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Students examine career opportunities in health care at USD camp

VERMILLION, S.D. -- Nearly 50 high school students from across South Dakota and from nearby areas of Nebraska, Iowa and Minnesota received an up close look at careers in health care professions during the sixth annual Healthcare Careers Camp, June 17-22, at the University of South Dakota.

With the help of various presenters, tours and activities, students learned what it takes to pursue a future in health care. Health care professionals were in attendance to inform camp participants of career options and to discuss important issues such as salaries, educational requirements and the need to augment the future health care workforce – in all disciplines – in order to accommodate projected health care demands. The term “Baby Boom Generation” also became a familiar phrase to the campers during the week.

According to Jerry Yutrzenka, Ph.D., director of Diversity Affairs for the Sanford School of Medicine and a pre-medicine adviser for the University, the camp was created to allow high school students the opportunity to observe, ask questions and interact with professionals from a variety of health care areas. Throughout the week, campers attended group activities and discussions; presentations by faculty and health care professionals from USD, the Sanford School of Medicine, the USD School of Health Sciences and the Sanford Vermillion Medical Center; and participated in field trips to area medical facilities. This year, students also had the opportunity to receive training and certification in both the Heartsavers CPR/AED and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act.

Students attending the 2012 camp included Jenae Schneider of Big Stone City, S.D., Traci Lenz of Brandon, S.D., Emma McCarty, Brookings, S.D., Katlyn Hurlburt, Carroll, Neb., Hanna Ramstad, Colton, S.D., Amber Landsman, Elkton, S.D., Rachel Deurmier of Eureka, S.D., Trevor Kampshoff of Fulton, S.D., Rachel Flaugh of Hartington, Neb., Melissa Smith of Hazel, S.D., Shane Hansen and Angela Merrill of Hot Springs, S.D., Halle LaRoche of Lower Brule, S.D., Shayla Gayton of McLaughlin, S.D., Michael Buchanan of Mina, S.D., Miranda Goldammer and Amanda Hegg of Mitchell, S.D., Victoria Moretta of Mobridge, S.D., Breeahna Ninneman of Ortonville, Minn., Lydia Yellow Hawk of Parmelee, S.D., McKenna Halverson, Stephanie Harris, Wyatt Rumrill, Rhiannon Sears and Molly Tschetter of Pierre, S.D., Anna Flitner and Jaylen Uthe of Presho, S.D., Luke De Jong of Rock Rapids, Iowa, Heather Mead of Salem, S.D., Ashley Lemke of Sibley, Iowa, Jason Rasmussen of Sioux City, Iowa, Jonica Goens, Madison Mead and Corbin Ryswyk of Sioux Falls, S.D., Kayla Bouska of Stuart, Neb., Jennifer Rang of Summerset, S.D., Brianna Jurrens of Toronto, S.D., Maria Callegari, Mikaela French, Sarah Hansen, Alexis Reich, Brooke Schwasinger, Christian Wasley and Sydney Kronaizl of Vermillion, S.D., Alexis Logue of Volin, S.D., Alexandra Fairchild of Watertown, S.D., Shaydeen Graves of White, S.D., and Molly King and McKayla Thieman of Yankton, S.D.

USD students Janine James of Cheyenne, Wyo., TiAnna Vogt of Bonesteel, S.D., Lizz Hoffman of Eureka, S.D., Mitch Wagner of Milbank, S.D. and Erik Burnison of Huron, S.D. served as counselors and guides for the camp. Financial support for the camp was provided Sanford Vermillion Medical Center, The Dakota Hospital Foundation, Delta Dental of South Dakota, The Seventh District Medical Society, Sanford School of Medicine, USD School of Health Sciences, Sanford USD Medical Center and Sanford Research/USD. A special thanks to Pioneer Memorial Hospital and Health Center in Viborg, S.D., Sanford Chamberlain, Northeast Area Health Education Center, Yankton Rural Area Health Education Center, South Dakota Area Health Education Center and the South Dakota Department of Health for providing additional camp support.

For more information about the camp, please visit or contact Kathy VanKley, Healthcare Careers Camp Coordinator, Sanford School of Medicine, at (605) 677-7288 or e-mail

Download a photo of students attending one of the classroom sessions of the 2012 Healthcare Careers Camp at the University of South Dakota.


Founded in 1862 and the first university in the Dakotas, the University of South Dakota is the only public liberal arts university in the state, with 202 undergraduate and 78 graduate programs in the College of Arts & Sciences, School of Education, School of Law, Sanford School of Medicine, School of Health Sciences, Beacom School of Business and College of Fine Arts. With an enrollment of nearly 10,000 students and more than 400 faculty, USD has a 16:1 student/faculty ratio, and it ranks among the best in academics and affordability. USD’s 18 athletic programs compete at the NCAA Division I level.

This material is available in an alternate format upon request. Please contact University Relations at 605-677-5759. If you are a person with a disability and need a special accommodation to fully participate in any university activity or event, please contact Disability Services at 605-677-6389 as soon as possible, but no later than 48 hours before the event, so that appropriate arrangements may be made.


Hanna DeLange
USD News