According to Jerry Yutrzenka, Ph.D., director of Diversity Affairs for the Sanford School of Medicine and the University’s Health Professions Advisor, and Jolane Tomhave, camp coordinator, the 2010 camp allowed high school students to learn and observe in classroom and laboratory settings, ask questions and interact with health care professionals, and gain practical information about health care educational requirements, salaries and future career opportunities.

Students attending the week-long camp also took part in various camp activities such as interactive forums with faculty and staff from the Sanford School of Medicine and School of Health Sciences, gross anatomy sessions, and tours of facilities in Vermillion and Sioux Falls, S.D., including Southeast Technical Institute and Sanford USD Medical Center.

Additionally, six American Indian students participated in USD’s first American Indian Student Healthcare Careers Conference (AISHC). AISHC provided these high school students with an opportunity to learn more about careers and perspectives offered by several American Indian health care professionals and current students. Featured presenters at AISHC included recent PA graduate Donis Drappeau; Alan Bull Bear, a current clinical laboratory science student; and Dr. Sophie Two Hawk, CEO of the IHS hospital in Taos, N.M., who was the first American Indian physician to graduate from USD’s Sanford School of Medicine in 1986.

Healthcare Career Summer Camp participants included Aric Ablog of Worthington, Minn.; Brandon Bennett and Tucker Tornberg of Centerville, S.D.; Brian Cain of Dakota City, Neb.; Rosa Cancino, Rosario Garcia, Kaleb Kenyon and Marysol Lopez of South Sioux City, Neb.; Cameron Coke of Gayville, S.D.; Haleigh Delavan of Glenwood, Iowa; Neeta Denison and Mallory Oberpriller of Hot Springs, S.D.; Tessa Ehlers, James Gaspar, Kimberly Pesicka and Samantha Wagner of Sioux Falls, S.D.; Lauren Fanta, Alex Heglin, Leslie Henderson of Yankton, S.D.; Sarah Fisher of Chamberlain, S.D.; Tyler Fletcher of Dakota Dunes, S.D.; Leah Gubbels and Jenni Kopp of Osmond, Neb.; Kara Homandberg of Slayton, Minn.; Chris Jerke of Avon, S.D.; Trisha Kaufman of Delmont, S.D.; Courtney Lickteig of Marion, S.D.; Lynda Martin-Goldsmith of Mobridge, S.D.; Marie Massella of Virgil, S.D.; Chelsea Miller and Heidi Osterberg of Vermillion, S.D.; Wes Parsons of Tea, S.D.; Martina Peterson and Jackie Snyders of Rock Rapids, Iowa; Abigail Reed of Hornick, Iowa; Scott Schipke of Rapid City, S.D.; Olivia Schlueter of Watertown, S.D.; Kaitlyn Stern of Freeman, S.D.; Marissa Waibel of Searles, Minn.; and Jenna Winckler of Lake Andes, S.D.

Students participating in both AISHC and the Healthcare Career Summer Camp were Gina Arellano of Pine Ridge, S.D.; Shay Desrosiers of Browns Valley, Minn.; Rachael German of Sisseton, S.D.; Michaela Rainbow and Skyler Zephier of Lake Andes, S.D.; and Ashton Swift Hawk of Pierre, S.D.

USD students Kevin Haiar and Beth Hahn, both of Sioux Falls, along with Seth Parsons of Pierre and Cecily Engelhart of Vermillion served as counselors and guides for the camps.

Sponsors for the camps were USD’s Sanford School of Medicine, USD School of Health Sciences, Sanford USD Medical Center, Sanford Vermillion Medical Center and the Dakota Hospital Foundation. In addition, the South Dakota Healthcare Workforce Partnership Fund provided a $10,000 grant in support of the American Indian Student Healthcare Career Conference.

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