Published on December 13, 2022

New Chief Nursing Officer Named for Avera McKennan


Tamera Larsen-Engelkes has been named Chief Nursing Officer at Avera McKennan Hospital & University Health Center in Sioux Falls. In this role, she is responsible for the overall direction, coordination and evaluation of nursing services throughout the entire Avera McKennan region.

“Tamera’s wealth of experience in nursing and nurse leadership in numerous patient care areas at Avera McKennan as well as the corporate level make her a great fit for this position. Nursing is so essential to all levels of health care, making this an important position for our hospital and our entire organization,” said David Flicek, President and CEO of Avera McKennan.

Larsen-Engelkes was most recently Vice President of Informatics for the Avera system since 2020.

She started her career at a critical access hospital for two years before coming to Avera McKennan in 1996 as a bedside nurse in the burn unit and ICU. Since then, she has been a resource nurse, unit supervisor and nurse manager in the Women’s Center. In 2013, she was named nursing director for inpatient orthopedics, brain and spine, short stay, inpatient rehabilitation and rehab therapy departments.

Originally from Sioux City, Iowa, she graduated with a degree in nursing from Santa Fe College in Gainesville, Fla., and later received a master’s degree in nursing administration from the University of Mary near Bismarck, N.D.

Larsen-Engelkes’ appointment is the result of an extensive search process. She will be responsible for the planning and management of practice, professional development, staffing, research and leadership of nursing and assigned clinical departments. She will also contribute to the fulfillment of Avera’s mission and vision by planning, designing, implementing and maintaining programs, policies and management systems and all facets of clinical services that are evidence-based and consistent with professional standards and values.

“This will be an amazing privilege to lead a wonderful group of people. Each day they demonstrate skill and excellence as well as care and compassion. So many entered this profession because they want to help people and make a positive impact in the lives of others,” Larsen-Engelkes said.

She will transition into her new role at the end of December. She succeeds Lori Popkes who has resigned to spend more time helping her family.






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Avera is a health ministry rooted in the Gospel. Our mission is to make a positive impact in the lives and health of persons and communities by providing quality services guided by Christian values.