Board of Directors



Brenda Soper

Brenda Soper has 25 years’ experience as a Registered Nurse in a variety of clinical practices which include Medical/ Surgical, Obstetrics, Pediatrics, Neonatal Intensive Care and Home Health Care. Eventually her career led her into Healthcare Informatics as a Clinical Informaticist and CPOM Analyst with skills in collaboration, initiative and leadership. She currently is employed as a Director of Clinical Regulatory Compliance with a focus on Meaningful Use and eMeasures. In this role she leads the Avera hospitals in regulation interpretation, coordination with Information Technology and assists with attestation. She has worked at Avera Health 16 years of her 25-year career. Brenda obtained her Bachelor of Nursing Degree from South Dakota State University and her Clinical Nurse Leader Master’s Degree from Augustana College.



Brookes Noem

Brookes D. Noem, Director of Information Technology for the South Dakota Foundation for Medical Care (SDFMC), has 15 years of experience as a technology professional, including more than 5 years dedicated to healthcare IT. In 2013, Brookes earned his Master of Health Informatics degree from Dakota State University, and in 2014 added the Certified Healthcare Data Analyst (CHDA) credential from the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA). Before joining SDFMC, Brookes worked as a healthcare data analyst for DAKOTACARE, and has served as the Membership Director for the South Dakota chapter of HIMSS since September 2015.



Michelle Walter

Michelle graduated from the University of South Dakota with a Bachelors Degree in Business and completed her Masters Degree in Business Administration from the University of Sioux Falls. She has over 25 years of experience in leadership and people management, specializing in Human Resources, Leadership Development and Employee Engagement. She has worked for Avera for the past 13 years and is currently the Director of IT Engagement and Operational Readiness. In this position, Michelle is responsible for providing overall guidance and support to developing a culture of operational excellence, service excellence and learning within the information technology department. Michelle is a Senior Certified Professional in HR and is active in SDHIMSS, SHRM, ASTD, ASHHRA and SDAHO.



Treasurer, Renee Hejna

Renee Hejna graduated from the University of South Dakota with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business with an emphasis on Accounting and an undeclared minor in Computer Science. She is currently a Senior Health Informaticist for Avera Health Senior Services. She has work in Information Technology and Clinical Intelligence at Avera. Prior to her eleven years in Healthcare she worked for 21 years in the manufacturing industry installing software systems at various businesses. Renee was a trainer in lean processes and created several quality recording systems. Her most noted work was creating a completely automated hands-free process from EDI forecast to parts. Along with her work experience Renee has worked as a treasurer for many church organization. Renee lives on a farm by Yankton with her husband and has two adult sons


Communications Director

Eli Seeley

Benjamin “Eli” Seeley currently serves as a Project Manager for Avera Health Clinical Intelligence. Before his role with Avera, Eli served in various healthcare roles for over 25 years, including numerous leadership positions with the United States Army Medical Department, before his retirement from active duty in October 2018. He has served as the Regional Chief Health Information Officer for Regional Health Command Europe in Sembach Germany, Deputy Chief Information Officer for Regional Health Command Atlantic at Ft. Belvoir, VA and Chief Medical Information Officer for Joint Task Force National Capital Medical Command, Bethesda, MD, Pacific Regional Health Command and Tripler Army Medical Center in Honolulu, HI. He served as the Clinical Informatics Consultant to the Army Surgeon General from 2014-2018. He holds a Bachelor’s degree and Master’s degree from the University of Iowa. He is board certified as a Clinical Informaticist and holds certification as a Certified Professional in Health Information Management Systems. He is an active member of the Health Information and Management Systems Society and is a published author. In 2014, LTC Seeley was selected to receive the Army Medical Department’s Mercury Award as the Most Outstanding Information Management / Information Technology Officer of the Year. He is a native of Donnellson, Iowa and currently lives in Beresford, South Dakota with his family.


Membership Director

Kristi Jones, ATC, PTA

Kristi Jones, Business Intelligence Manager of Systems Developers at Sanford Health manages the infrastructure to help develop the analytical capabilities through orchestrating developers, analysts, data architects and data scientists. Her enjoyment is working in many different facets in her position while being the one of the driving forces to push Sanford Analytics to the next level. Kristi’s analytical experience is complemented with her clinical experience in Sports Medicine in Division I athletics. She continues to work in the athletic community as an Athletic Trainer for Sanford Health. She holds a B.S. in Sports Medicine from the University of Tampa and A.A.S. as a Physical Therapy Assistant from Des Plaines Community College. Outside of work she is busy with her 3 children


Program Director

Maggie Jelen

Maggie is the Manager of the QA and Testing team in Information Technology at Sanford Health. Maggie has worked in the healthcare and information technology field for 19 years in a variety of roles. She has a degree in Health Information Management from Dakota State University and is currently working on an additional degree in Healthcare Administration. Maggie enjoys working in the area of integration between the application and technical IT teams within the scope of project methodology and product enhancements. She also has a vested interest in employee engagement and professional growth for her team members. In her free time, Maggie enjoys reading, cooking, and spending time outdoors and with her family.


Member at Large

Erica Knippling

Erica Knippling is the Clinical Informatics Specialist at Brookings Health System. In the past 10 years, she has focused her technology career in the healthcare industry. In her current role she is responsible for the design, testing, upgrading, and implementation of the Meditech System and many of its ancillary applications at BHS. She received an AAS in Marketing Management Sales from Lake Area Technical Institute and a BA in General Studies with a minor in Studio Arts from South Dakota State University. She uses this background to combine creative and technical processes bringing many unique solutions to BHS. Erica has been an active member of SDHIMSS for the past 5 years and previously served Program Director and currently in the role of President


Past President

Marcine Forrette, MBA, BSMT (ASCP)

Marcine graduated from the University of Minnesota with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Medical Technology and received a Masters Degree in Business Administration from the University of Sioux Falls. Her career in Healthcare has included experience in Laboratory management, Patient Financial Services management, Corporate Compliance, Employee Health and Safety, as well as delivery of direct patient care. Her employment experience has been in both clinic and hospital settings and engagement with healthcare professionals at all levels. She is employed by Sanford Health in the Information Technology department as the Manager of the Laboratory Applications Team. She has found working in Healthcare Information Technology to be the most exciting and engaging, offering countless opportunities for learning and growth, and most rewarding career move. Professional memberships include the American Society of Clinical Pathologists (ASCP) and Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS)