Veteran scholarship surprises Sanford Luverne caregiver

Madie Reisdorfer serves in the Air National Guard while studying nursing

Sanford Health director of veterans affairs shakes a young employee's hand and gives her a giant check for $5,000.

When Madie Reisdorfer isn’t caring for patients at Sanford Luverne Medical Center in southwest Minnesota, the 22-year-old is usually having a blast somewhere near a flightline.

“I load bombs and missiles onto F-16 fighter jets,” the senior airman in the South Dakota Air National Guard says. “I launch and recover aircraft and do jet checks.”

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Reisdorfer, originally from Luverne and now living on a farm in Scotland, South Dakota, is an aircraft armament specialist with the 114th Fighter Wing out of Sioux Falls.

“It’s kind of crazy. Not going to lie, I really like doing it. Each day is something new. Every single guard drill we have to load a different munition,” Reisdorfer says.

Adapting to new challenges is a skill she’s picked up in the Air Force and in her work as a patient care technician at Sanford Health.

“I have learned that every single day something new walks in the door. Every single day is different,” Reisdorfer says about Sanford Luverne.

‘Speechless’ after scholarship surprise

A passion for the patient is leading her to a health care career as a registered nurse. Reisdorfer is currently pursuing her RN degree at Mount Marty University in Yankton, South Dakota.

“I kind of grew up around the field of nursing. My mom is a registered nurse. She has just always inspired me to become a nurse. I like helping others and taking care of others,” Reisdorfer says.

Sanford Health prioritizes helping veterans and those actively serving the country in the military. It wants to be an employer of choice.

Each year, the organization surprises four deserving veterans or military members with a $5,000 educational scholarship. Reisdorfer is one of this year’s recipients. She was presented the check in front of her co-workers.

“I was speechless,” Reisdorfer says about the surprise scholarship. “I’m just very thankful that Sanford gave me $5,000 because it’s a lot of money. I’ve been a part of the Sanford family since my mom has been a nurse. It’s awesome having that support behind you.

“Being in school is expensive and I really want to pay off as much as I can right now.”

‘Excellence in all we do’

Reisdorfer’s goal is to become an emergency room nurse because she likes the “adrenaline rush.”

Until she lands her dream role, she’ll continue bringing quality care to those she serves at Sanford.

“The core values of the Air Force I can take with me into the hospital setting. Integrity first. Doing what is right,” Reisdorfer says. “Service before self. Serving my community by taking care of patients and serving my country by going to guard drills.

“Excellence in all we do. Striving for the best outcome.”

Three other scholarship winners come from various parts of the Sanford Health footprint. Those winners are Nicole Donley (Bemidji State) in Bemidji, Minnesota, Mandy Hofland (North Dakota State) in Fargo, North Dakota, and Jessica Nelson (University of Denver) in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.

In addition to the four annual $5,000 scholarships, veterans and military working at Sanford Health can apply for the Sanford Veteran Professional Development Grant for Employees. The grant can provide up to $3,000 a year for those returning to school, gaining certifications, or taking classes to grow professionally.

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Posted In Luverne, Scholarships and Sponsorships, Veterans