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Staff and Program Directory

Here you will find detailed descriptions of the different divisions and programs within the department, who to contact for each area and how to contact them.

Cabinet Secretary
Provides administration and direction to all areas of the Department of Social Services.
Contact: Matt Althoff 605.773.3165

Deputy Secretary and Chief of Operations
Contact: Brenda Tidball-Zeltinger 605.773.3165

Communication Administrator
Provides communication services related to media and public relations, web development, and other information pertinent to the public.
Contact: Emily Richardt 605.773.3165

Accounting and Finance, Chief Financial Officer
Provides support services to oversee and manage the department’s budget and financial operations.
Contact: Jason Simmons 605.773.3165

Deputy Financial Officer
Contact: Claudean Hluchy 605.773.3586

Deputy Financial Officer
Contact: Laura Schaeffer 605.773.3586

Accounting and Financial Reporting
Provides accounting services, financial reporting, cost allocation and processing of vouchers through the state’s financial reporting system.
Contact: Bill Regynski Program Administrator: 605.773.3586

EBT (Electronic Benefits Transfer)
Provides delivery of departmental payments through electronic technology. Ensures convenient, rapid and secure transfer of both information and payments.
Contact: 605.773.6527

Provider Reimbursement and Audits
Provides auditing services for the department as well as reimbursement methodology and reimbursement rates.
Contact: Doug Dix Program Administrator: 605.773.3643

Recoveries and Fraud Investigations
Provides benefit fraud investigations, recovers Medicaid expenses from third party resources, administers the Medicaid Estate Recovery Program and is responsible for recovery of all debts owed through the department.
Contact: Brandin Seibel Program Administrator: 605.773.3653

Division of Behavioral Health Services, Division Chief
Oversees the Division of Behavioral Health Services and the Human Services Center to provide a wide range of mental health and substance use disorder treatment and prevention.
Contact: Tiffany Wolfgang 605.367.5236

Division of Behavioral Health Services, Division Director
Ensures children and adults with mental health disorders and chemical dependency in South Dakota communities have the opportunity to choose and receive effective services needed to promote resilience and recovery.
Contact: Melanie Boetel 605.367.5236

Human Services Center, Administrator
Provides individuals who are mentally ill or chemically dependent with effective, individualized professional treatment enabling them to achieve their highest level of personal independence in the most therapeutic environment.
Contact: Jeremy Johnson 605.668.3100

Division of Children and Family Services, Division Chief
Provides comprehensive services to children and families through the Child Protection Services, Child Support Services, and Economic Assistance divisions.
Contact: Alex Mayer 605.773.3227

Division of Child Protection Services, Division Director
Works with families in difficult situations by receiving and assessing reports of child abuse and neglect, providing services to families and connecting parents with resources to help increase their ability to keep children safe. The Division also administers the state's foster care and adoption services and licensing of child welfare agencies.
Contact: Pamela Bennett 605.773.3227

Division of Child Support, Division Director
Helps parents establish a financial partnership to support their children when they do not live together. They also help locate non-custodial parents, establish paternity and enforce child support orders and collect and process support payments.
Contact: Max Wetz 605.773.3641

Division of Economic Assistance, Division Director
Provides medical, nutritional, financial, and case management services to promote the well-being of lower income families, children, people with disabilities, and the elderly.
Contact: Carrie Johnson 605.773.4678

Auxiliary Placement
Provides educational placement assistance for children in care of the department.
Contact: Megan Newling, Program Specialist: 605.773.3448

Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP)
Provides health insurance at little or no cost for South Dakota children who meet certain eligibility requirements.
Contact: Toll Free: 800.305.3064.

Community Assistance Program
South Dakota Community Action Agencies provide programs and services to low-income South Dakotans. Services vary by agency and may include weatherization, community transportation, food pantries, and emergency services.

Energy and Weatherization Assistance
Provides assistance to low income families to help them pay for their heating bills and weatherize their homes.
Contact: David Gall: 605.773.3766 or 800.233.8503

Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
Provides assistance to low income families to help them buy food to remain healthy.
Contact: Amy Gorham, Program Administrator: 605.773.3493 or 877.999.5612

Medical Eligibility
Provides medical assistance for individuals, families, and children who are eligible.
Contact: Mary Johnle, Program Administrator: 605.773.4678

Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)
Provides temporary monthly cash to assist families in need.
Contact: Angie Sam, Program Administrator: 605.773.4678

Quality Control
Provides assurance that government dollars are properly spent when determining eligibility for the different services through our division.
Contact: Mary Davis, Program Specialist (Spearfish): 605.641.6985

Child Care Licensing
Provides accurate information pertaining to the licensing of child care facilities in South Dakota.
Contact: 605.773.4766

Child Care Assistance
Provides Federal Child Care and Development Block Grant funds to help low-income families pay for the child care as they work, attend school, or both.
Contact: Laura Menning 605.773.4766

Division of Legal Services, Division Director
Provides legal services to the department secretary as well as to other programs within the department.
Contact: Jeremy Lippert: 605.773.3305

Discrimination Complaints
Ensures program services and benefits are available to every qualified applicant without regard to race, color, sex, age, disability, religion and national origin. Call: 605.773.3305

Ensures the confidentiality of individual health information and increases their access to personal medical records. Call: 605.773.3305

Public Hearings and Legal Notices
View the most current hearings and other legal notices held by the Department.

Ensures all open and public record requests are handled in a timely and effective manner based on the intent of the request.

To submit a request for public record, please contact the Division of Legal Services at 605.773.3305 or send a written request to the Division of Legal Services, 700 Governors Drive, Pierre, SD 57501.

Administrative Rules
Administrative Rules are statements of general applicability; which implement, interpret, or prescribe the actions that may be taken by the programs administered by the department.
Contact: Teresa Schulte 605.773.3305

Office of Administrative Hearings
Holds hearings and determines issues if persons are affected by the department’s actions concerning Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Medical Assistance, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, Child Care Services, Central Registry for Child Abuse and Neglect matters within the Division of Child Protection Services, Low Income Energy Assistance and Child Support Enforcement.
Contact: Eric Monson, Chief Hearing Examiner: 605.773.6851

Division of Medical Services, Division Director
Oversees all areas of the Medicaid Program, except for the eligibility criteria which is handled by the Division of Economic Assistance. This division works with all enrolled South Dakota Medicaid providers.
Contact: Heather Petermann 605.773.3495

Provider Information: 800.452.7691

Recipient Information: 800.597.1603

Constituent Liaison
Provides information to the public about services in our department. This individual receives and investigates complaints and ensures they are responded to in a comprehensive and timely manner.
Contact: 800.597.1603

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