Young at Heart Award Nominees

This award is presented annually by the SDSMA to honor a physician who has helped young physicians as a mentor, role model, and leader as they have started their career. This award recognizes a physician who has encouraged young physicians to assume leadership roles, get involved in organized medicine or community projects, or guide them in starting a new practice and survive the day-to-day experiences of practicing medicine. Physicians eligible for this award must be over the age of 40. Physicians must be in practice for at least 5 years.

: Jerome Bentz, MD
Specialty: Family Medicine
Nominated by: Jesse Barondeau, MD

Excerpt from nomination statement: "Jerome Bentz, MD, has served wonderfully as one of District 6’s Policy Councilors for several years. He does a great job of translating or communicating the topics discussed. He is a thoughtful physician and clearly puts extra effort beyond clinic care in trying to help develop a healthier public for his patients and all of our patients."


Nominee: James Case, MD
Specialty: Neurology
Nominated by: Elizabeth Hartman, MD

Excerpt from nomination statement: "Dr. Jim Case is an excellent neurologist, businessman and colleague. He excels at creating a collaborative work environment, and actively looks to mentor and encourage young colleagues starting their careers. Despite his own experience and abilities, he readily supported an early career Neurologist as our Neurology Department head rather than himself, and has nominated and encouraged early career Neurologists and other specialists that he interacts with to be a part of leadership in our multi-specialty organization (Dr Jon Grudem, Dr Bill Andrews), local hospitals (myself and others) and SDSMA local chapter (Dr. Michael Nguyen). Dr. Case is a strong assess to improving medicine in South Dakota."


Jean Heisler, MD
Family Medicine
Nominated by:
Jennifer Tinguely, MD, MPH

Excerpt from nomination statement:
"Dr. Heisler is one of the faculty physicians at the Center for Family Medicine and has made it her passion over the past decade to train and support future family medicine physicians.
She is certainly one of the most dedicated teachers I know and it was a running joke among residents that it didn't matter what time of the night it was -- if Dr. Heisler was on-call with you, you would be receiving a very thorough teaching session on whatever pathology your patient was being admitted for. She is intense and fiercely passionate about treating all patients well but especially those with limited means. Her involvement as one of the teaching faculty members at Falls Community Health is an incredible asset and I know that I personally strive to emulate Dr. Heisler's dedication and passion towards addressing social justice issues that affect many of our patients at Falls. As some of you know, she recently "retired" but she didn't stay away for long. While she is no longer seeing patients at Falls, she has come back to teach and continue mentoring the family medicine residents as they pass through our clinic. I am forever grateful to Dr. Heisler and am very honored to nominate her for this award."


Josette Lindahl, MD, PhD
Specialty: Psychiatry
Nominated by: Chloe Olson, MD; Erik Peterson, DO; and Amanda Rae Schwenn Black, MD

Excerpt from nomination statement (written by Dr. Olson): "I have had the privilege of knowing and working with Dr. Lindahl for the past two years as she has served as an academic assistant professor and supervising physician at University of South Dakota Department of Psychiatry. Dr. Lindahl is an exemplary role model, teacher, and physician. She is genuine in all of her interactions with others. She is always “only a text or phone call away” if residents need to discuss a challenging case or ethical dilemma. She hosts a yearly Summer Pool Party and Ugly Holiday Sweater Party for psychiatry residents. In August 2019, Dr. Lindahl was instrumental in recruiting and hosting Susannah Cahalan, best-selling author of Brain on Fire: My Month of Madness, to speak in Sioux Falls, an event that was free and open to the public. Dr. Lindahl challenges medical students, psychiatry residents, and psychiatrists early in their careers to pursue excellence in every aspect of life. For example, in honor of Dr. Lindahl, the psychiatry residents spent a combined total of 51 hours of their time and served meals to 105 children and 1,018 adults at The Banquet in Sioux Falls this past year. I cannot think of a more deserving physician to receive this award than Dr. Josette Lindahl.