Children’s Home Society of South Dakota and the Center for the Prevention of Child Maltreatment at the University of South Dakota are pleased to announce the selection of 25 fellows for the initial cohort for the South Dakota Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) & Resiliency Fellowship training.  Fellows will meet January 24 – 25, 2018, in Rapid City, SD, to participate in the training program provided by Dr. Robert Anda and Laura Porter, national experts on the study of ACEs.

ACE Interface is designed to promote understanding of how developmental adversity affects health and wellbeing. Fellows will learn about the science behind ACEs and resilience, societal dynamics related to ACEs and ACE effects throughout life, strategies to promote self-healing communities, message delivery techniques, and tools to be an effective master trainer.

“Unaddressed trauma may be the largest public health issue of our time,” said Tanya Fritz, Advocacy and Prevention Program Director for Children’s Home Society. “Participants in this cohort will learn how trauma impacts brain development and how it can have profound life-long impacts. This powerful message, once understood, shifts our perspective and influences how we engage with those who have experienced trauma. Once you hear this you cannot un-hear it; it changes you.”

Selected individuals represent diverse backgrounds, experiences, professions, and communities from across South Dakota. Individuals include Amanda Allison (Avera eSchool Health Program, Sioux Falls); Charlotte Almanza (Sisseton Wahpeton Oyate, Tribal Education Department, Sisseton); Billie Jo Bakeberg (Kids Club Kids, Spearfish); Staci Born (South Dakota State University, Brookings); Shana Cerny (USD Occupational Therapy Program, Vermillion); Suzanne England (Great Plains Area Indian Health Service, Midland); Tim Fitzgerald (Black Hills Children’s Home Society, Rapid City); Tanya Fritz (Children’s Home Society, Rapid City); Shelly Fuller (Huron School District, Huron); Nicole Henry (US Air Force, Ellsworth Air Force Base, Summerset); Mary Beth Holzwarth (Endeavor 52, Gettysburg); Staci Jonson (Behavior Management Systems, Rapid City); Terry Liggins (Lutheran Social Services, Sioux Falls); Mary Merrigan (USD, Addiction Studies, Vermillion); Priscilla Nez (Black Hills Center for American Indian Health, Rapid City); Tracy Palecek (Catholic Social Services, Rapid City); Tifanie Petro (Children’s Home Child Advocacy Center, Rapid City); Melita “Chepa” Rank (Indian Health Services, Fort Thompson); Rachel Shepherd (Lutheran Social Services, Rapid City); T.J. Stanfield (Aurora Plains Academy, Plankinton; Teresa Thie (Children’s Home Society, Sioux Falls); Heather Tromp (Youth & Family Services, Box Elder); Kehala Two Bulls (Seventh Circuit CASA Program, Rapid City); Tori Whipple (Great Plains Tribal Chairmen’s Health Board, Rapid City); Karly Winter (Brown County State’s Attorney’s Office, Aberdeen); Amy Witt (Lutheran Social Services, Sioux Falls).

“Understanding adverse childhood experiences is essential to helping our children grow into strong, productive members of society,” said Carrie Sanderson, Director of the Center for the Prevention of Child Maltreatment. “South Dakota has a great opportunity to educate our community members about ACEs and how we can work together to create resilient children and families. I look forward to watching the SD ACEs & Resiliency Fellows share this important message in their communities across South Dakota.”

The South Dakota ACEs and Resiliency Fellowship is made possible through the support of South Dakota Department of Social Services, South Dakota Department of Health, Center for the Prevention of Child Maltreatment and Children’s Home Society. 


Established in 1893, Children’s Home Society is South Dakota’s oldest human services, nonprofit organization.  Our mission is to protect, support and enhance the lives of children and families.  Through a merger in 1998, Children’s Inn (founded in 1977 as a domestic violence shelter) became a program of Children’s Home Society. CHS programs include emergency shelter, residential treatment & education, foster care & adoption services, forensic interview & exam centers, and prevention & education resources.


The Center for the Prevention of Child Maltreatment (CPCM) is the first organization to join local, tribal, state and federal efforts in the fight against child sexual abuse and other forms of maltreatment in South Dakota.  CPCM was born out of the work of Jolene’s Law Task Force, established through SDCL 2-6-31, and its comprehensive 10-year plan to help South Dakotans know of, respond to, and prevent child sexual abuse.  For more information on CPCM please contact Carrie Sanderson at [email protected], (605) 357-1392, or visit