- Greg is the program director of the SDSU Engineering Extension/OSHA Consultation program. This program has a staff of five safety and health consultants ready to provide free and confidential on-site services to employers throughout South Dakota. In his twelve years with the program, Greg served as a safety and health consultant for six years and has been the director for six years. With a degree in dairy manufacturing from SDSU, Greg worked in the dairy and food manufacturing industries. This evolved into spending many years in ag processing industries involving both soybeans and corn. Workplace safety was always a part of his responsibilities in industry, and this facilitated the transition to full time dedication to workplace safety in his current position.Greg was raised near Ghent, MN; not a South Dakota native, but he got here as soon as he could. He lives near Bruce, SD with his wife Cheryl, and sons Zane and Luke. He enjoys archery, all sorts of projects that need to get done, fishing, and picking on guitars.
Sylvia Garcia-Houchins, MBA, RN, CIC
- Sylvia Garcia-Houchins is the Director, Infection Prevention and Control and an AmbulatoryCare Surveyor. In these roles, she is responsible for the oversight of infection prevention and control for The Joint Commission and surveying the standards in the Comprehensive Accreditation Mannual/Accreditation Mannual for Ambulatory Care. She has over 30 years of experience in infection control, as well as 8 years of clinical microbiology experience. Ms. Garcia-Houchins has provided infection preventation and control consultation, assessment, and education in a variety of health care settings including hospitals, health clinics, ambulatory surgery, and dialysis centers both domestically and internationally. She earned her degree in biochemistry and molecular biology from Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, a master's of business administration from the Keller Graduate School of Management, and her nursing degree from Truman College.
Elizabeth Healy, BSN, RN, CIC
- Elizabeth is the Infection Prevention Coordinator at Avera Sacred Heart Hospital, in Yankton, SD. She is responsible for a 99-bed acute care facility including 3 OR settings, cancer center, dialysis center, long term care facility, and several specialty clinics. She has worked in infection prevention since 2013 and is certified in Infection Control. Prior to this role, Liz was a float nurse working in virtually every unit of the hospital. She received her BSN from the University of Texas in Austin, TX and a BA in Psychology from the College of Santa Fe, Santa Fe, NM. She has served on the South Dakota Infection Control Conference board, serves as Education Committee Chair for a new SD APIC Chapter, spoke at the Premier Breakthroughs in 2017 & 2021, and has been recognized by Avera for several process improvement projects. Liz was awarded as a Project Firstline Scholarship recipients for the American Hospital’s Association’s Next Generation Leaders Fellowship in 2021. Liz served as the Vaccine Coordinator for Yankton & Union Counties during the COVID-19 Vaccine rollout of 2020-2021.
Lori Koenecke, RN, APIC, CSTE
- Lori currently serves as the Healthcare-Associated Infection/Antibiotic Resistance Program Coordinator for the South Dakota Department of Health. Prior to that she worked as the Cancer Programs Director at the Department of Health. Lori has also spent time in academia teaching for 14 years at the USD Nursing in Pierre. Her Acute Care experience includes working in Oncology, the Operating Room, and Post-Anesthesia Care at the University of Wisconsin Hospital in Madison and at Avera St. Mary’s in Pierre. She holds memberships in APIC (Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology), CSTE (Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists), and is an RN member of the South Dakota Board of Nursing.
- Meghan is a Disease Intervention Specialist and STI Lead for the South Dakota Department of Health. She has been with the department as a Nurse DIS for 7 years. Meghan graduated from the University of South Dakota with her Bachelor of Science in Nursing. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her husband and 3 children and watching them in all their activities as well as owning and operating a small business where she makes school mascot gear.
Tiffany Peterson, BSN, RN, CIC
- Tiffany is the Director of Infection Prevention for Avera Health and has over 20 years of experience in Infection Prevention with knowledge of public health, infectious disease, immunizations, surveillance, and risk reduction counseling. In her current role, Tiffany supports Avera facilities with their accreditation surveys, infection prevention programs, surveillance, policies, and more. Tiffany holds Bachelor of Science degrees in Nursing and Biology from the University of Sioux Falls and is certified in Infection Control.
Kacee Redden, MSW, CSW, MA, LAC
- Kacee is the Sexually Transmitted Infections Program Manager for the South Dakota Department of Health. She has been with the Department of Health for over 4 years and has been in the STI Program Manager position since January 2023. Kacee attended the University of South Dakota, in which she successfully completed both her Masters in Addiction Counseling and Masters in Social Work degrees. Kacee is a Licensed Addiction Counselor and Licensed Certified Social Worker in the state of South Dakota. She has a background with serving a wide variety of populations, including adolescents and adults within both the prevention and treatment facets of the addiction field along with experience in mending family relationships through counseling services. Kacee has a passion for helping people and creating opportunities to alleviate the burdens that perpetuate health disparities. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her newlywed husband, Nick, and playing ball with their dog, Winston. Kacee also enjoys playing women’s league slow pitch softball in the summer.
Angela Ritchey, CRCST
- Angela Ritchey worked in the Sterile Processing Department for more than 14 years as a Tech, Lead, and Associate Manager, playing an active role in opening an off-site reprocessing center that served five acute and ambulatory surgery centers, and most recently was a Market Manager of Sterile Processing for eight hospitals in the Nebraska and western Iowa. She is currently a Clinical Education Specialist representing STERIS in support of Infection Prevention Technology (IPT) Healthcare.Angela holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and a Master of Arts in English from the University of Nebraska at Omaha. She is a CRCST, CIS, CHL, and GTS and is a member of HSPA, AORN, APIC, ASQ, and SGNA.
Kara Sand, CPTD
- Kara is an accomplished organizational leader with 20 years of diverse communication and business experience in the education, non-profit, construction, insurance, and tech industries. She earned her masters degree in communication and is currently serving as Talent Development Director at Brinkmann Constructors, where she has been instrumental in optimizing the talent and performance of the organization. In addition to her professional experience, Kara is an adjunct faculty member at Metropolitan State University, where she teaches personal development courses on Assertiveness and Time Management. She is highly respected in the industry and was one of the first in the nation to earn the prestigious Certified Professional in Talent Development designation through the National Association for Talent Development. Kara’s expertise is in helping leaders, teams, and organizations optimize their performance through confident and compassionate communication. She is passionate about empowering individuals and teams to achieve their full potential. Kara grew up in Rapid City, SD and resides in Denver, CO where she enjoys discovering and soaking in natural hot springs.
Connie Steed, MSN, RN, CIC, FAPIC
- Connie Steed has worked in the field of infection prevention and control for over 40 years. Connie’s experience encompasses academic and community acute care hospitals, Long-Term Care facilities and Ambulatory care. Connie recently retired from her position as Corporate Director of Infection Control for Prisma Health. Connie is currently a consultant specializing in infection prevention and control. She is board certified in Infection Prevention and Control (CIC) since 1985 and a Fellow of the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC). Connie has served APIC as a volunteer leader in multiple capacities including 2020 APIC President. She is published in the field and has presented nationally and internationally. Connie received her Bachelor’s and Master’s in Nursing from Clemson University.