What is SD HOSA?

South Dakota HOSA was established in 2012 as an initiative of the University of South Dakota Sanford School of Medicine and the South Dakota Area Health Education Center in response to the great need for future health profes

South Dakota HOSA was established in 2012 as an initiative of the University of South Dakota Sanford School of Medicine and  the South Dakota Area Health Education Center in response to the great need for future health professionals in our state. The goals of South Dakota HOSA are three-fold:

  1. ENVISION: Expanding and nurturing students’ awareness of all the healthcare careers available to them, while molding them into South Dakota’s future health professionals
  2. ENERGIZE: Becoming proactive in helping counselors develop a robust personal learning plan for students interested in becoming a future health professional. (ie: education, shadowing, and service)
  3. ENGAGE: Offering students opportunities to expand their understanding, create projects, and demonstrate skills through HOSA’s Competitive Events Program.

Founded in 1976, Health Occupations Students of America (HOSA) is recognized by the US Department of Education as a career and technical student organization (CTSO), established with the idea of providing students opportunities to develop as a leader and a future employee. In a 2012 remarketing/rebranding strategy roll-out, HOSA moved away from the Health Occupations Students of America brand to HOSA-Future Health Professionals. The new name better encompassed the organization and its mission, while maintaining its ties to its early beginnings.

Since its inception HOSA has grown to more than 240,000 members. These members belong to one of more than 5200 HOSA chapters existing in 48 states. In academic year 2017-18, 91 scholarships over $950,000 were given away by National HOSA. HOSA is the only Career and Technical Student Organization (CTSO) whose focus is 100% health care.

The structure of HOSA provides a comprehensive, rigorous, and relevant program to engage students interested in health careers, as well as an evaluation system that has been continuously tested, refined, and validated over three decades of use. HOSA’s Competitive Events Program offers members the opportunity to compete in teams or as individuals in more than 55 different events that fall along the broad spectrum of healthcare careers.


State Staff

  • Brock Rops

    State Advisor
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    Mr. Brock Rops is the Deputy Director for South Dakota Area Health Education Center and Executive Director for South Dakota HOSA-Future Health Professionals. Mr. Rops has been involved as a leader in education for 20 years.  He has a passion for inspiring and instilling confidence in students as they begin to get more engaged in their pursuits as future health professionals. Mr. Rops believes the South Dakota HOSA program will answer students’ questions regarding careers in health care and the pathway involved to getting there.

    Outside of his duties as the SD HOSA State Advisor, Mr. Rops enjoys spending time with his wife Nancy, who is an OBGYN nurse, and two kids Finely(7) and Sutton (5). He relaxes by enjoying a round of golf or a game of basketball.

State Officers

  • Lily Petersen

    State President
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    Lily Petersen is a senior at Harrisburg and is serving as our 2019-20 President! She joined HOSA as a freshman, and immediately loved it! Lily loves the atmosphere that is presented throughout HOSA. She loves how people are so eager to learn, and so excited for the future. She also loves seeing highschoolers taking chances and getting out of the comfort zone medically as well as socially. This year, she really wants to focus on communication, as well as expanding the chapter as a state and increasing opportunities for the members.Lily is so excited, and is always there if you have any questions.
    Outside of HOSA, Lily serves as her state officer officer on her local board. She also participates in student council, national honors society, a Harrisburg student ambassador, and is captain of her soccer team. Lily is planning on attending Augustana University in the fall of 2020 majoring (possibly) in exercise science to pursue a career in pediatric medicine. Lily is so excited to see what SD HOSA can accomplish this year!!

  • Lauren Okine

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    Lauren Okine is a junior at Dakota Valley High School and is South Dakota HOSA’s 2019-20 president-elect. Lauren has been in HOSA since her freshman year of high school and loves being part of an incredible organization that creates opportunities for students in the health care field. Lauren hopes to use her position to serve others and get more people involved in HOSA. Along with HOSA, Lauren is also involved in National Honor Society, Science Olympiad, volleyball, and track. Lauren is excited to be on the 2019-20 officer team and is looking forward to seeing what’s in store for the year!

  • Jensyn Younger

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    Jensyn Younger is a senior at Dakota Valley High School, and is honored to serve as South Dakota HOSA’s 2019-2020 State Secretary. Since her first state leadership conference as a freshman, Jensyn was enamored with HOSA and all that it had to offer. It opened up a whole different league of opportunities for Jensyn, and she hopes to further these opportunities for service and growth for HOSA members everywhere during her time as secretary for our great state! In addition to serving her local HOSA chapter as president, Jensyn is involved in National Honor Society, volleyball, theater, and book club. She loves Scrappy Doo and believes he has contributed immensely to modern cinema. Here’s to another great year for SD HOSA!!

  • Zach Curd

    Social Media/Historian
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    Zachary B. Curd is a senior at O’Gorman High School and South Dakota’s HOSA Social Media/ Historian Officer for 2019-2020. He has been a member of HOSA since his freshman year, which has offered him extraordinary opportunities to expand his knowledge, to collaborate with others, and to pursue his interest in medicine. As a State Officer, he looks forward to serving others and providing those same opportunities for HOSA members across the state. Outside of HOSA, Zachary can be found on the golf course or airborne, for he is in pursuit of his private pilot’s license. He reminds us that another successful year of HOSA is on the rise and looks forward to working with the other officers to make this year spectacular!

  • Regan Waddell

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    Regan is a Senior at Mitchell High School and will be serving as South Dakota HOSA’a 2019-2020 treasurer. She joined HOSA her freshman year and has loved every moment of it so far. HOSA has offered her many opportunities to explore healthcare and grow as a person. In her future, Regan would like to pursue a career in nursing. Outside of HOSA, she is involved in National Honors Society, basketball, student council, and is a captain of her volleyball team. Regan is very optimistic and cannot wait to see what is in store for South Dakota HOSA this year!

  • Kendra Elk Looks Back

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    Kendra Elk Looks Back is a senior at Todd County High School, and is delighted to serve as your 2019-2020 Parliamentarian. Her favorite part about HOSA is that it brings people together and opens new doors for them that they may not have known were possible. The amount of networking that can be done at HOSA events is amazing. Kendra thanks HOSA for giving her the chance to develop connections with people across the country, and allow her the opportunity to explore more into the medical world.
    Other than her involvement in HOSA, Kendra is incredibly cultured and spiritually aware. Her home is the Sičaŋǧu Lakȟota Oyate (Burnt Thighs Nation) which is commonly known as the Rosebud Sioux Tribe. She is proud of her heritage and strongly believes in language revitalization as well as keeping her culture thriving.
    Kendra is passionate about helping others and giving back to her people. She is very excited to work on a team with five other phenomenal officers, and is working hard to ensure that SD HOSA is the best that it can be!

Board of Directors

  • Dr. Amy Bialas

    Academic Affairs-Sanford Health
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    Like many HOSA students, Amy Bialas solidified her interest in healthcare after taking Health Careers I & II in high school.  Dr. Bialas is the executive director of medical education for Sanford Health and also an assistant professor within the department of family medicine at the Sanford School of Medicine.  A Sioux Falls native, Dr. Bialas has worked in healthcare since 2001.  Dr. Bialas had the pleasure of attending the 2011 HOSA National Conference in California, and was convinced that HOSA would inspire South Dakota students to pursue careers in healthcare.

  • Dr. Susan Anderson

    Family Physician-Sanford Health
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    Susan Anderson has been a family physician for 13 years.  She is Vice-Chairman and Associate Professor in the Department of Family Medicine at the University of South Dakota Sanford School of Medicine.  She is the Director of the Frontier And Rural Medicine Program,  the medical school’s rural track.  She has been active in teaching since she was a medical student and resident.  She lives in Canistota, SD and has an outreach clinic in the community and also serves as the medical director of the long-term care facility.  She regularly participates in educational activities at the Canistota Public School.

  • Dr. Pam Hilber

    Director Workforce Planning, Avera Health
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    Pam Hilber, PhD, is a 15 year Avera employee.  She originally joined Avera as a Psychologist in the Behavioral Health segment of their services.  She was then trained and prepared for leadership through Avera’s informal and formal staff/leadership development programs.  6 ½ years ago she was named the Director of Workforce Planning for the Avera system.  Essentially, this includes securing an adequate workforce to allow for Avera’s mission into the future.

  • JR LaPlante

    Director of Tribal Relations - Avera Health
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    JR LaPlante is the Director of Tribal Relations for Avera Health where he serves as primary contact for area tribal governments and the Indian Health Services. He is a member of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe and is a 2009 graduate of the University of South Dakota School of Law, with an undergraduate degree in Sociology from Carson-Newman College in Jefferson City, Tenn.  JR was formerly the State of South Dakota’s first Secretary of Tribal Relations, an Assistant United States Attorney, a tribal court judge, an Equal Justice Works/Americorps Legal Fellow, and a Bush Foundation Native Nation Rebuilder.

  • Josh Hall

    Principal at Sioux Falls CTE Academy
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    Mr. Josh Hall is the Principal of the Career and Technical Education Academy in the Sioux Falls School District. Prior to his current position, Josh served as Assistant Superintendent (Sioux Falls School District), Middle School Principal (Sioux Falls School District), Middle School Assistant Principal (Sioux Falls School District), and Career and Technical Education Teacher (Rapid City, Brandon Valley, and Sioux Falls).

    Josh earned his Bachelor’s Degree (BSED) from Black Hills State University; Master’s Degree in education (MSCI) from Black Hills State University; and Educational Specialist Degree (Ed. S.) in Secondary School Administration from the University of South Dakota. Josh also earned his School Superintendent certification through the University of South Dakota.

    Outside of work, Mr. Hall enjoys spending time with his wife Heather, who is a Special Education teacher, and his three children Carter (13), Berklee (8), and Hadlee (2). Josh also enjoys golfing when he gets an opportunity to do so.

  • Joe Rainboth

    Western Region Career Development Specialist- CTE
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    Joe Rainboth is a Career Development Specialist at the South Dakota Department of Education. He is the career cluster specialist for Health Sciences, statewide, and serves as the resource specialist for all Career & Technical Education programs for 30 western South Dakota school districts. Prior to joining the Department of Education, Joe spent ten years working in college admissions and enrollment - at the University of South Dakota and also at Black Hills State University. Joe and his family live in Spearfish, where his wife is the owner and primary clinician of a private practice, outpatient physical therapy clinic.

  • Josie Petersen

    South Dakota Healthcare Workforce Center
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    Josie Petersen is the Manager of the South Dakota Healthcare Workforce Center which is a part of the South Dakota Department of Health, Office of Rural Health.  She oversees numerous programs including workforce development projects, the Healthcare Workforce Report, recommendations from the Governor’s Primary Care Task Force, South Dakota Healthcare Workforce Initiative newsletters, and Emergency Medical Services leadership trainings.  Prior to this work, Josie was the Primary Care Program Coordinator and has expertise in areas such as healthcare recruitment programs, federal healthcare designations, and community assessments. Josie graduated from the University of South Dakota. She enjoys living in Pierre with her husband and two children.

  • Tom Schmidt

    First Premier Bankcard Vice President - Credit Services
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    Tom has been involved in business for over 30 years. Twenty-eight of those years have been spent in supervision and managerial positions. Tom is a proactive advocate on multiple boards. He is passionate towards giving time to the common cause. One, in which HOSA, obviously, belongs.

  • Corryn Gabbert

    Associate Director - YR AHEC
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    Corryn Gabbert, MPH, is the Associate Director of Community Programs for the Yankton Rural Area Health Education Center (YRAHEC). At YRAHEC, her responsibilities include engaging students in the K-12 health careers pipeline, engaging community organizations and members in workforce development, and organizing continuing education opportunities for health professionals. Along with her AHEC work, Corryn is the Marketing Specialist for the National AHEC Organization’s CDC funded HPV Immunization Project and works with organizations across the nation to promote HPV vaccination and provider education.
    Corryn is a graduate of the University of South Dakota twice over (B.S. Health Sciences, 2014 & Master of Public Health, 2017) and is one of USD’s 30 under 30 Alumni. She enjoys living in South Dakota and working with a wide range of engaged health professionals.

  • Mikayla Titus

    Associate Director of Community Programs - NE SD AHEC
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    Mikayla Titus is the Associate Director of Community Programs for Northeast South Dakota Area Health Education Center, NESD AHEC. Her role with NESD AHEC works to get youth interested in health occupations, secondary students interested in rural healthcare, and educational resources to rural communities. She has a passion for working towards sustainable health solutions for underserved areas which can be seen in her efforts with NESD AHEC for the rural and underserved communities in South Dakota.

    Mikayla received her Bachelor of Science in Health Administration and Policy from Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska. She has a multidimensional understanding of health through her work and volunteer experiences. She enjoys giving back to her community by volunteering with various organizations in the Aberdeen community.

  • Stephanie Mayfield

    Executive Director West River AHEC
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    Stephanie Mayfield is the Director of the West River Area Health Education Center.  Before moving to South Dakota, in the summer of 2019, Stephanie spent seven years working at a Critical Access Hospital in Valley City, North Dakota, as the Foundation and Mission Director.  Prior to that, she began her non-profit work as the Executive Director of the Valley City Area Chamber of Commerce.  Stephanie graduated from Dickinson State University with a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and Minors in English and Spanish.  After graduation, she spent the next 14 years working in the procurement industry as a Forecaster, Buyer, and Commodity Manager at Menards General Office and the Goodrich Aerospace Cargo Division.

    Stephanie and her family live in Rapid City, where her husband Shawn is a Civil Engineer and her daughter Taylor, is in Sixth Grade.  Camping, hiking, and travelling are hobbies her family enjoys together.

  • Carletta Hauck

    Executive Director- SD Academy of Family Physicians
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