Twin nurses care for patients at all stages of life [video]
Watch the video above to see how Allison Mead's and Amber Otkin's nursing careers are brought closer together as two organizations merge.
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 each has a long history with both the Society and Sanford that began at their birth.
We are working at the opposite ends of the spectrum. Amber is in labor and delivery and I’m in geriatrics. 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.” – Allison Mead, Good Samaritan Society – Pipestone nurse case manager
The day they were born, their parents, Bruce and Lisa Hubers, arrived at Sioux Valley Hospital (now Sanford) on a Thanksgiving Day expecting to welcome one healthy baby girl. At the time, one of Bruce’s cousins 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,” says Allison.
Allison and Amber were born at Sanford, but both worked for the Society on and off, beginning in high school and while pursuing their various nursing degrees.
In addition, they are the third generation to work for either the Society or Sanford. Their grandmother, Lila Hubner, worked as an licensed practical nurse at Good Samaritan Society – Pipestone. Their mother, Lisa Hubers, has more than a decade of work experience with both Sanford and the Society.
Currently, Allison is a nurse case manager at Good Samaritan Society – Pipestone. Amber is a registered nurse, certified in inpatient obstetrics, at The Birth Place at Sanford Women’s.
These sisters, whose lives are intertwined within these two organizations, were intrigued when they heard about the pending merger of Sanford Health and the Good Samaritan Society.
"I called my sister as soon as I found out," Allison says. "We were very excited to hear about the partnership because Amber truly believes in what Sanford stands for and I value what the Good Samaritan Society stands for.”
With shared values, "coming together will really make them a better team," says Amber.
Each sister has a high regard for the other’s work ethic.
“Allison works harder than anyone I know," Amber says. "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.”
Allison 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,” Allison says. “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 Amber and Allison have a history of being strong women who follow their hearts. Amber was a missionary in the Dominican Republic. Allison 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 both Sanford and the Society that brought them to their current positions. And they are excited about the future between Sanford and the Society.
Amber and I are truly passionate about the work we do. 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." – Allison Mead
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Story by Angel Hench and video by Jason Trent