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Sanford Health employees go on surprise trip of a lifetime

Published: Mar. 16, 2021 at 6:41 PM CDT
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) -The COVID-19 pandemic has shined a light on the essential work of healthcare workers. Their hours have been long, and at times tough and emotional. Sanford Health and the Good Samaritan Society have come up with a pretty unique way to celebrate the hard work of their employees.

The organization is using music to say thank you to its 48-thousand employees across the country. They teamed up with the music group Lady A, who wrote a song about the company.

“Part of what they wanted to do for inspiration for that song was meet some representatives from Sanford Health, some of our frontline workers,” said Kimber Severson, Sanford Chief Marketing Officer.

The organization was already interested in creating a brand ambassador program in which employees would be chosen to represent the best of who Sanford Health is. The leadership decided this was the best way to kick it off.

Sanford leaders nominated employees they felt embodied the company. 20 people were chosen including Carol Cressman. She’s worked for Sanford for over 40 years. Now the director of pediatrics, PICU, pediatrics outpatient care, and childlife services.

“I work in an organization with so many people that are just fantastic and we’ve got them all around us and it’s like you know what, I’m not any more special than anyone else. But I just was so blessed to be chosen,” said Cressman.

The ambassadors were surprised with a trip to Nashville, Tennessee where they got to spend time with corporate leaders.

“It meant so much it really made us feel like, ‘Hey we’re special, and we’re valued and we’re loved’” said Cressman.

Their time was packed with fun activities including going to the Nashville Boot Company where they got to pick out a pair of boots. They also toured the Grand Ole Opry learning about its members.

“That made me start thinking about how special this was. At the Grand Ole Opry, you know as people get inducted I’m like ‘oh my gosh we’re getting inducted into a Sanford ambassador role.’ That’s where it kind of started hitting me and I was like ‘wow, this is cool,’” said Cressman.

The grand finale, a private performance from the newest Grand Ole Opry inductees, Lady A. Each ambassador’s story was weaved into a unique song: “This Too Shall Pass.”

“Really depicts the beautiful, the hard-working, and the passion that the employees have here in all areas,” said Cressman.

An emotional and meaningful thank you they’ll never forget.

Sanford Health plans to induct new members into their ambassador program each year, taking new ambassadors on some type of trip of a lifetime.

To hear the full song by Lady A click here.

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