CHI Memorial director receives patriotic employer award

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(l-r) Chris Cole, Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR), along with Felicia Lane, CHI Memorial employee, present Debbie Ralston, CHI Memorial director, with the ESGR’s Patriotic Employer Award.


Debbie Ralston, director of CHI Memorial Ooltewah Imaging Center, recently received the ‘Patriotic Employer’ award from the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR).  The ESGR’s Patriot Award is presented to an individual for his/her “support provided directly to the nominating service member and his/her family.  This award 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.”

“I’m absolutely speechless,” said Ralston. “I felt so honored.  At that moment, I felt my daddy, who served in the Marines. It’s a wonderful award and I hope more companies, and managers and directors are supportive, and will work with people in unique situations.”

Felicia Lane, MRI technologist at CHI Memorial Ooltewah Imaging Center, nominated Ralston.  Lane’s husband, Staff Sgt. Brandon Lane, serves in the Army Reserves, and is currently attached to the 465th Engineer Company in Birmingham, Alabama.  The unit left just before Christmas for pre-deployment in Texas, and recently deployed to Africa. 

Lane said she nominated Ralston because of the compassion and empathy she’s shown.  “She’s been very understanding.  When I first went to her and told her that this was all happening, she was like ‘Just whatever you need.  Just let me know what you need and we’ll make it happen.’ She’s really supportive.”

For more information about this award, or to nominate someone, visit the ESGR’s website. 

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