Avera Medical Minute: A family affair at Avera St. Luke’s in Aberdeen

Published: Sep. 12, 2022 at 9:19 PM CDT
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - At some workplaces, coworkers can start to feel like family. At Avera St. Luke’s in Aberdeen, a handful of co-workers are family, and they say that only strengthens their work-life balance.

“Yvonne would be my aunt, she’s a nurse in OB. My uncle John, he’s a nurse in ICU. My aunt Lori, who would be John’s wife, she is a respiratory therapist. My wife Laura, she’s a nurse here, she’s an education coordinator,” said Chris Gillick, a Radiologic Technologist at Avera St. Luke’s Hospital.

Finding a Gillick in the halls of Avera St. Luke’s in Aberdeen isn’t tough to do.

There are a total of six Gillicks employees at the hospital right now, seven if you count Chris’s mother-in-law, Fran.

“Since there are so many of us here, you can’t really walk down the hallway without seeing one of us essentially,” said Chirs.

The Gillicks have a long history in the Ipswich area and at Avera St Luke’s. The family’s stint in healthcare dates back to Chris’s grandmother.

“She was doing everything from delivering babies on one floor to helping with x-rays on another floor, doing labs on another,” he said.

The family is spread now out through different departments at Avera, but their work is all intertwined.

“John is in ICU, Yvonne is in OB and my mom is in MSP and I am the education coordinator for all of those units,” said Laura Gillick.

The family says working so close together, does have its perks.

“It’s great because, in the wintertime, we carpool a lot with each other,” said Chris. “Holidays are definitely crazy,” added Laura.

Family reunions are basically just another day on the job for most of these Gillicks. They say they’re blessed to be working so closely with each other, and at Avera.

“I think we are family here at Avera not just because we’re all Gillicks but because working in healthcare you need teamwork that really bonds coworkers together,” said Laura.

And there might just be more Gillicks headed to Avera in the future. “My wife and I, Laura, we have one son right now and hopefully he chooses to pick up healthcare as his future career,” said Chris.