change in communities around the world. The company’s leadership development initiatives and social responsibility efforts have been recognized by Fortune, Modern Healthcare, Newsweek and WorldBlu. For more information, please visit DaVita.com.
Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve, a Department of Defense office established in 1972, develops and maintains employer support for Guard and Reserve service. ESGR advocates relevant initiatives, recognizes outstanding support, increases awareness of applicable laws, and resolves conflict between service members and employers. Paramount to ESGR's mission is encouraging employment of Guardsmen and Reservists who bring integrity, global perspective and proven leadership to the civilian workforce. On behalf of the Secretary of Defense, ESGR runs the annual Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award program. Created in 1996, the Freedom Award has been presented to 175 employers since its inception.
For questions or information on media coverage of the ceremony, please contact Beth Sherman, ESGR Public Affairs, at 571-372-0705 or by email at ESGR-PA@osd.mil.
Kate Wilson Stabrawa, 303-876-7527