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Health Department Staff Honored

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:  Wednesday, December 14, 2016
CONTACT:  Barb Buhler, (605) 773-3361  

                                                                  Health Department Staff Honored

PIERRE, S.D. – Five South Dakota Department of Health staff were recently recognized in the agency’s annual Secretary’s Awards Program.

Marcia Benning and John Osburn, both of Rapid City, received Outstanding Contribution to Public Health Awards for significant contributions over the course of a career. A dedicated Pennington County community health nurse, Marcia goes above and beyond to serve clients, particularly when it comes to providing immunizations. She leads quality assurance activities for all nurses in the large office and is a valued teacher and mentor for both new and experienced nurses. John manages a large workload as assistant administrator for the office of health protection which licenses food service, campground and lodging establishments. He managed the successful implementation of a new electronic licensure and inspection system which included a new web portal for consumers to access scores and inspection reports.

Eric Grimm, Pierre, received the Rising Star Award as a new employee making a significant contribution. As data manager for disease prevention, he has advanced the capabilities and efficiencies of the agency’s centralized, electronic disease surveillance system. Using advanced computational statistical software, he analyzes and mines complex datasets, creating hundreds of high-quality visual images that transform raw data into meaningful and actionable information.

Excellence in the Workplace Awards for outstanding performance in the past year went to Ashley Klatt, Watertown, and Jessica Schreurs, Sioux Falls. A tuberculosis (TB) nurse consultant, Ashley managed a challenging multi-drug resistant case of TB, maintaining regular contact with the patient and the family for nine months. She developed an innovative method of carrying out directly observed medication therapy using FaceTime on iPhones, a technology now implemented statewide. Jessica is a 12-year correctional health veteran and has been the clinical supervisor at the main penitentiary since 2014. In addition to those duties, she has helped in the Women’s Prison clinic in Pierre during staffing shortages and has been invaluable in helping orient new clinical supervisor and charge nurses there. She is also now serving as interim clinical supervisor at Jameson Annex in the State Penitentiary.

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Photos of award winners are available in the multimedia section of the state news web.