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South Dakota Board of Regents Recognizes Nettleman

Dr. Mary Nettleman, headshot Dr. Mary Nettleman has been recognized by the South Dakota Board of Regents for her efforts to address critical workforce needs and access to medical care in rural South Dakota.

VERMILLION, S.D. – Mary Nettleman, M.D., M.S., M.A.C.P., vice president of health affairs and the Sanford School of Medicine dean at the University of South Dakota, has been recognized for her efforts to address critical workforce needs and access to medical care across rural South Dakota.

Nettleman became the medical school’s first female vice president for health affairs and dean of the medical school in 2012. She plans to retire July 15.

In a special resolution adopted today by the South Dakota Board of Regents, Nettleman was honored for her work to establish the Frontier and Rural Medicine Program (FARM) at USD. The program offers medical students nine months of clinical training in rural communities, with a goal to increase the number of primary care physicians who practice in rural areas of South Dakota. The Sanford School of Medicine is consistently ranked among the top-10 medical schools in the country for rural medicine.

“Dr. Nettleman saw that access to professional health care was limited in rural communities, especially in South Dakota, so she took it upon herself to prioritize rural medicine,” said USD President Sheila K. Gestring. “The state has greatly benefited from Dr. Nettleman’s legacy and her esteem of rural health care.”

Under Nettleman’s leadership, the medical school’s class size increased from 56 to 71, and the school received national recognition for outstanding community engagement by the Association of American Medical Colleges.

The resolution honored Nettleman for her exceptional leadership and dedication to the teaching and practice of medicine in the state of South Dakota. Earlier this month, USD announced that Dr. Tim Ridgway will become vice president of health affairs and Sanford School of Medicine dean Sept. 1.


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