Our Team

State Staff

Brock Rops
State Advisor


Read Bio
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

Lauren Okine
State President

Read Bio
I am a senior at Dakota Valley and have been involved in HOSA since my freshman year. I continue to be amazed at all the opportunities HOSA provides for high school students interested in healthcare. HOSA has been such a great learning experience for me, and I love seeing how it can impact others. This year, I hope to use my HOSA position to serve others, connect students throughout the state, and empower individuals. Outside of HOSA, I am involved in student council, National Honor Society, Science Olympiad, and track. I plan to go to college and follow a pre-med track. If you have any questions at all, don't hesitate to contact me! I am excited to work with the rest of the officer team and thrilled to see what's in store for South Dakota HOSA this year!

Cheraye Arcoren

Read Bio
I am a junior at Todd County High School. I enjoy helping others and skate boarding with my friends. I am also involved in volleyball playing chess. My plans after graduation is to attend Stanford University in hopes of getting into medical school. I want to be able to work and give back to my community.

Jaeden Rice

Read Bio
I am a senior at Rapid City Central High School. I love to hang out with my friends and I work at my church nursery. After I graduate I plan on going to USD for nursing school.

Timothy Johnson
Social Media Historian

Read Bio
I am a senior at Custer High School and is serving as South Dakota HOSA's 2020-2021 Social Media/Historian Officer. I have been a member of HOSA since his sophomore year. I am involved in a variety of other extra-curricular activities, including theatre, National Honor Society, International Thespian Society, student council, yearbook, knowledge bowl, band, and more. I look forward to helping South Dakota HOSA members have another incredible year!

Leonela Perez

Read Bio
I am a senior at Beresford High School and South Dakota HOSA's 2020-2021 treasurer. LI aim to learn more about the medical fields and what they have to offer. I joined HOSA my junior year and is incredibly glad I did. Being part of HOSA has changed the way I think about my future. I plan on pursuing a career in surgery.
Outside of HOSA, I am involved in National Honor Society, volleyball, and Spanish club. I also love helping people in need.

Erena Jain

Read Bio
I am a senior at Sioux Falls O'Gorman High School. After graduation, I plan to pursue a pre-medical degree in hopes of getting into medical school.

Board of Directors

Dr. Amy Bialas
Academic Affairs-Sanford Health

Read Bio
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

Read Bio
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

Read Bio
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

Read Bio
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

Read Bio
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.

Southeast Region Career Development Specialist- CTE

Read Bio
Kristin Larson is a Career Development Specialist with the South Dakota Department of Education, Career and Technical Education Program. In this role she supports the career and college readiness programming for over 30 schools in the southeast region of the state. She is also the statewide career cluster specialist for Health Sciences and Information Technology and the state specialist for K-12 Work-Based Learning (WBL) programs. Before joining the Department of Education, Kristin worked for nearly a decade in K-12 classrooms teaching both CTE and core content classes. Prior to this she worked in human resources, recruiting, and adult training and development in the private sector. She has Bachelor's Degrees in HRM and Secondary Education and a Master's Degree in Educational Leadership and Administration. Kristin is married with a daughter and lives in Harrisburg, South Dakota, where she also serves on the local Planning & Zoning and Parks & Recreation Boards.

Josie Petersen
South Dakota Healthcare Workforce Center

Read Bio
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

Read Bio
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

Read Bio
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

Read Bio
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

Read Bio
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