Participants spent the week exploring occupations in health care by touring community medical facilities, interacting with area health care professionals and participating in various hands-on activities. Attendees had an opportunity to perform dental exams, conduct ultrasounds, experience physical therapy with a TENS unit and “scrub in” for surgery.

"It was very interesting," admitted Jenna Vavra of Winner, S.D. "I came out with a better perspective of the health care field."

Camp participants toured Sanford Vermillion Medical Center and in Sioux Falls, S.D., they visited Southeast Technical Institute and Sanford USD Medical Center where, utilizing video technology, students viewed a surgery in progress. They also toured the surgical and dialysis units, and the Trauma One Helicopter at Sanford USD Medical Center.

"It was well worth seeing how much passion all of the health care workers have for their careers," noted Bryce Wilen, a camp participant from Belle Fourche, S.D.

Directed by Jerry Yutrzenka, Ph.D., who serves as a health professions advisor at USD, the camp was created to introduce high school students to health related fields, and to help grow the next generation of health care professionals in South Dakota. Presenters for second annual USD Healthcare Careers Summer Camp included faculty staff and students from the Sanford School of Medicine, School of Health Sciences, Athletic Training, Department of Psychology and Health Services Administration. Additional presentations and tours were provided by Dakota State University, and the Vermillion/Clay County EMS.

"The speakers were very helpful," added Monica Remmes from Galesburg, Ill. "I am much closer to making my decision about what field to go into."

In addition to Vavra, Wilen and Remmes, students attending the camp included Kaitlyn Albrecht and Elizabeth Young of Yankton, S.D.; Briana Bauers of Hutchinson, Minn.; Timber Bourassa of Sioux City, Iowa; Rebecca Broneman of Belle Fourche, S.D.; Amanda Bursack from Canby, Minn.; Michael Christensen of Webster, S.D.; Lanie Florke and Nathan Harding of Jefferson, S.D.; Elizabeth Gallagher from Sioux Falls, S.D.; Braden Gardner of Winner, S.D.; Jesika Garrett of Dupree, S.D.; Mica Haley from Colome, S.D.; Emilee Hardy from South Sioux City, Neb.; Shelby Harkness of Hawarden, Iowa; Elizabeth Kallsen of Sherman, S.D.; Sarah Kennedy from Brule, S.D.; Jamie Krempges of Howard, S.D.; Shelby Kroupa from White Lake, S.D.; Amanda Larson and Alexa Overweg of Kimball, S.D.; Samual Leidholt from Pierre, S.D.; Carmen Lenz of Brandon, S.D.; Emily Luick from Rosholt, S.D.; Karissa Martin of Vermillion; Megan Nelson from Carpenter, S.D.; Kelsie Paulsen and Rachel Tow of Elk Point, S.D.; Elena Plummer from Spearfish, S.D.; William Remmes of Galesburg, Ill.; Amber Smit of Sheldon, Iowa; and Samantha Woehl from Menno, S.D.

"It was a wonderful experience overall," added Garrett. "I learned everything about college life and career paths. I met friends that I won’t forget and made memories that will last."

For more information about the camp, please go to or contact Stacey Shobe, INMED Coordinator, Sanford School of Medicine, at (605) 677-5167 or e-mail

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