SIOUX FALLS, S.D., July 15, 2022 – Business and community leaders statewide say, “Now is the time,” to expand Medicaid in South Dakota and are lending their voices to the campaign.

The American Heart Association, a global force for longer, healthier lives, has recruited seven South Dakota business and community leaders to help lead its Medicaid expansion efforts across the state. Members of the South Dakota Cabinet for Medicaid Expansion will assist with efforts to expand Medicaid by representing the Association at events across the state, through social media, and other grassroots efforts.

The Cabinet is co-led by Dave Kapaska, DO, MBA, retired president and CEO of Avera McKennan hospital, and Sandy Frentz, MS, retired public health manager for the Sioux Falls Health Department. Kapaska and Frentz are joined by five other business and community leaders from across the state:

  • Shawn Fischer, director, Sturgis Ambulance Service;
  • Maynard Konechne, South Dakota Emergency Medical Services Association;
  • Pamela Miller, community volunteer;
  • Anna Quinn, PhD, owner and founder, Hope Storm: Healing Coaching and Trauma Consulting; and
  • Jessie Schmidt, Vice President of the SD Region, Better Business Bureau.

“Helping our neighbors get healthcare is not only the right thing to do, but also the financially responsible thing to do,” said Kapaska. “While we have tried to move Medicaid Expansion forward, 38 states, including our closest neighbors, have expanded Medicaid to ensure healthcare access for their frontline workers.  Insuring healthcare access for 42,000 hardworking South Dakotans is good for them and their families, good for their employers who need them more than ever, and good for the economic progress of this state. Now is the time to get this done.”

Between now and the election on November 8, 2022, the Cabinet members will advocate for Medicaid expansion in efforts statewide on behalf of the Association and the South Dakotans Decide Healthcare Coalition (SDDH), which is the umbrella organization leading efforts around Constitutional Amendment D on the November ballot. SDDH is a broad, non-partisan coalition representing doctors and nurses, voters and patients, small businesses owners, farmers, ranchers, hospitals, educators, tribal societies, and organizations like the American Heart Association.

“Medicaid expansion will make South Dakota families healthier and our economy stronger,” said Frentz. “It delivers affordable healthcare for those working hard at jobs that don’t offer insurance and brings our tax dollars home from Washington to create jobs, keep rural hospitals open and grow our economy.”

For more information on SDDH and the Association’s efforts to expand Medicaid in South Dakota, visit To join the American Heart Association’s Medicaid expansion efforts, text “SD” to 46839.

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About the American Heart Association
The American Heart Association is a relentless force for a world of longer, healthier lives. We are dedicated to ensuring equitable health in all communities. Through collaboration with numerous organizations, and powered by millions of volunteers, we fund innovative research, advocate for the public’s health and share lifesaving resources. The Dallas-based organization has been a leading source of health information for nearly a century. Connect with us on heart.orgFacebookTwitter or by calling 1-800-AHA-USA1.   


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