Sanford Health honored with Pro Patria Award

Health system recognized for support of military service.

Department of Defense officials give the Pro Patria award to Governor Kristi Noem
Department of Defense officials give the Pro Patria award to Governor Kristi Noem

Sanford Health’s support of its employees who also serve in the military has earned the South Dakota Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve Pro Patria Award.

The award is presented annually to one South Dakota employer who provides exceptional support to national defense through leadership practices and personnel policies that support employees serving in the National Guard or Reserve. Leaders from Sanford Health accepted the award last month at the South Dakota National Guard Dining-Out event in Pierre.

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Sanford Health has formally committed to being the employer of choice for veterans and military personnel and in 2017 established a department of veterans and military services. Led by retired Navy Capt. Paul Weckman, the department recently helped Sanford Health implement a program that offers differential pay to support employees during qualified military deployments.

“Employers are inextricably linked to the nation’s defense by sharing their most precious assets, their employees,” said Capt. Chad Carlson, executive director for the SD Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve committee. “Sanford Health is deserving of this recognition for their outstanding contributions to our military services. Their leadership exemplifies the patriotic spirit that is alive and well here in our great state of South Dakota.”

Sanford Health has twice received the North Dakota Employer Support of Guard and Reserve Pro Patria Award. It was also a semifinalist for the Secretary of Defense’s Employer Support Freedom Award in 2018.

Recognition for employees’ military service includes the option to display veteran status on employee badges. Sanford Health has also established Veterans’ Clubs at its medical centers in Sioux Falls and Fargo.

To contact Sanford Health Veterans and Military Services, call (800) 949-1848. For information on how military experience matches open positions at Sanford Health, visit

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Posted In Awards & Recognition, News, Pierre, Veterans