Kansas Heart Hospital, physician recognized for support of deployed nurse anesthetist

Representatives of the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve presented an award to Kansas Heart Hospital and anesthesiologist Ernie Hoeckel for their support of a worker who was deployed to Afghanistan.

Hoeckel and hospital officials were presented this morning with a Patriot Award for supporting Jeremy Salsbury, a nurse anesthetist who serves as a captain in the Army Reserves and returned May 4 from a four-month deployment in Kunar Province.

Salsbury said the hospital and Hoeckel provided “above and beyond” support to him and his family while he was away.“It was very reassuring to me,” Salsbury said.

Hoeckel said it would be impossible not to support an employee who is serving his or her country.“As far as my contributions … I consider it pretty darn minimal,” Hoeckel said.