Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve area chair Bill Gillespie (far right) presented Dr. Charles Grim and Dr. Gloria Grim with the ESGR Patriotism Award. Not shown are Dr. Douglas Nolan and Keven Charbonneau who were also honored with the award. The award recognizes employers who have shown exceptional support to employees with military service obligations. All four recipients are members of Cherokee Nation’s Health Services team.

Cherokee Nation Supervisors Recognized for Supporting Troops


When time comes for guardsmen and reservists to take time off to fulfill their duties to the United States, it can be tough in some working atmospheres. It is for this reason that the Department of Defense recognizes supervisors and bosses who are will to accommodate these military employees.

Under the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve agency through the DoD, four members of the Cherokee Nation health care team in Tahlequah, Oklahoma were recognized recently. Bill Gillespie, ESGR area chair, presented Keven Charboneau and Drs. Charles Grim, Gloria Grim and Douglas Nolan with the ESGR Patriot Award for their efforts to accommodate their employees.

“It’s very important for employers to cooperate and assist their employees when they do get deployed,” said Gillespie. “It creates great feelings between the employer and the employee. When a guardsman or reservist knows he’s getting full support at home from family and employer, that’s one less worry that they have to contend with.”

“I am honored that the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve would recognize us like this,” said Charles Grim, director of Cherokee Nation Health Services. “The fact that almost 50 percent of our nation’s total force now is either Guard or Reserve members really requires employers to be supportive of their employees that are members of the Guard and Reserve because they’re going to have to serve more and more these days. We appreciate all of our employees that serve as Guard or Reserve members, and Cherokee Nation has always been a strong supporter of their veterans–active duty, Guard, Reserve, or retired.”

“What we do is we work with the other physicians to try and make sure we can provide coverage. It’s an important mission they’re doing for all of us, so we need to do our part to make sure they can help protect us all and our freedoms,” said Nolan, medical director at W.W. Hastings Hospital.

Charboneau, who works in W.W. Hastings’ medicine clinic, was nominated for the award by an employee he supervises, he said, “I’m very honored to receive something like this. It almost brings a tear to your eye,” said Charboneau.

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