Through various lectures and activities, students learned of the projected critical need for health care workers in the United States and in South Dakota. As the population continues to expand and grows older, health care administrators admit that there is ample evidence of the need to augment the future health care workforce – in all disciplines – in order to accommodate projected healthcare demands.

According to Jerry Yutrzenka, Ph.D., director of Diversity Affairs for Sanford School of Medicine and the University's Health Professions Advisor, the camp was created to allow high school students the opportunity to observe, ask questions and interact with professionals in a variety of health care careers. Throughout the week, campers attended interactive sessions, tours and presentations by faculty and health care professionals from USD, Sanford School of Medicine, School of Health Sciences, Vermillion/Clay County EMS, SD Office of Rural Health, Sanford Vermillion Medical Center, Southeast Technical Institute and the Sanford USD Medical Center. Students were able to gain specific career information including salaries and future career opportunities as well as valuable insights regarding the educational requirements necessary to pursue a career in health care.

Additionally, many students commented on the various camp activities that defied their expectations, including a gross anatomy session and physiology lab, respiratory therapy and a day spent touring Southeast Technical Institute and Sanford USD Medical Center.  Utilizing technology, camp participants also had the opportunity to view a live surgery at Sanford USD Medical Center.

Students attending the camp included Jamaica Adams of South Sioux City, Neb.; Victoria Andresen and Sarah Forristal of Holstein, Iowa; Samantha Baker of Revere, Minn.; Cassandra Borman of Canby, Minn.; Liz Bowers of Madison, S.D.; Erik Burnison of Huron, S.D.; Miranda Cornay of Oral, S.D.; Sara Dahl, Ethan Nemmers, Samantha Rang and Kristine Zimmerman of Sioux Falls, S.D.; Stephanie DeWaard of Stickney, S.D.; Rebecca Ekeren of Garretson, S.D.; Andrea Fairbanks and Sarah Gilbert of Sioux City, Iowa; Brittany Fischer of Tripp, S.D.; Mary Forsell of Norfolk, Neb.; Tyler Frick of Yankton, S.D.; Kristi Grau of Lawton, Iowa; Evan Hanson of Beresford, S.D.; Elizabeth Hicks of Utica, S.D.; Brian Hokeness of Rushmore, Minn.; Alexandra Kane and Matthew Thompson of Brandon, S.D.; Brian Leitru of Elk Point, S.D.; Katelyn Limke of North Sioux City, S.D.; Alisha McKibbon of Madison, S.D., Jeffrey Mettler of Eureka, S.D., Hannah Millar of Mitchell, S.D.; Nicole Snyder of Tracy, Minn.; Abbey Soulek of Rapid City, S.D.; Maggie Storbakken of Sibley, Iowa; Sydney Swenson of Woonsocket, S.D.; Heather Vreugdenhil and Tess Wentworth of Stickney, S.D.; and Amber Walker of Vermillion, S.D.

USD pre-med students Kevin Haiar and Beth Hahn (both of Sioux Falls, S.D.) along with Emily Reinbold and Kurt Aberle (both from Timber Lake, S.D.) served as counselors and guides for the high school students. Sponsors of the third annual camp were USD, Sanford School of Medicine, Sanford School of Medicine Alumni Relations Council, USD School of Health Sciences, Sanford USD Medical Center, Sanford Vermillion Medical Center and the Dakota Hospital Foundation.

For more information about the camp, please visit or contact Jolane Tomhave, Healthcare Careers Camp Coordinator, Sanford School of Medicine, at (605) 677-5167 or e-mail

Photographs from the event are also available for download, including an image of Abbey Soulek of Rapid City (left) and Nicole Snyder of Tracy, Minn., conducting a dental exercise on student Cassandra Borman of Canby, Minn., (, and students Samantha Rang (left) of Sioux Falls and Jeffrey Mettler (far right) of Eureka, S.D., inspecting the teeth Matthew Thompson of Brandon, S.D., at

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