Allison Mead is an employee of the Good Samaritan Society. Amber Otkin works for Sanford Health. These two registered nurses are now employees of a combined organization, but their history goes back much further. They are twin sisters, and they have a long history with both the Society and Sanford Health that began before their birth.
The day they were born, their parents, Bruce and Lisa Hubers, arrived at Sioux Valley Hospital (now Sanford USD Medical Center) in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, on a Thanksgiving Day expecting to welcome one baby girl. At the time, a cousin of Bruce’s worked at the hospital, and it fell to her to tell the surprised mom and dad they would actually take home twins.
“We were two months premature, and we gave my parents something to be thankful for,” said Mead.
Mead and Otkin both have worked for the Society on and off, beginning in high school and while pursuing their nursing degrees. In addition, they are the third generation in their family to work for the Society or Sanford Health. Their grandmother, Lila Hubner, worked as an LPN at Good Samaritan Society – Pipestone (Minnesota). Their mother, Lisa Hubers, has more than a decade of work experience with both Sanford Health and the Society.
Excited to hear the news
These sisters, whose lives have been interwoven with these two organizations, were intrigued when they first heard about a pending partnership.
“I called my sister as soon as I found out,” Mead said. “We were very excited to hear about the partnership because Amber truly believes in what Sanford stands for, and I value what Good Samaritan stands for.”
“When I heard about the partnership between Sanford and Good Sam, I was very excited because I’ve worked for both Sanford and Good Sam,” Otkin said. “You find that on labor and delivery, when things don’t go quite as planned, that you have a team that surrounds you and that we work hard to provide the best patient outcomes. I feel Sanford and Good Sam have great values and that coming together will really make them a better team.”
“We are working at the opposite ends of the spectrum. Amber is in labor/delivery, and I’m in geriatrics,” Mead said. “She is holding people’s hands as they welcome life into this world, and I am holding people’s hands as they transition from this life to the next.”
Admiring each other’s work
Both sisters have a high regard for each other’s work ethic.
“Allison works harder than anyone I know,” Otkin said. “She goes above and beyond what her job description would be because that is how much she cares. Ever since I worked with her as a nursing assistant, I was always amazed at how well she cared for the elderly, especially those with dementia or Alzheimer’s. She truly has a very evident gift.”
Mead has equally kind things to say about her sister.
“Amber is the best nurse I know, and I’m not just saying that because she’s my sister. I had the privilege of her being present for both of my children’s births, and she advocated both times for what was best for me and my babies. I know she does the same for her patients. She pays attention to detail and makes sure that her patient’s needs are met, no matter how small.”
Both Mead and Otkin have a history of being strong women who follow their hearts. Otkin served as a missionary in the Dominican Republic. Mead owned and operated a home care franchise in a small Minnesota town.
The sisters have held different jobs with other companies, but it is the mission, vision and values of Sanford Health and the Society that brought them to their current positions. And they are excited about the future.
“Amber and I are truly passionate about the work we do,” Mead said. “I truly believe in both organizations’ missions and believe the combination of the two will have a synergistic effect. I think it will revolutionize our industry.”
Otkin’s past gives her perspective. “I have loved working for both organizations because of their values. I think it will be a great partnership.”
More stories about the affiliation
- The new Sanford Health: A conversation with CEO Kelby Krabbenhoft
- Q&A: Good Samaritan Society’s David Horazdovsky and Randy Bury
- Long-term care innovation: Sanford Health-Good Samaritan