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USD Sanford Medical Student Recognized by U.S. Public Health Service

Photo of Anna Bahnson. Anna Bahnson, medical student at the USD Sanford School of Medicine, and winner of the 2018 Excellence in Public Health Award, presented by the U.S. Public Health Service.

VERMILLION, S.D. – Anna Bahnson, a medical student at the University of South Dakota Sanford School of Medicine, is a 2018 recipient of the Excellence in Public Health Award, presented by the U.S. Public Health Service. Bahnson was recognized for her research and education project about skin cancer risks associated with working in agriculture, and the importance of educating cosmetologists to identify skin cancer symptoms on their clients.

Bahnson’s project, titled “Skin Cancer Education in the Rural Salon”, was approved by the University of South Dakota Institutional Review Board. Its ultimate aim is to educate cosmetologists in rural South Dakota about skin cancer lesions.

Bahnson herself has conducted trainings with eight cosmetologists in five rural cosmetology salons, and her overall goal is to train 40 cosmetologists who practice in rural locations. According to Bahnson, cosmetologists are uniquely positioned to identify suspicious skin lesions and can encourage their customers to see their physicians for evaluation.   

Bahnson is a graduate of West Central High School in Hartford, South Dakota and Augustana University in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.


USD's Sanford School of Medicine is nationally known for excellence. With its award-winning curriculum, the school prepares medical students to practice in all fields of medicine and is particularly recognized and ranked for its reputation in family medicine and rural medicine. In addition to the M.D., it offers graduate degrees in basic biomedical science, sustains a vibrant and forward-looking research agenda, and is home to the interdisciplinary Center for Brain and Behavioral Research.


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 84 graduate programs in the College of Arts & Sciences, School of Education, Knudson 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.


Hanna DeLange
USD News