OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – There are some 22,000 patients from 220 Native American tribes who walk through the doors of the Oklahoma City Indian Clinic each year and some 250 employees spread across a sprawling facility.
If you’re on a tour like some fellow clinic operators in Texas were not long ago, you need your walking shoes to keep up with clinic CEO Robin Sunday-Allen, who’s been here for more than half of the clinic’s existence as a non-profit entity.
She recalls, “When I was a nursing student in college I knew I wanted to work in Indian Health. I just didn’t know it would become my career.”
The fresh out of school nurse who started here around 25 years ago, and graduated to administration, has overseen growth into just about every area of health care.
Boss and mom have some carryover with her.
“My job is to care and foster the staff,” she states. “The same thing goes for nurturing, caring and fostering my son.”
At home in Edmond, care takes on a different look and definition for Allen, who was named American Mothers’ 2022 Oklahoma Mother of the Year.
As the family of three plays a game of UNO, ‘numero uno’ might take the shape of her teenage son Eli, her husband Russell, an insurance agent, or her own leadership style in a tightly knit family.
Allen smiles, “I always say there’s no book that comes with being a mom. You just kind of wing it and learn it and do the best you can.”
She admits to joking about being ‘Mother of the Year’ when dinner comes out extra crispy or some other calamity hits.
“When I make mistakes around here I’ll often say, ‘Oh. Mother of the Year’ and here I am,” she chuckles.
When she was nominated for the actual title, Robin filled out a few forms, wrote some essays and laughed again with her extended family when the actual call came.
But dad and son, the two ‘cards’ she deals with the most, are one hand with their own endorsements.
Eli says, “It’s like a friend relationship and a mom relationship, but I respect her a lot.”
Russell continues, “I’ve seen it since day one, since he was born, since we got married. She’s always been an exceptional type of person.”
Chief executive officer and mom.
Robin Sunday-Allen wouldn’t trade either.
But the best part, she insists, is always coming home.
“It’s the best part of my day,” she insists.
Eli is headed to UCLA in the Fall.
For more information on American Mothers Inc., go to its website.