Lakeview Regional Medical Center, a campus of Tulane Medical Center, and three of its employees were recently honored by the U.S. National Guard and Reserves for their support of military personnel and their families.

The Above and Beyond Award was given to Jennifer Schmidt, Lakeview Regional's chief nursing officer. The Patriot Award was presented to both Daphne Guidry, the hospital's critical care and ICU manager, and Mirtha Poulliard, its patient services director. Lakeview Regional was awarded the organization's ProPatria award as its Business of the Year. Second Lieutenant Joel O'Connor, a nurse in Lakeview Regional's critical care unit, nominated the three women for the awards.

The Above and Beyond Award is presented by the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve state committees to recognize employers at the local level who have gone above and beyond the legal requirements of the law by providing their guard and reserve employees additional, non-mandated benefits such as full pay to offset wages, extended health benefits and other similar benefits.

"Our CNO, Jennifer Schmidt, advocates for us, acts as a professional counselor, and makes the hospital feel like family," O'Connor said. "She puts herself out there and has done more behind the scenes than what her job title requires."

The Patriot Award recognizes supervisors for supporting U.S. National Guard and Reserve service members. It reflects the efforts made to support citizen warriors through a wide-range of measures, including flexible schedules, time off prior to and after deployment, caring for families, and granting leaves of absence if needed.

Both Guidry and Poulliard are 19-year employees of Lakeview Regional. "Daphne Guidry took great risk and stress upon herself to meet my needs, and Mirtha Arias went above and beyond to support the mission of the Louisiana Air National Guard Medical Group and advocated for furthering its mission readiness and effectiveness," O'Connor said.

The Pro Patria Award is awarded to recipients who have demonstrated the greatest support to U.S. National Guard and Reserve employees through their leadership and practices, including adopting personnel policies that make it easier for employees to participate in the service. This is the highest level award that may be bestowed by the organization.

"As an organization, the best way we can support our military is by providing our employees with the necessary time and support to serve in the U.S. National Guard and Reserves," said Hiral Patel, Lakeview Regional CEO. "I am proud of the actions and extraordinary support our leaders provided to Joel. Jennifer, Daphne and Mirtha's leadership supported Joel to become critical care trained. This allowed him to reach his goal of becoming a flight nurse for the National Guard - for this we couldn't be more proud or honored."

The awards were presented by U.S. National Guard and Reserves members O'Connor, Lieutenant Colonel Timothy Vignes, Senior Master Sargent Trina Lacombe, former Secretary of the Louisiana Department of Veterans Affairs Lane Carson , and John Manion, Louisiana ESGE vice chairman.