2013 State Employee Awards

Agency / Employee(s) Awards and Honors
Department of Health

Katie Hill, Communications and Community Coordinator for the Office of Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion in Pierre received the Rising Star Award. She joined DOH in July 2012 and quickly picked up on core public health principles although she did not have a public health background. She has developed excellent working relationships with grantees and has taken the lead in tracking grant progress and reporting to CDC. Katie provides direction for tobacco control media efforts and serves as the primary contact with the contract ad agency. She is a quick study on public health programs and issues and is an excellent addition to DOH’s communications team.

Accountant Nicole Asmussen received an Excellence in the Workplace Award for leading several projects that have created work efficiencies in the Fiscal Office in Pierre. Her willingness to take on new challenges and find effective solutions has led to significantly improved financial management and payment systems for Correctional Health and the Public Health Laboratory. Nicole led the implementation of the accounts receivable system used with the laboratory’s new information management system and is now working to adapt the system for Correctional Health and for the Immunization Program's billing requirements.

Department of Health Bill Chalcraft received an Excellence in the Workplace Award for outstanding performance during the past year. In addition to his duties as Administrator of the Office of Public Health Preparedness and Response, in November 2012 Bill became interim Administrator of the Office of Health Protection. That interim position quickly became permanent as he restructured the Office of Health Protection and lead its staff through the transition. He provided the necessary day-to-day guidance to staff and salvaged and resurrected much-needed but floundering automation project that had already taken a significant toll on staff. Bill has gone above and beyond expectations and under his guidance and direction the Office of Health Protection is in excellent shape.
Department of Health Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion Administrator Linda Ahrendt received an Outstanding Contribution to Public Health Award for her efforts in promoting health and preventing disease. Linda was instrumental in developing partnerships with South Dakota Parks and Recreation and South Dakota State Parks and promoted state parks as the greatest wellness centers in the state! South Dakota has received national recognition for the work with parks in our state. She has played a key role in developing the state's colorectal cancer screening program and in expanding and enhancing the Tobacco Quit line, which boasts one of the best quit rates in the country. Her passion for health promotion and chronic disease prevention together with her leadership skills and ability to engage partners resulted in the state's first ever Chronic Disease State Plan for South Dakota.
Department of Health Linda Joy Vanhove received the 2013 Outstanding Contribution to Public Health Award in the South Dakota Department of Health’s annual Secretary’s Awards Program. The award is presented to an employee who has made significant contributions to the state’s public health over the course of a career. A 22-year employee of the department, Linda served as the Regional Manager for the Sioux Falls area of the department’s Office of Family and Community Health Services until her retirement December 20, 2013.
Department of Health Katie Pieschke, Senior Microbiologist in the Medical Section of the department’s Public Health Laboratory, received the 2013 New Professional Member of the Year Award from the South Dakota Chapter of the American Society of Clinical Laboratory Science at the group’s recent conference.
Department of Health Beth Johnson was named Health Partner of the Year for 2013 by the Indian Health Service, Wagner Service Unit. She was nominated by staff at the Wagner Service Unit and was selected after being reviewed by a committee of staff from the Wagner Service Unit, and the Aberdeen Area Office. Beth is a Disease Intervention Specialist for the Department of Health in its Sioux Falls office.
Department of Health Linda Petereit was named the 2013 Distinguished Disease Intervention Specialist by the Department of Health. The award is given in conjunction with National Disease Intervention Specialist Recognition Day on October 4, an annual observance recognizing the important role of DIS in prevention and controlling public health threats. Linda is a DIS in the department’s Sioux Falls office.
Department of Game, Fish & Parks
(Division of Parks and Recreation)

Jim Jandreau of Sturgis received the 2013 South Dakota State Parks Distinguished Service Award.

Sean Blanchette of Fort Pierre and Katie Ceroll of Roslyn received Awards of Appreciation.

The Innovative Programming Award was given to Jennifer Nuncio.

The 2013 Seasonal Employee of the Year Award was given to Arlan Kuipers, who has been employed at Snake Creek Recreation Area near Platte for the past nine summers.

Bob and Michele Ensz were named the South Dakota State Park Volunteers of the Year.

Department of Health Marty Link, Sioux Falls, received the 2013 President’s Award from the South Dakota Emergency Medical Technicians Association. Marty is the Trauma Program Manager for the South Dakota Department of Health.