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A Surprise Military Thank You
February 28, 2024

St. Luke’s Smithfield Primary Care’s April Treible, PA-C, thanked her supervisor Denise Horn, manager of practice operations, with a celebration of Horn’s support of Treible’s military responsibilities on February 19.  

St. Luke’s physician assistant April Treible, PA-C, surprised her supervisor, Denise Horn, manager of practice operations at St. Luke’s Smithfield Primary Care, on February 19, by thanking her in a unique way for her flexibility and support of Treible’s military role and responsibilities.

Treible, an officer in the U.S. Army Reserves, didn’t buy Horn flowers, chocolates or lunch. Instead, she secretly nominated Horn for the Patriot Award, sponsored by Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR), which recognizes a civilian supervisor who goes out of the way to provide encouragement to an active military member at their civilian job.

St. Luke’s is a military-friendly organization that honors those who serve or have served in the United States Armed Services by building a vibrant community of veterans and allies and working with veterans benefit administrators to expand and facilitate access to St. Luke’s award-winning care.

In addition to being an employee of the Smithfield practice since June 2023, Treible also is a Captain in the Army Nursing Corps. Her role as a Commander for the 301st Surgical Augmentation Detachment, based in Ashley, PA, requires a significant amount of time away from her civilian job and family in Lehighton. Orders for training often are long-term and can come unexpectedly or at the last minute.

“Denise has been very understanding and a huge help with scheduling my time off, sometimes even at the last minute,” said Treible, who joined the Army in 2016. “I wanted to thank her in an official military manner and felt the Patriot Award was the most appropriate way.”

A framed certificate of appreciation from the Office of the Sectary of Defense was presented to Horn, a resident of Mount Bethel, as a surprise by Roselyn Schroeder (a Marine veteran) of ESGR, in the Smithfield practice’s conference room. The high point for Treible was when she attached a pin to Horn’s lapel that says, “My boss is a Patriot.” 

According to Treible, Horn was speechless at the unexpected accolades. Colleen Poehler, Sr. director of Primary Care with St. Luke’s Physician Group, said it is no surprise that Horn goes above and beyond for people.

“Denise has put in a lot of work to cultivate a culture that takes care of employees as well as patients,” Poehler said. “I am immensely proud to call her a colleague on the Smithfield Primary Care Team.”

The network’s Veteran’s Enrichment Team, a special committee comprising a cross-section of St. Luke’s employees, is committed to ensuring that the organization honors veterans’ service by providing specialized support in the areas of health care, employment and special events and programs.

St. Luke’s also works with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs to provide peer support services to veterans with the goal of reducing veteran suicide in Carbon County. The Victory for Veterans team of certified peer specialists provides outreach, counseling and education to veterans who may feel isolated, are potentially at risk for suicide and need mental health services.