Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey Receives U.S Secretary of Defense “Pro-Patria Award” for its Support of National Guard and Military Reservists

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Company also a semi-finalist for Defense Department's "Freedom Award"

Elsie Ortiz (L), a Data Reporting Analyst for Horizon BCBSNJ and Staff Sergeant, US Army Reserve and Chief Diversity Officer Alison Banks-Moore with Pro Patria Award.

The Pro Patria Award is a prestigious tribute to our efforts to help employees balance work responsibilities with their desire to serve their country in the National Guard or Military Reserve.

For the second time in the last three years, Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey (Horizon BCBSNJ) has received the Pro Patria Award – an honor bestowed by the U.S. Secretary of Defense to employers that distinguish themselves for their support of workers who also serve in the National Guard or Military Reserve. The award was presented to Horizon BCBSNJ during a special ceremony last week at the Hilton Garden Inn in Hamilton.

The Pro Patria Award is given annually by the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR), a U.S Department of Defense office. An ESGR Committee in each state selects one small, one large and one public sector employer in their state or territory for this annual honor. The award recognizes those employers showing the greatest support to Guard and Reserve employees through their leadership and practices, including adopting personnel policies that make it easier for employees to participate in the National Guard and Reserves.

“Horizon is proud to offer flexible leave policies to support our employees who remain active in military service and to honor veterans and active service members through several recruitment and workforce programs, including a Military Affinity Group,” said Alison Banks-Moore, Chief Diversity Officer for Horizon BCBSNJ. “The Pro Patria Award is a prestigious tribute to our efforts to help employees balance work responsibilities with their desire to serve their country in the National Guard or Military Reserve.”

As a New Jersey winner of this award, Horizon BCBSNJ has also been selected as one of the semifinalists for the 2016 Secretary of Defense Employer Freedom Award. The Freedom Award is the U.S. Department of Defense's highest honor for employers that provide extraordinary support to their National Guard and National Reserve employees.
Horizon BCBSNJ has also been recognized for 2016 by Victory Media, publisher of G.I. Jobs magazine, as a Military Friendly Employer® and a Military Spouse Friendly Employer®.

About Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey
Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey, the state’s oldest and largest health insurer is a tax-paying, not-for-profit health service corporation, providing a wide array of medical, dental, and prescription insurance products and services. Horizon BCBSNJ is leading the transformation of health care in New Jersey by working with doctors and hospitals to deliver innovative, patient-centered programs that reward the quality, not quantity, of care patients receive. Learn more at http://www.HorizonBlue.com. Horizon BCBSNJ is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association serving more than 3.8 million members.

About Horizon BCBSNJ’s Diversity programs
Horizon BCBSNJ has instituted many programs aimed at promoting diversity within the company including: paid minority internships and manager development programs, as well as a Diversity Council and minority leadership programs. To learn more about Horizon BCBSNJ and its diversity efforts, visit: http://www.HorizonBlue.com/diversity

About ESGR
Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve is a Department of Defense office established in 1972 to develop and maintain employer support for Guard and Reserve service. ESGR advocates relevant initiatives, recognizes outstanding support, increases awareness of applicable laws, and resolves conflict between service members and employers. Paramount to ESGR's mission is encouraging the employment of Guardsmen and Reservists who bring integrity, global perspective and proven leadership to the civilian workforce. More information about ESGR Employer Outreach is available at http://www.ESGR.mil
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Thomas Vincz
Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey
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