U.S. Department of Defense Honors Three Memorial Healthcare System Physicians

The doctors received a framed Patriot Award certificate and lapel pin during a presentation ceremony at Memorial Hospital West in Pembroke Pines

Doctors Aharon Sareli, Daniel Mayer and Alvaro Visbal of Memorial Healthcare System were recently honored by the U.S. Department of Defense for their support of Kevin Tipton, an ICU nurse at Memorial Hospital West who also serves as a captain in the Florida Air National Guard.

The Patriot Award recognizes supervisors whose actions directly support employees serving in the National Guard or Reserve, which often involves providing flexibility in scheduling, time off before or after deployment, caring for families or granting leave of absence. Tipton nominated the trio for the award for their understanding of his dual roles, even when COVID-19 increased hospital admissions by more than 400%.

“It’s not easy for employers to make accommodations so that people can serve in two roles,” Tipton says, a critical care nurse practitioner for more than a decade. “No one wants an almost full-time employee, but it’s something these doctors have done with a smile and always been supportive.”

The awards were presented by Rebecca and Peter Caspari, Florida Director of Employer Outreach for the Department of Defense Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR) program.

“We want to say ‘thank you’ to the doctors and patriotic employers for their support in letting soldiers leave their civilian job to do what they need to do with the Reserve and National Guard,” says the duo.

Tipton helped inoculate more than 10,000 individuals against the coronavirus during his deployment with the Florida Air National Guard.

“Kevin truly embodies the spirit of commitment, wanting to help others, and complete dedication,” Dr. Sareli says, Memorial Healthcare System’s chief of critical care medicine. “Those are also the qualities essential to healthcare workers as we try and do the best for our patients, despite the circumstances of the last two years.”

SFBW Staff
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