Distinguished Service Awards

The Distinguished Service Awards were created to recognize individuals for their exemplary service to health care and accomplishments in advancing the goals and purposes of the Association. Award recipients are recognized at the SDAHO Annual Convention Award Luncheon.


Marcia Taylor – Monument Health (Healthcare Hero) | George Simpson & Johanna Simpson – Therapy Dog International (Honorary Healthcare Heroes) | Angela Schoffelman – Avera Health (Healthcare Professional) | Thomas J. Glover – Community Memorial Hospital (Trustee) | Jerry Oster – WNAX (Media Personality) | Carla Van Dyke – Avera@Home (Post-Acute Care Champion) | Senator Mike Diedrich – District 34 (State Legislator) | Lynne Valenti – Department of Health (State Official) | Kristi Livermont – Avera Missouri River Health Center (Young Professional) | Sarah Wulff – Sanford Health (Quality Champion) | Bob Sutton (Larry Veitz Lifetime Achievement Award)


Lynette Neson, LPN – Mobridge Regional Hospital and Clinics (Healthcare Hero) | Dr. David Basel – Avera Medical Group (Healthcare Professional) | Dr. Donald Warne – Monument Health (Trustee) | Jodi Schwan – Sioux Falls Business (Media Personality) | Denise Buchholz – Scotchman Living Center (Post-Acute Care Champion) | Senator Wayne Steinhauer – District 9 (State Legislator) | Dr. Brian Maher – South Dakota Board of Regents (State Official) | Rachel Wagemann – Sanford Health (Young Professional) | Dr. Luann Eidsness (Lifetime Achievement Award)


Randy Burry – Evangelical Lutheran Good Samaritan Society (Larry Vietz Lifetime Achievement) | South Dakota Department of Health (State Official) | Melissa Gale – Landmann Jungman Memorial Hospital Avera (Young Professional) | Sen. Jean Hunhoff (State Legislator) | Ron Ingebrigtson – Sanford Canton-Inwood Medical Center (Trustee) | Juneanne Volk, RN – Mobridge Regional Hospital (Healthcare Hero of the Year) | Dr. Michael Wilde – Sanford USD Medical Center (Healthcare Professional) | Lori Walsh – South Dakota Public Broadcasting (Media Personality)


Sophie Heinemann – KELOLand TV (Media Personality) | Sean Bortnem – Sanford Chamberlain (Young Professional) | Sarah Aker – Dept of Social Services (State Official) | Judy Blauwet – Avera Health (Health Care Hero) | Dr. Tad Jacobs – Avera Medical Group (Health Care Professional) | Dan Eisenbraun – Avera Sacred Heart Hospital (Trustee) | Sen. Justin Cronin (State Legislator) | Erica Peterson – Sanford Chamberlain (Post-Acute Care Champion)


Vanessa Gomez – KSFY Television (Media Personality) | Brian Schaeffer – Winner Regional Healthcare Center (Trustee) | Sen. Deb Soholt (State Legislator) | Lt. Gov. Matt Michels (State Official) | John Porter – Avera Health (Health Care Professional) | Walter Panzirer – The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust (Healthcare Hero) | Monica Metzger – Winner Regional Healthcare Center (Young Professional) | Sarah Talbott – Sanford Chamberlain (Post-Acute Care Champion) | Larry W. Veitz (Lifetime Achievement Award)


Dana Ferguson – Argus Leader (Media Personality) | Mark Buche – Avera Health (Trustee) | Sen. Larry Tidemann (State Legislator), Brenda Tidball-Zeltinger – Dept. Social Services (State Official) | Larry W. Veitz – Regional Health Spearfish Hospital (Healthcare Professional) | Craig Severtson – Brookings Health System (Health Care Hero) | Chelsey Sundberg – Brookings Health System (Young Professional)| Ardi Forrester – Marshall County Healthcare Center Avera (Post-Acute Care Champion)


Dennis Wollman – Freeman Regional Health Services (Trustee) | Jodi Schwan – Argus Leader (Media Personality) | Gov. Dennis Daugaard (State Official) | Sen. Deb Peters (State Legislator) | Mary Schwaegerl, RN – Brookings Health System (Health Care Professional) | Erica Knippling – Brookings Health System (Young Professional) | Kerri Lutjens, RN – Avera St. Benedict Hospital (Health Care Hero) | Shirley Redmond – Sioux Falls VA Health Care System (Health Care Hero) | Cindy Senger – Avera@Home (Post-Acute Care Champion)


Barbara Everist – Sanford Health (Trustee) | Jerry Oster – WNAX AM & FM (Media Personality) | Sen. Alan Solano (State Legislator) | Margaret B. Hansen, PA-C, MPAS, CMBE, South Dakota Board of Medical & Osteopathic Examiners (State Official) | Leslie Olesen – Sanford Chamberlain Hospital (Health Care Hero) | Angie Herrick – Sanford Aberdeen Medical Center (Young Professional) | Jim Iverson, – Bethel Lutheran Home (Ken Senger Long Term Care Champion) | Dr. H. Eugene Hoyme – Sanford Children’s Hospital and Department of Pediatrics for the Sanford School of Medicine at the University of South Dakota (Health Care Professional)


Tom Dempster, Trustee, Avera McKennan Hospital & UHC and Avera Heart Hospital, Sioux Falls (Trustee) Dr. Rick Holm, On Call Program SDPT, Brookings (Media Personality) Tim Rave, Majority Leader, SD State Senate (District 25), Dell Rapids (State Legislator) Kim Malsam-Rysdon, Senior Advisor to Gov. Dennis Daugaard, Pierre (State Official) Charles E. Hart, MD, President/CEO, Regional Health, Rapid City (Health Care Professional) Erica Peterson, CEO, Sanford Chamberlain, Chamberlain (Young Professional)


Jon Walker, Reporter/Editor, Argus Leader, Sioux Falls (Media Personality) Bernie Hunhoff, State Legislator (District 18), Yankton (State Legislator) Bob Stahl, Administrator, South Dakota Department of Health Office of Health Care Facilities Licensure & Certification, Pierre (State Official) Becky Nelson, Senior Vice President/Chief Operating Offier (retired), Sanford Health, Sioux Falls (Health Care Professional)


Herbert A Saloum, MD, Board Member, St. Michael’s Hospital Avera, Tyndall (Trustee) Corey Brown, State Senator (District 23), Gettysburg (State Legislator) Rodney R Parry, MD, Dean, USD Sanford School of Medicine, Sioux Falls (State Official) Patrick J. Clark, Senior Vice President/Chief Financial Officer, Avera Queen of Peace Health Services, Mitchell (Health Care Professional)


Mary Hendricks, Board Member, Sanford Medical Center Chamberlain, Chamberlain (Trustee) Doneen Hollingsworth, Secretary of Health, South Dakota Department of Health, Pierre (State Official) Ron L. Jacobson, President/CEO, Avera St. Luke’s Hospital, Aberdeen (Health Care Professional)


Ralph Nachtigal, Platte Health Center Avera, Platte (Trustee) Pamela J Rezac, President/CEO, Avera Sacred Heart Health Services, Yankton (Health Care Professional)


Sister Lynn Marie Welbig, PBVM, Avera Health, Yankton (Trustee) Jean Hunhoff, State Senator (District 18), Yankton (State Legislator) Michael Healy, Vice President of Finance, Avera Sacred Heart Hospital, Yankton (Health Care Professional)


Mark Hunhoff, Trustee, Avera Health and Avera Sacred Heart Health Services, Yankton (Trustee) Deb Bowman, Secretary, South Dakota Department of Social Services, Pierre (State Official) Byron Petersen, Vice President, Avera St. Luke’s, Aberdeen (Health Care Professional)


Bill McCleerey, President, Board of Directors, Coteau des Prairies Hospital, Sisseton (Trustee)


Matthew J. Michels, Michels & Associates, Yankton (State Legislator) James D. M. Russell, Administrator/CEO, St. Mary’s Healthcare Center, Pierre (Health Care Professional) Wayne Muth, Executive Vice President, Avera Health, Sioux Falls (Health Care Professional) Sister Mary Kay Panowicz, OSB, Board of Directors, Avera Sacred Heart/Avera Health, Yankton (Trustee)


Rep. Lou Sebert (State Legislator) Charles Fahey, Charles Bailly & Co (Health Care Professional)


Dean Madison, MD, Board of Directors, Sioux Valley Hospitals & Health System, Sioux Falls (Trustee) Jaine Andrews, KELO-Land TV HealthBeat Reporter (Media Personality) Doneen Hollingsworth, Secretary, South Dakota Department of Health, Pierre (State Official) David B. Johnson, Administrator/CEO, Brookings Hospital/Brookview Manor, Brookings (Health Care Professional)


Sister Augusta Johnson, Administrator, Prairie Lakes Care Center, Watertown (Health Care Professional) Lora DeWald, VP of Health Information, Avera Health, Sioux Falls (Health Care Professional)


Viorel G Stoia, Trustee, Avera Health & Avera St. Luke’s (Trustee) Jim Woster (Media Personality) Dale Stein, President/CEO, Avera St. Luke’s, Aberdeen (Health Care Professional)


Arnold Brown, State Representative (District 7), Brookings (Legislator) Joan Bachman, Director of Licensure & Certification, SD Dept of Health (State Official) Charles Ekstrum, Chairman, Philip Health Services, Philip (Trustee) Rex Henderson, CRNA, Department of Veterans Affairs, Sioux Falls (Healthcare Professional)


Stephan Schroeder, MD, Hand County Memorial Hospital, Miller (Healthcare Professional) Jeremiah Murphy, Avera McKennan Hospital & UHC, Sioux Falls (Trustee) Jim Putnam, State Representative (District 19), Armour (Legislator)


Fred Whiting, State Senator (District 33), Rapid City (Legislator/Trustee Award) Gale Walker, Administrator/CEO, St. Benedict Health Ctr, Parkston (Healthcare Professional)


Larry Gabriel, former State Representative (District 26), Cottonwood (State Legislator) Sister Colman Coakley, Former Chairperson, Avera Health, Sioux Falls (Trustee)Helene Duhamel (Media Service Award)


Jon Soderholm, President, Sioux Valley Hospital, Sioux Falls


Lyle Schroeder, President, Sioux Valley Hospital, Sioux Falls


James Ellenbecker, Secretary of Social Services, South Dakota Dept of Social Services, Pierre


Patricia Biddle, Administrator, Platte Community Memorial Hospital, Platte


Robert Gabrielson, Board Member, Holy Infant Hospital, Hoven


Don A. Bierle, SDHA Legal Counsel, Bierle, Porter & Nelson, Yankton


Thomas Schultz, South Dakota Department of Health (retired)


Warren Kuhler, Administrator, Pioneer Memorial Hospital, Viborg


Theodore Sattler, MD, Yankton Clinic, Yankton


Robert Johnson, Executive Secretary, South Dakota State Medical Association, Sioux Falls


L. Ray Scott, Assistant Director, South Dakota Department of Health, Pierre


Maye Jorgenson, Auxilian, St. Mary’s Hospital, Pierre


Coral Bonnemann, Trustee, Brookings Hospital, Brookings


Frank M. Drew, President, SD Hospital Association, Sioux Falls


Dean Driscoll, Assistant Administrator, St. Luke’s Hospital, Aberdeen


David Rykhus, MHA, Administrator, St. Joseph Hospital, Mitchell


Eugene Jelliffe, Business Manager, St. Johns McNamara, Rapid City


Raymond Wendling, Administrator, Bennett-Clarkson Hospital, Rapid City Sister M. Sarto Rogers, OSB, Administrator, St. John’s McNamara, Rapid City Lyle Schroeder, Administrator, Sioux Valley Hospital, Sioux Falls Sister M. Corita, PBVM, Adm., McKennan Hospital, Sioux Falls


Sister M. Rosario, OSB, Administrator, Sacred Heart Hospital, Yankton

Distinguished Service Award Categories

Trustee Award – Recognizes a hospital / skilled nursing facility trustee / board member for their extraordinary service in leading their organization through the changing health care environment. This individual goes above and beyond attending meetings to help improve health care in their community.

Media Personality Award: ·Recognizes a member of the media who has a sustained and distinguished record for disseminating knowledge of health care in a fair and accurate manner. This individual may work for print, broadcast, or social media.

State Legislator Award: Recognizes a state legislator for his or her contribution of promoting health care in South Dakota. Through their support, this legislator has improved the quality and effectiveness of the delivery of health care.

State Official Award: Recognizes a state official for their contribution to health care in South Dakota. Through their efforts, this individual has improved the tools, resources, quality, and effectiveness of health care delivery in our state.

Healthcare Professional Award: Recognizes a health care professional for their contribution and leadership in providing quality health care. This individual influence effective change, quality and advocacy with an eye to the future, in the delivery and promotion of health care in South Dakota.

Healthcare Hero Award: Recognizes an individual who goes above and beyond their job description providing extraordinary patient/resident care. This person may work in any capacity for a health care organization. Their interactions with patients, residents and co-workers provide the “WOW Factor!”

Young Professional Award: Recognizes an individual under the age of 40 who demonstrates leadership and a passion for making a difference in health care in their community.

Post-Acute Care Champion Award: Recognizes a post-acute care professional for their contribution and leadership in providing quality post-acute health care. This individual influence effective change, quality and advocacy with an eye to the future, in the delivery and promotion of post-acute care in South Dakota

Quality Champion Award: The Quality Champion award represents an individual that demonstrates a commitment to providing highest level of quality within the organization. This individual communicates effectively, fosters an environment of continual process improvement, promotes transparency in all levels of the healthcare organization and achieves improved sustainable outcomes through the implementation of a strong culture of safety. They raise awareness of the need for an organization wide commitment to high reliability, exceptional quality, and inspire the organization to systematically integrate and align their quality work throughout the organization. Nominees for the Quality Champion Award may come from any level of an organization.

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