Memphis, Tenn. (TN Tribune) – Tim Barton, director of Research and Safety Affairs at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center (UTHSC), has received the Patriot Award from the Office of the Secretary of Defense Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR). The award is given to supervisors and bosses for providing direct support to an employee who serves in the military.

Barton was nominated by Charlie Hutton, health and safety specialist at UTHSC, for support in meeting Hutton’s commitments to the Army National Guard. Any employee serving in the National Guard or Reserve may nominate their supervisor for providing support through flexible schedules, time off pre- and post-deployment, caring for families, and granting leaves of absence.

“This award recognizes the benefit of extracurricular education and activities in our employees’ lives and recognizes that we support our country and our service members,” said Barton. “Although there are federal laws that require employers to save positions and support employees that have military responsibilities, some employers meet the legal obligations but stop there. UTHSC supervisors not only support our reservists in meeting their requirements, but also make sure the process is easy and accommodating for the employee.”

As a staff sergeant with 20 years of active duty and reserve experience, Hutton’s leadership and industrial hygiene training received in the military directly relates to his work as a health and safety specialist at UTHSC.

“There’s a kind of synergy between Charlie’s military experience that has helped him be a mature, professional, and continuous improvement-minded individual. He’s an all-around great asset to UTHSC. That’s just who he is, but it’s also his experiences that have contributed to that. It’s been a real benefit to have him at UTHSC, and we’re grateful to be able to support his military service any way we can,” said Barton.