South Dakota State Medical Association members have many opportunities to shape policy and select leaders.

Council of Physicians

The Council of Physicians is the official policymaking body of the SDSMA. The Council, made up of 78 voting members, meets twice annually, including during the SDSMA annual meeting. 

If you are interested in serving on the Council, please contact your district or specialty society, or Terry Marks, Administrative Services Coordinator, at or 605.336.1965.

Executive Committee

The Executive Committee is composed of the officers of the SDSMA, the immediate past president, AMA delegates, and two at-large members elected by the Council of Physicians. The Executive Committee transacts the business of the SDSMA during intervals between Council meetings. It functions in an advisory capacity to the president in his or her role as public spokesperson for the SDSMA.

Meeting agendas and materials are accessed on the Committee Portal

For detailed instructions on how to access meeting materials in the Committee Portal, download a step-by-step instructional sheet

 H. Thomas Hermann, Jr., MD - President
 Medical school: USD School of Medicine
 Residency: Sioux Falls Family Practice Residency
 Specialty: Family Medicine
 Current practice: Massa Berry Regional Medical Clinic, Sturgis; Clinical Professor of Family Medicine, USD Sanford School of Medicine. Read more.


 Robert E. Van Demark, Jr., MD - President-Elect
 Medical school: Tufts University, Boston
 Internship: McKennan Hospital
 Residency: Mayo Clinic
 Specialty: Orthopedic Surgery
 Current practice: Sanford Clinic Orthopedics & Sports Medicine, Sioux Falls

 Christopher T. Dietrich, MD - Vice President
 Medical School: USD School of Medicine
 Residency: Mayo School of Graduate Medical Education
 Specialty: Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
 Current practice: The Rehab Doctors, P.C., Rapid City


 Robert J. Summerer, DO - Secretary
 Medical school: University of Osteopathic Medicine and Health Sciences, Des Moines
 Residency: Des Moines General Hospital
 Specialty: General Surgery
 Current practice: Madison Regional Health System


 Michelle L. Baack, MD - Treasurer
 Medical school: USD School of Medicine
 Residency: Creighton University of Nebraska Medical Center Joint Pediatric Residency Program, Omaha
 Specialty: Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine
 Current practice: Sanford Children's Specialty Clinic; Sanford Health Research Center, Sioux Falls


 Tim M. Ridgway, MD - Immediate Past President  
 Medical school: USD School of Medicine
 Residency and fellowship: Mayo Clinic
 Internship: McKennan Hospital
 Specialty: Gastroenterology 
 Current practice: Chief of Endoscopy, Sioux Falls VA; Dean of Clinical Faculty, University of South Dakota Sanford School of Medicine

 Benjamin Aaker, MD - Councilor-at-Large
 Medical school: University of Nebraska College of Medicine, Omaha
 Residency: University of Texas, Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas
 Specialty: Emergency Medicine
 Current practice: Avera Sacred Heart Hospital, Yankton


 Kara L. Dahl, MD - Councilor-at-Large
 Medical school: Ross University School of Medicine, Portsmouth, Dominica
 Residency: University of South Florida - Tampa
 Specialty: Emergency Medicine
 Current practice: Sanford Clinic, Aberdeen


 Mary S. Carpenter, MD - Delegate to the AMA
 Medical school: USD School of Medicine
 Residency: University of Oklahoma, Tulsa Medical College
 Specialty: Family Medicine
 Current practice: State Health Department and Social Services Department


 Robert L. Allison, MD - Alternate Delegate to the AMA
 Medical school: University of Nebraska School of Medicine, Omaha
 Residency: University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha
 Specialty: Internal Medicine
 Current practice: Avera Medical Group Pierre

SDSMA committees