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Joshua Clayton, PhD, MPH
Josh Clayton serves as the State Epidemiologist at the South Dakota Department of Health (SD-DOH). He received his MPH and PhD in Epidemiology at the University of Michigan and completed a fellowship with CDC’s Epidemic Intelligence Service, assigned to the Tennessee Department of Health. He worked previously as the Deputy State Epidemiologist and Director of the Epi Resource Center with the Indiana State Department of Health. He joined SD-DOH in November 2017 and focuses on informatics for data analytics and visualization, data governance, and infectious disease epidemiology, surveillance, and response.
Brett Oakland has worked for the South Dakota Department of Health for 19 years. He worked as a Disease Intervention Specialist for 15 years investigating a variety of disease cases in South Dakota, including foodborne, vector-borne, sexually transmitted, and vaccine-preventable diseases He also conducted immunization site visits at clinics and other facilities enrolled in the federal Vaccines for Children (VFC) Program.
He has been the South Dakota Immunization Information System [SDIIS] Coordinator for the Department of Health since September 2020 and, amid the chaos of the implementation of the COVID vaccination program, immediately began working to find a replacement IIS platform. The platform chosen, STC|ONE provided by STChealth, LLC, went live in South Dakota on May 1, 2023, joining 13 other state and territorial jurisdictions in the STChealth consortium.
Patti is an Assistant Professor in the Health Informatics and Information Management Programs at Dakota State University in Madison, SD. Prior to teaching, she worked for Avera for 31 years – mostly as a Regional Information Officer beginning when the medical records transitioned from paper to electronic. She also spent time at Avera as a Director of HIM, a Lead Clinical Intelligence Analyst in the Clinical Intelligence Dept, and the Director of Quality at Avera Health Plans. Patti spent over 10 years working in various HIM departments and roles prior to working at Avera.
Patti has an Associate and Bachelors degree in Health Information Management from DSU, a Masters degree in Business Administration from USD, and a Masters and Doctorate degree in Information Systems from DSU.
Patti was the first president of the South Dakota HIMSS chapter and has since served many terms as the Program Director and the Membership Director. She is also the current President Elect of the chapter and has been involved in the chapter integration of the North and South Dakota chapters to form the HIMSS Dakotas Chapter.
Patti has always been a strong believer in organized health information exchanges, such as South Dakota Health Link, to deliver more efficient and effective care.
In her spare time, Patti enjoys gardening, walking, decorating, and watching Hallmark movies.
Sharon Chontos is a partner in Sage Project Consultants. Sage provides project management, strategic planning, program evaluation, and grant management to state agencies, universities, non-profits, and for profit organizations. Sage provides project management services to the Community Health Worker Collaborative of South Dakota. Sharon holds a bachelors degree in chemical engineering from South Dakota Mines and a masters degree in program evaluation from Michigan State University.
Zoe Barber, MPH
Zoe Barber has over a decade of experience dedicated to advancing health IT adoption, health information exchange, and interoperability. As the Policy Director for the Sequoia Project, she directs the organization’s policy initiatives and response to legislative and regulatory activities shaping the health IT landscape, including information blocking, privacy and security, and patient access.
Zoe also leads policy development for the Sequoia Project in its role as the Recognized Coordinating Entity (RCE) for the HHS Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) 21st Century Cures Act Trusted Exchange Framework and Common Agreement (TEFCA). Previously, she served as a Senior Policy Advisor at ONC on nationwide health information network initiatives and was at the forefront of policy development for the TEFCA, as well as other Cures Act policies and regulations.
She holds a master’s degree in public health from the George Washington University and a bachelor’s degree in political science from Lehigh University.
Sarah Daggett is a Community Health Worker at Center for Family Medicine. It is a Family Medicine Residency Program and is getting ready to celebrate 50 years in operation in October! Sarah has been at Center for Family Medicine for the last 10 years in different positions. She went to a couple different colleges here in Sioux Falls looking to obtain a Humana Services Degree, but life got in the way and she was unable to finish, so this position is exactly where she saw herself many years ago. Sarah loves being able to help people out of difficult situations.
Amber Reints is a Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner at Avera McKennan Behavioral Health. Amber graduated from Minnesota State University and Creighton University with bachelors of science in Psychology, Biology, and Nursing. Amber obtained her doctorate of nursing practice at University of Missouri. Amber’s current role at Avera allows her to walk alongside patients and families struggling with mental illness. Amber is passionate about having important conversations about mental health and appreciates opportunities to partner with other organizations so that we can work together to fight mental illness in our communities.
Melissa has been involved in South Dakota healthcare for over 30 years. She is an Advanced Practice Registered Nurse and co-owner of Quick Care SD. She served in the South Dakota House of Representatives from 2011 to 2014 and was a member of the House Committee on Health and Human Services. Her education includes a Master’s in Science from South Dakota State University with a focus as a family nurse practitioner. She also has a Master’s in Business Administration from Mount Marty University. She graduated from the Great Plains Public Health Leadership Institute at the University of Nebraska and recently completed her fellowship at the University of Arizona’s Center for Integrated Medicine. Magstadt is a born and raised South Dakotan residing in the northeast part of the state.
Rachel Sehr is the Community Engagement Director with the South Dakota Department of Health (DOH) in Sioux Falls, SD. In her role, she serves as the Executive Director of the SD Community Information Exchange and also leads community engagement effort’s across the Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion.
Rachel is a registered nurse and has been with the DOH since 2015, first working as a Disease Investigation Specialist and then the Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention Coordinator. Prior to joining the State, she worked in the acute care setting including medical/surgical units, the operating room, and nurse management. Rachel also worked as a school nurse for several years.
Ben has served as the lead contact for the CHWSD since its inception in January 2020. He has led the CHWSD through significant growth over the first three years, in part due to the CDC Health Disparities Grant funding the SD Department of Health received in June of 2021. Additionally, for the past nine years, Ben served as the Coordinator for the South Dakota Diabetes Coalition (SDDC). Ben is passionate about the CHW profession and works to be an ally for all CHWs. Ben previously worked with the SD Department of Health in 2015 and 2016 on Community Health Worker – related introductory projects. This work led to recommendations for CHWs (which the South Dakota Department of Social Services then used to develop CHW Medicaid reimbursement). Ben has Bachelor of Arts degree in Communication Studies and Public Relations from Southwest Minnesota State University and recently completed a Graduate Certificate in Public Health from New Mexico State University.