The Sanford School of Medicine reaches more than 2,500 alumni across the country with opportunities to connect through student initiatives, the South Dakotan M.D. magazine, events and programs. As alumni, they are members of an amazing network of health care professionals who continue to learn from one another. Join our students, residents and faculty in participating in activities that build and maintain relationships for a lifetime.

Distinguished Alumni Award

Each year, the Sanford School of Medicine honors a graduate who demonstrates pride and whose interest and loyalty are evident. The recipient is distinguished in the medical profession, graduated at least 10 years prior to being nominated and has a continuing interest in the Sanford School of Medicine.

It is with great pleasure that the Sanford School of Medicine Alumni Relations Council presents the 2017 Distinguished Alumni Award to Dr. Tim Ridgway, Class of 1984.

As director of Gastroenterology at the VA Hospital in Sioux Falls, SD, Dr. Ridgway’s dedication to his patients is matched only by his passion for medical education and teaching. He has given countless presentations, teaching seminars and clinical lessons to medical students and residents. As Executive Dean and Dean of Faculty Affairs at the Sanford School of Medicine, his contributions are far too many to list. His leadership and mentor-ship have earned him several honors and awards. Dr. Ridgway is extremely devoted to medicine in our state and is a dependable member of any team. While highly decorated in accolades and awards, we thank him for his dedication to healthcare, to the school of medicine, and all he encounters.

Past Award Recipients

  • 2016: Steven Stocks, M.D.
  • 2015: Ruth Thatcher, M.D.
  • 2014: Michael Koch, M.D.
  • 2013: David Mutch, M.D.
  • 2012: Vance M. Thompson, M.D.
  • 2011: Richard P. Holm, M.D.
  • 2010: Wendell W. Hoffman, M.D.
  • 2009: Richard Porter, M.D.
  • 2008: Richard VanDemark, Jr., M.D.
  • 2007: Charles E. Hart, M.D.
  • 2006: Bruce C. Lushbough, M.D.
  • 2005: William C. Fryda, M.D.
  • 2004: Loren H. Amundson, M.D.

Nominations sought for Distinguished Alumni Award: Nominations are accepted throughout the year and chosen each fall for recognition at the alumni reunion in May. To be considered for 2018's award, email with a letter of nomination recognizing the achievements of an alumnus who has distinguished themselves in professional, community and medical school involvement.

Alumni Relations Council

President: David Arend, M.D. ('03, Sioux Falls)
President-elect: Cindi Pochop, M.D. ('91, Pierre)
Immediate Past President: Michelle Baack, M.D. ('95, Sioux Falls)
Treasurer: Candace Zeigler, M.D. ('91, Sioux Falls)

Ex Officio
Dean Mary D. Nettleman, M.D., M.S., M.A.C.P.
Edd Storey, Sr. Director of Development and Planned Giving, USD Foundation
Gerald Yutrzenka, Ph.D., Director Diversity Affairs
Nicole Plesec, Alumni Relations

Medical Students
Stephen Bollinger, Class of 2018
Dan Davies, Class of 2017
Margaret Free, Class of 2017

Abby Lichter, M.D. ('15, Sioux Falls)
Seth Parsons, M.D. ('15, Sioux Falls)

Three-Year Term (2016-2019)
Shannon Ashbaugh, M.D. ('11, Sioux Falls)
Leah Prestbo, M.D. ('07, Sioux Falls)
Annette Siewert, M.D. ('08, Sioux Falls)

Three-Year Term (2015-2018)
Angela Anderson, M.D. ('86, Spearfish)
Micah Likness, M.D. ('08, Yankton)
Lauritz Meyer, M.D. ('08, Sioux Falls)

Alumni Student Scholars Program

Since 1992, Sanford School of Medicine has annually identified four South Dakota high school seniors who have a well-developed interest in medicine and are dedicated to the mission of our medical school to participate in the Alumni Student Scholars Program. We offer the opportunity to gain a solid undergraduate education grounded in the liberal arts along with numerous opportunities to interact with physicians and other health care professionals.

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