Teamwork, Patriotic Duty Recognized During Awards Presentation

Five Sparks Health System associates were honored Wednesday with Patriot Awards from the Department of Defense (DoD) for their continued support of a fellow employee who serves in the U.S. Navy Reserve.   A recognition ceremony was held in the Human Resources office of Sparks Health System.

Juston Evenson, Anesthesiologist, M.D., Julie McBride, Manager Surgical Services, Lori Sallee, R.N., Director of Surgery, Misty Sharp, OR Supervisor and Shawna Steely, Supervisor Ancillary Services, received the award from the Arkansas Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR), a DoD operational committee.  A recognition ceremony was held in the Human Resources office of Sparks Health System.

All five associates work in the surgical department with Andrew Barkley, Certified Anesthesia Technician. Barkley is a senior line corpsman in the U.S. Navy Reserve attached to the 3rd Battalion, 23rd Marines.  As part of his duties, he’s required to serve one weekend a month and two weeks a year, often in Little Rock.

Barkley nominated his fellow associates for the ESGR award because of their ability to pick up the slack and accommodate his schedule while he serves his country and contributes to the medical care of more than 160 marines.

“I know that it’s a burden on their part when I leave,” Barkley said. “It’s just a way of saying ‘Thank You.’”

“The Patriot Award was created by ESGR to publicly recognize individuals who provide outstanding patriotic support and cooperation to their employees, who like the citizen warriors before them, have answered their nation’s call to serve,” said Jon Woodham, Northwest Arkansas Area ESGR Area Chairperson. “Supportive supervisors are critical to maintaining the strength and readiness of the nation’s Guard and Reserve units.”

Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR), a Department of Defense operational committee, seeks to foster a culture in which all employers support and value the employment and military service of members of the National Guard and Reserve in the United States.

More information about ESGR Employer Outreach Programs and volunteer opportunities is available at,, by calling Jon Woodham at 479-459-3342, or by calling Richard Green at 501-212-4096.