Nov 7, 2013

Sanford School of Medicine’s Yankton campus recognized as innovation leader

VERMILLION, S.D. -- The University of South Dakota Sanford School of Medicine’s (SSOM) Yankton Ambulatory Program was selected as a recipient of the 2013 GRMC Shining Star of Educational Innovation award. Sponsored by the American Association of Medical Colleges (AAMC), the honor was presented on Friday, Nov. 1 at the organization’s national meeting in Philadelphia, Pa.

The award recognizes the impact of the Yankton Ambulatory Program on its students and the community as well as its shining example and reproducibility across multiple campuses.

“It is an honor to be recognized by the AAMC as a model to educate medical students that has been adopted by other medical schools,” said Lori Hansen, M.D., SSOM campus dean for the Avera Sacred Heart Campus in Yankton.

The Yankton Ambulatory Program is an ambulatory-based, integrated third-year medical student educational program on the Yankton, S.D. campus—the original clinical campus of SSOM. The program stresses continuity of care, curriculum and preceptors; problem-based learning; and is student-centered. The program results in students who have greater knowledge retention, empathy, and who take on more responsibility for patient care during their med school years.

The Yankton Ambulatory Program has served as a model for other medical schools across the United States, Canada and Australia. In 2013, the longitudinal integrated model expanded to all campuses at the Sanford School of Medicine.

Beyond improving students’ learning outcomes, the program is aiding in the fight against the looming rural physician shortage. According to Hansen, fifty percent of students who have participated in the Yankton Ambulatory Program enter primary care fields, providing primary care physicians for the state of South Dakota. The program has also had success in recruiting its students back to the Yankton Community to provide care for patients and serve as teachers for the next generation of students.

About the Sanford School of Medicine

For more than a century, the University of South Dakota Sanford School of Medicine has set the standard for medical education of students, residents and professionals in the state. The school’s mission includes education, research and service. It emphasizes family practice to help create the next generation of doctors for all parts of the state. The school’s economic impact includes attracting $17 million annually in research funding as well as hosting two of the four 2010 Research Centers designated by the governor.

About The University of South Dakota
Founded in 1862, The University of South Dakota is designated as the only public liberal arts university in the state and is home to a comprehensive College of Arts and Sciences, School of Education, School of Health Sciences, the state's only School of Law, School of Medicine, the accredited Beacom School of Business and the College of Fine Arts. USD has an enrollment of more than 10,000 students taught by more than 400 faculty members. More information is available at

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Peter Carrels
The University of South Dakota
(605) 216-1233
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