Serving in dozens of leadership positions over more than 40 years at Sanford Health and the Good Samaritan Society, Randy Bury has made an immense impact on both organizations.
Bury retired as the president and CEO of the Society at the end of 2021.
We are catching up with a few of the colleagues who know him best. They’re sharing how Bury’s service to patients, residents, staff and communities will be remembered.
On living out the mission
“I think the way Randy lived out the mission every day was one of sacrifice. He always sacrificed himself for the betterment of our organization and for our patients. It was a constant theme in everything he did. He always put our people, our patients and the organization as the No. 1 priority. You saw it and you felt it.” – Matt Hocks, Sanford Health executive vice president and chief operating officer
“Whether it’s late nights at the medical center or you pulling me aside, into your office, to share your wisdom and perspectives with me, I’m forever grateful for all that I’ve learned from you. I’m forever grateful for the things you’ve shown me and perhaps most importantly, the ability to have seen what it looks to have somebody who leads with integrity.” – Bill Gassen, Sanford Health president and CEO
“In any organization, especially at the highest level of the organization, trust among team members is critical. There’s no one that I trust more than Randy. I think that is why we were able to lead the organization as well as we did. Build so many new programs, new buildings, grow programs, all of the things that we did together and we did as a team.” – Becky Nelson, retired former Sanford Health senior vice president and chief operating officer
“How many people do you know that show up for an internship and 40 years later is retiring from the same company? He’s just a person who’s always reached for that calling and reached for what was presented for him for an opportunity to make a different area of the organization stronger. There’s a lot of departments that have been touched in a positive way with Randy.” – Eric Vanden Hull, Society vice president of finance
“It didn’t matter if it was the best of best days or the worst of the most challenging days. The same guy showed up for work every day. To me, as a member of his team, that was always very reassuring. I think that it permeated the culture. So that individuals who might not have had the chance to work with him every day saw that and felt that as well. I think that’s really important to know how he impacted people.” – Mona Hohman, retired Sanford Health and Society executive
“I’ve had a front row seat to how Randy lives out his faith day in and day out. Since day one, he always talked about, ‘We’re here for the field. We’re here to serve the field. We wouldn’t exist if it were not for the field and what they do each and every day.’ I don’t know that I’ve been in too many meetings where he’s not constantly reminding us why we’re here. Certainly, we’ve had some pretty tough days over the last 18 months. What Randy has reminded us, is we truly are the hands and feet of Jesus. What we do and what we say matters every day. It’s our job as leaders to lift up everyone around the Society.” – Nate Schema, new Society president and CEO
“I first met you 40-plus years ago at Augustana University. We were in the same program there at Augustana, the health care administration program. You were kind of a legend already. You were identified as somebody that was going to make a difference in the health care industry. From that beginning back at Augustana, I’ve known you for your entire career with your wife working at Good Samaritan for so many years. You were always supportive of operations and this has been a pretty challenging last couple of years. From day one, you were always focused on our residents. You were focused on our staff. You were focused on our facilities.” – Randy Fitzgerald, Society executive director for Region 1
Messages for Randy in retirement
“First and foremost, I just want to say thank you. I want to say thank you for the more than 40 years of your life that you and Sonia and your boys have dedicated to making this organization an incredible place to work, an incredible place to deliver care and most importantly, an incredible place to receive care. This organization would not be what it is today but for your sacrifice, your dedication to doing right by our people, by our patients and by our communities.” – Bill Gassen
“Randy, after 40 and a half years in this organization, I can’t imagine what you’ve seen and what you’ve been through in your dedication to this organization and our people and the patients. I wish you all the best in retirement. You’ve arrived. You’ve been through just about everything. A pandemic, a hurricane, a fire in the last couple of years and you’re going out on top and you’ve left it in good hands with the people you’ve mentored through the years. Cheers to you. I hope you can spend time and relax. You’ve more than earned it.” – Matt Hocks
“I think you are so ready for retirement and you and Sonia are going to have a great deal of fun. You have always kept a life outside of work and your family has always come first and work first. But never did you not pay attention to either one. You’re going to love retirement. I want you to relax and be happy and try to keep up with me in fishing.” – Becky Nelson
“He’s well known to say, ‘OK, on a scale of 1-10, what do you think?’ So Randy, here today, I’m telling you without any hesitation that it’s going to be a 10 and you’re going to love your new life in retirement. You’re really one of the good ones. I also want to thank Sonia for sharing Randy with the organization over the course of his career.” – Mona Hohman
“I would say thank you. You have been an absolute blessing to the Good Samaritan Society. You’ve been a blessing to me. I will forever cherish the last couple years. The way that you’ve mentored me and brought things to the forefront, pointed out things maybe we could have done a bit better and guided us where we needed to change direction midstream. We’ll be forever grateful for the gifts and talents and the way that you’ve faithfully led this organization the past few years.” – Nate Schema
“I’m happy for you. 40-plus years as an executive at Sanford, Good Samaritan Society. It’s time to take the foot off the gas a little bit and enjoy your retirement. Congratulations and thank you. I’m also glad that now there’s only one Randy at National Campus. I just wish you nothing but the best with your wife and two sons in Colorado. Come out and see me sometime. Well done, good and faithful servant.” – Randy Fitzgerald
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