Health care hero: Ann Deg, lead executive assistant

Executive assistant has quietly become an indispensable part of the Sanford team

Ann Deg with friends in front of Crazy Horse.

The Arlys Nelson Executive Assistant of the Year has a fan club of sorts in the Sanford Health community relations area of the building where she works.

Ann Deg will have Native American flute music playing at her desk a lot of the time. It’s not so loud as to be a distraction, just loud enough to add positive vibes to the workplace environment.

In that way it’s symbolic of Deg’s role at Sanford Health. She’s a calming presence whose efforts significantly contribute to a smooth-running office as well as the goals of her department.

“Winning the Arlys Nelson Employee of the Year Award was a very humbling and emotional experience, especially for an introvert like myself,” Deg said.

Indeed, she brings a quiet nature to her responsibilities. But it’s still very noticeable to those paying attention.

“When you think of being dedicated to health and healing, Ann is the definition of dedicated,” said Mike Begeman, vice president of community relations. “She has been a loyal Sanford executive assistant for many years and she is passionate about her work.”

Deg goes above and beyond

In reading Begeman’s letter that nominated Deg for this award, you realize this: People end up liking their jobs more because Deg likes hers so much. Above all, she enjoys doing what she’s doing.

“She will go above and beyond to make our lives better and easier,” Begeman said. “And she doesn’t do it because she has to; rather, she does it because she is dedicated to her job and to the team.”

Deg has been affiliated with Sanford Health community relations for about 16 years now. Her duties range from things like providing team name tags for community events to quickly mastering new procedures and technology. In this case, being a “quick study” means she can more quickly serve in a support role when others are not catching on to new technological wrinkles quite so smoothly.

“She has been a great resource for those of us who are a little more challenged in that area,” Begeman said. “If there’s a question about most anything that has an elusive answer, Ann is usually the first one we turn to.”

Representing Sanford

Deg manages the spreadsheet for Sanford’s Community Dividend fund. It’s an entity that distributes money to non-profits, youth sports teams and other organizations throughout the Sanford footprint.

As such, she often represents Sanford Health’s front door. Often she is the first point of contact for organizations seeking financial support for their community endeavors.

“She always looks for what is best for Sanford Health,” Begeman said. “Her hard work behind the scenes makes the rest of us look good.”

It is just one of the many ways Deg makes an impact that reaches far beyond the soothing music you hear when you walk by her desk.

“Sanford would be a very different place without Ann, just ask our internal leaders and external stakeholders,” Begeman said. “She is a positive and humble face of Sanford in the community.”

Sanford Health Sioux Falls employees of the year

Sanford Health also recognized the following employees in the Sioux Falls region:

  • Kim Martens, registered nurse manager, administrative innovation employee of the year
  • Michelle Ahnberg, clinical nurse specialist, clinical innovation employee of the year
  • Lisa Brunk, senior gift shop associate, business employee of the year
  • Dean Kooiman, manager of planning and construction, presidential leadership award winner
  • Lori K. Anliker, registered nurse, women’s health employee of the year
  • Natalie A. Braun, certified nurse practitioner, clinical employee of the year
  • Nicole Grossenburg, physician, physician of the year
  • Robin Anderson, administrative assistant, support services employee of the year
  • Trecia Gulseth, clinical CRNA leader, nurse anesthetist of the year
  • Kasey Gauthier, registered nurse, pediatric oncology employee of the year
  • Rebecca A. Kokesh, registered nurse, intensive care nursery employee of the year
  • Alex Overweg, registered nurse, nurse of the year
  • Megan Permann, registered nurse, rising star nurse of the year
  • Melanie Rusche, director, management employee of the year
  • Nancy Schoen, director communication services, veteran advocate employee of the year
  • Kristin Siepkes, clinical learning and development specialist, outstanding surgical services employee of the year
  • Brian Vanderbush, lead accountant, business employee of the year
  • Amy Rave, manager, employee of the year

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Posted In Community, Health Care Heroes

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