The Dakota Hospital Foundation established the award in 2001 to recognize members or organizations who have worked to benefit the health and health care of the Vermillion community.

Barbara and Gerald “Jerry” Yutrzenka have contributed long service to the Dakota Hospital Foundation Board of Directors, and each has been deeply involved in numerous activities aimed at improving health care in the Vermillion community and region.

Barbara Yutrzenka, Ph.D., joined the University of South Dakota as a faculty member in the Department of Psychology in 1984. From 1988 to 2015, she served as director of the USD clinical psychology doctoral program. She also served two terms as Interim Dean of Graduate Education at USD. She retired in 2015.

Gerald Yutrzenka, Ph.D., has been a faculty member of the USD Sanford School of Medicine’s Division of Basic Biomedical Sciences since 1984. He has held several leadership roles centered on building a more diverse health care workforce in South Dakota. He served as president of the Dakota Hospital Foundation Board of Directors in 2007. In 2014, he was appointed Associate Dean for Diversity and Inclusion at the USD Sanford School of Medicine.

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