50 Notable Alumni

Sandra Reifsteck

Retired from Institute for Healthcare Communication

Associate in Applied Science



Sandy came to Parkland in 1968 to begin what would become a total of 35 years in the nursing profession. Sandy began her career at Carle Clinic shortly after graduating from Parkland College's Nursing department's first class in 1970. This start allowed her to complete a bachelor's degree and a master's degree from the University of Illinois over the next 10 years.

She served as the Parkland class's first president and she became the first director of nursing at Carle Clinic in Champaign, enabling her to be an associate administrator of the Carle Clinic Association. In this role, she led the inclusion of nursing services throughout the clinic to a previously unmatched level, from 240 employees to more than 1,200. Her leadership was also instrumental in initially developing the Advanced Practice Nursing role at Carle, the Community Parish Nurse Program sponsored by Carle Foundation, and the Branch System for the Carle organization.

She is a founding member, past president, and lifetime member of the 41-year-old American Academy of Ambulatory Care Nursing; was a fellow in the American College of Medical Group Practice Executives; served as president of the Midwest Section Medical Group Management Association; and chairman of the National Board of Directors of the MGMA in 1995 and 1996. She received the Harry J. Harwick Outstanding Administrator Award from the American College of Medical Practice Executives and was a 1999 Illinois Community College Trustees Association Distinguished Alumnus Award nominee. She served and was past president of the Alumni Association Board at Parkland and is a Parkland College Distinguished Alumnus Award recipient.

The last 17 years she has been with the Institute for Healthcare Communication as director of outreach and development and is a Master Trainer though out the U.S. and Canada. She retired in April 2016.

Sandy's most memorable moment at Parkland is “waiting in line to register at the makeshift Parkland College situated across downtown Champaign in 1968 and realizing how fortunate to be able to go to college and fulfill my goal of being a nurse with three young children. I now compare that to walking into the current Parkland College facilities…who would have thought in 50 years a community would be so blessed?”