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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: Laurie Gill: 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: Max Wetz: 605.773.3609

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

Deputy Financial Officer
Contact: Doug Dix: 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: Laura Ringling: 605.773.3165

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: Tiffany Wolfgang: 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: Virgena Wieseler: 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: 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: Amanda Doherty-Karber, Program Administrator: 605.773.3493 or 877.999.5612

Medical Eligibility
Provides medical assistance for individuals, families, and children who are eligible.
Contact: Laura Ellenbecker, 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: 605.773.3495

Provider Information: 800.452.7691

Recipient Information: 800.597.1603

South Dakota Medical Electronic Data Exchange (SD MEDX)
SD MEDX enhances our ability to meet the needs of the individuals we serve by offering more efficient claims and payment processes, enabling access to useful information for our providers and recipients, and helping us to more effectively manage Medicaid operations.

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

Laurie R. Gill
Cabinet Secretary
South Dakota Department of Social Services
Pierre, South Dakota

Laurie Gill was appointed Secretary of the South Dakota Department of Social Services by Governor Kristi Noem in July 2019. The Department is dedicated to strengthening and supporting individuals and families by promoting cost effective and comprehensive services in connection with its partners that foster independent and healthy families. Under Gill’s leadership, the Department provides a wide range of social programs including medical services for adults and children, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance, Temporary Assistance to Needy Families, home heating assistance, child support services, child care assistance, child protection services including foster care and adoption services, and behavioral health services including operating the Human Services Center, a 277-bed inpatient facility providing psychiatric treatment, adult inpatient substance use disorder treatment, and skilled nursing home care to patients who are unable to be served in less restrictive settings.

Gill has more than 20 years of experience working in state government. She previously served as the Secretary of the Department of Human Services, which serves people with disabilities and aging adults. She also served as Commissioner of the Bureau of Human Resources for the State of South Dakota which helps develop and support the State’s high-performing workforce. She helped guide the State’s benefits program from a significant deficit to a surplus during her seven years in the role.

Gill is an innovative leader with a passion for responsive government. She served three terms as the Mayor of Pierre – South Dakota’s Capitol city. Prior to being elected mayor, she served on the Pierre City Commission for nine years. During her tenure in local government, the city saw steady increases in tax base and ongoing economic growth. She helped lay the infrastructure groundwork to keep Pierre a thriving and prosperous community.

Gill and her husband Bob moved to Pierre with their four children in 1991. She graduated from SDSU, majoring in Commercial Economics. In addition to work in government, Gill worked as a business manager for a non-profit agency and as a clinic administrator in the private sector. When time allows, she enjoys visiting her children and grandchildren, traveling, and reading.

Guiding Principles
  • We believe families have the right to be safe and secure.
  • We believe in providing opportunities and choices that support the needs of families through available and accessible services.
  • We believe in collaborative communications, teamwork, partnerships and trust for essential family services.
  • We believe in respecting individual and cultural differences by treating people with dignity, fairness and respect.
  • We believe in focusing on meaningful outcomes, continuous quality improvement and using technology to be efficient and effective.
  • We believe in professional and well-trained staff that is competent, accountable and empowered.
  • We believe in providing quality, timely customer service through the “no wrong door” approach.
  • Ensure access to services for our customers.
  • Promote and support the heath, well being and safety of our customers.
  • Foster partnerships to maximize resources for our customers.
  • Support customers in achieving meaningful outcomes.
  • Strengthen and align our team to accomplish our mission.

DSS Strategic Plan Outline

Strategic Plan Outcomes