The Distinguished Service Award for State Legislator is Senator Jean Hunhoff of Yankton. Senator Hunhoff has served in the South Dakota Legislature for 21 years, currently serving as co-chair of the Joint Appropriations Committee, Vice-Chair on Interim Rules and a member of the Government Operations and Audit Committee.
“Senator Jean Hunhoff has dedicated most of her life to serving others. Senator Hunhoff worked as a healthcare provider in South Dakota for many years prior to and during her public service career as a South Dakota Legislator.” – Mitchell Rave, Sanford Health
Senator Jean Hunhoff received her BSN from South Dakota State University, her MSN from the University of Nebraska Medical Center and MHA from the University of Minnesota. She has spent over 35 years in clinical and administrative health care positions most of those at Avera Sacred Heart Hospital. Much of her time as a state lawmaker has been spent as an advocate for rural health care access, clinical quality, and a need for health care providers in all clinical services.
Those who work alongside Sen. Hunhoff at the political level say her healthcare experience helps her understand the day-to-day life and struggles of being a healthcare provider in a rural setting. With her years in healthcare and on the political stage, Sen. Hunhoff also understands the hurdles that come with delivering care to those that need it most in a state that cares for a substantial rural population.
Senator Hunhoff has focused much of her political efforts across the healthcare continuum. She was a member of the interim Mental Health Task Force. Senator Hunhoff has also focused on long-term care needs. The Senator presented legislation to study and enhance delivery of services in long term and community-based settings. She has worked to strengthen our Human Service Center in Yankton and the South Dakota Developmental Center at Redfield to support our citizens needs to achieve their highest level of quality of life. Senator Hunhoff recognizes the importance of the continuum of care for both physical and behavioral health services and when not serving the citizens of the state, Senator Hunhoff is very active with her family. She is married to Dan Hunhoff and they have four children and seven grandchildren. She is co-owner and operator of Czeckers in Yankton with her son and daughter-in-law, co-owner of Cardinal Fitness in Tabor with her husband and together they own and operate a small farm in Tabor. Her name to fame is she is a kolache baker and proud of her Czech Culture. Congratulations Senator Jean Hunhoff for receiving the State Legislator Distinguished Service Award.