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Willman receives Extraordinary Honor

The University of South Dakota’s Dr. Tim Ridgway, Dean of the Sanford School of Medicine released the following statement:

It is my pleasure to announce that a very deserving member of our faculty, Dr. April Willman, has been appointed the Dr. Charley F. and Elizabeth Gutch Chair in Medicine, effective July 2024 through June 2027. Dr. Willman currently serves as Associate Dean of the Yankton Campus and Associate Professor in the Department of Pediatrics. A 2007 SSOM graduate, Dr. Willman practices pediatrics in Yankton and served as the SSOM pediatrics LIC Coordinator from 2017-2022.

“Dr. Willman embodies many of the qualities Dr. Gutch stood for,” said Dr. Tim Ridgway, Dean of the Sanford School of Medicine. “She is an accomplished physician and academic leader of the Yankton campus and is truly dedicated to the success of the school of medicine. Dr. Willman, like Dr. Gutch, is committed to excellence in all she does. She is most deserving of this honor.” Dr. Gutch was Chief of Medical Services at the VA Hospital in Sioux Falls and an associate dean at the medical school until his 1988 retirement, when he was named Emeritus Professor. He was recognized as an expert in kidney function and kidney dialysis and was a prolific writer and academic visionary. He passed away in 2009. It is through the generosity of Dr. Gutch and his wife, Betty, that this chair in medicine was endowed.

In addition to that information, Dr. April Willman is a Pediatrician at the Yankton Medical Clinic and absolutely loves caring for the area’s children.  She is also very involved in medical education as teaching is a strong passion.  Currently, Dr. Willman is the Yankton Campus Dean of the University of South Dakota Sanford School of Medicine.  She received her Bachelor of Arts degree from Augustana University and Doctor of Medicine degree from the University of South Dakota School of Medicine.  She completed her residency in pediatrics at the University of Missouri – Columbia, where she began her leadership roles as Chief Resident.  Dr. Willman is a Fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics and has been the recipient of numerous awards, including the Service Excellence Award recognizing contributions to the University of Missouri Health Care, Avera Quality Congress Spirit of Compassion award, and the Anton Hyden Distinguished Professor Award from the USD SSOM Class of 2019.  She has been an active faculty member of the University of South Dakota Sanford School of Medicine since 2015 and served as the LIC Advisor for Pediatrics in Yankton from 2017-2022.  In addition to service to her community, she serves USD SSOM students by teaching in all three Pillars and serves as one of the advisors for the Pediatric Interest Group.  Dr. Willman has given presentations at national conferences and is active in curriculum development.  She has been a leader in the establishment of the Hogan Assessment faculty coaching program for USD SSOM medical students.  Now, she has been named the Dr. Charley F. and Elizabeth Gutch Chair in Medicine.

Thank you Dr. Willman! You are truly living out the YMC vision of “medical excellence committed to quality care and medical education.”