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About Us

Our Story

As new COVID variants arise and NEW infectious diseases emerge, it’s more important than ever to protect our healthcare workers. That’s where Project Firstline comes in. It’s training on infectious disease prevention. Partners on Project Firstline are the South Dakota Foundation for Medical Care, South Dakota Department of Health, and the CDC.


To create a culture shift where infection prevention practices become universal in all activities by healthcare workers.

Project Firstline is new in South Dakota! It’s a national training collaborative from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) that’s being rolled out across the nation. 


To make sure as many healthcare workers as possible go through the training. And the best part is, we can customize the training for South Dakota – catering to the needs and gaps in our state, from community to community.

Project Firstline is Important to South Dakota

Professionals in healthcare are at risk for infectious disease, and because they deal with the public in their healthcare settings, we are all impacted. A lack of prevention practices and training increases the risk of exposure to infections for everyone. That’s why we need Project Firstline in South Dakota!

Meet The Team

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Charlotte Hofer
Director of Public Relations and Marketing
Jess Danko
Project Manager
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Stephanie Popowski- Dahl 
Project Manager

Jessica Danko’s experience working on the frontlines through a worldwide pandemic provided her with a vast ability to relate and deliver needed perspectives to move into the future of healthcare. 

With 20 awards to her credit, Charlotte Hofer has a proven track record in communications and media.  She received national recognition and a CEO Club award from the American Cancer Society for her promotional strategy for Cancer Prevention Study-3. 

As a dedicated healthcare professional, Stephanie Popowski-Dahl, RN, CADDCT, CDP, has more than 19 years of comprehensive hands-on experience as a registered nurse in the hospital and clinic settings with special procedures. 

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Elise Heesch
Media Specialist 
Cheri Fast
Project Firstline Program Manager

Cheri received her certification in infection prevention in December of 2021 and is eager to help others implement infection control education to their employees and  in their facilities.

Elise graduated from South Dakota State University, with an Advertising major in May of 2022. While in college, Elise was the Advertising Club president, held media related positions in Alpha Xi Delta, ran the advertising department for the school newspaper, The Collegian, and was enrolled in numerous honor societies. 

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We've reached 500,000 South Dakotans with

life-saving information!


We have enlisted “champions” to help us tell the story on social media.

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