USD clinical faculty member receives national award

VERMILLION, S.D. -- Dr. Tom Dean, a clinical faculty member in the family medicine department of the Sanford School of Medicine of The University of South Dakota, has received a national award. Dean has been named the National Rural Health Association Practitioner of the Year.

"Dr. Dean has inspired hundreds of medical students to pursue careers in family medicine and rural practice," Dr. Rodney Parry, dean of the medical school, said. "That has helped provide medical coverage to many parts of our state."

Dean and his wife, Kathy, have been active in the Wessington Springs, S.D., area for more than three decades. He received the award last weekend at the group’s annual meeting in Miami, Fla., in part for his work with the medical school. Now chief of staff at Avera Westkota Memorial Medical Center in Wessington Springs, Dean currently practices at the Jerauld County Clinic in Wessington Springs, Aurora County Clinic in Plankinton, S.D., and Whiting Memorial Clinic in Woonsocket, S.D. He has served in many community leadership roles and even served a term as president of the National Rural Health Association.

Dean has been a strong advocate for rural health care as an author and speaker. He has made a lasting contribution through his Medical Issues column, published quarterly in the association's "Rural Roads" publication.