Sandra moved to New Mexico in 1990, where she currently works in finance and mortgage banking. She also provided consulting services to the Santa Fe Indian Health Hospital and served on the Taos Holy Cross Hospital Board. She is a founding Board member of the Taos Art Museum.
Sandra initially became aware of Native American challenges through the tragic medical experience of her grandfather, a Lakota Native American rancher, and her family’s life on and off the Standing Rock Sioux Indian Reservation and Cheyenne River Sioux Reservation. Her undergraduate studies at the University of North Dakota focused on Social Work and Indian Studies. She was later awarded a full scholarship from the Indian Health Service to attend Graduate School at UC Berkeley, where she studied public health, public policy, finance, and organizational development.
Following graduate school, she provided consulting services for a number of organizations focused on Native communities including the Alaskan Tanana Chiefs Council, the Canadian Psychiatric Association, and the North Dakota Medical School Rural Health Department.