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Health Department Staff Honored

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:  Tuesday, January 16, 2018

CONTACT:  Kim Malsam-Rysdon, (605) 773-3361


Health Department Staff Honored


PIERRE, S.D. – Fifteen South Dakota Department of Health staff were recently recognized in the agency’s annual Secretary’s Awards Program. Awards were given in three categories: employee excellence, outstanding contribution to public health and the rising star award. The recipients of the awards are listed below.


Employee Excellence: Recognizes outstanding performance in the past year.

  • eWIC Team, Office of Child & Family Services- The eWIC team consisted of nine staff members who were instrumental in implementing a new electronic management system for the WIC program. The system has received positive reviews from program participants and vendors.
  • Teri Schoenefeld, Office of Child & Family Services- Schoenefeld is a community health nurse in Gregory County who was recognized for outstanding performance, her commitment to her community and assisting other colleagues as a resource.


Outstanding Contribution to Public Health: Recognizes significant public health contributions over a career.

  • Cindy Koopman Viergets, Office of Licensure & Certification- Koopman Viergets is a health facilities surveyor based in Spearfish and was recognized for her strong relationships with the provider community and her technical expertise.
  • Tammy LeBeau, Office of Disease Prevention Services- LeBeau coordinates South Dakota’s immunization registry and was honored for her work in developing and promoting the use of the system. 
  • Dr. Eugene Regier, Correctional Health Care- Dr. Regier is chief medical officer at the State Penitentiary in Sioux Falls. Dr. Regier was honored for over 20 years of dedicated service.


Rising Star: Recognizes a newer Department employee that has made significant contributions since joining the Department.

  • Dustin Ortbahn, Office of Disease Prevention Services- Ortbahn is an infectious disease epidemiologist based in Pierre and was honored for his professionalism, timeliness and skill in working with diverse populations.
  • Rhonda Schelling, Office of Child & Family Services- Schelling is a nutritionist based in Sioux Falls and was honored for her professionalism and willingness to assist in covering staff vacancies.


Promoting a culture of organizational excellence is one objective of the Department of Health’s 2015-2020 strategic plan, http://doh.sd.gov/strategicplan.


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