South Dakota Models and Innovations
These stories feature model programs and successful rural projects that can serve as a source of ideas. Some of the projects or programs may no longer be active. Read about the criteria and evidence-base for programs included.
Updated/reviewed November 2020
- Need: Women living in rural areas with chronic illness often face little social support, leading to increased rates of depression and stress
- Intervention: Women to Women offered rural women with chronic conditions social support networks via telecommunication
- Results: WTW intervention participants experienced positive increases in self-esteem, social support, and empowerment over the control group
Updated/reviewed June 2020
- Need: To provide Lakota elders with tools and opportunities for advance care planning.
- Intervention: An outreach program in South Dakota helps Lakota elders with advance care planning and wills by providing bilingual brochures and advance directive coaches.
- Results: Care for Our Elders saw an increase in the number of Lakota elders understanding the differences between a will and a living will and the need to have end-of-life discussions with family and healthcare providers.
Updated/reviewed November 2019
- Need: Rural hospitals and healthcare providers have less access to specialty care support.
- Intervention: A service was created at Avera Health that provides 24-hour virtual access to specialty care physicians, nurses and pharmacists.
- Results: Rural patients can receive specialty care without leaving their communities, and rural healthcare providers can get needed support in providing quality care to their patients.
Updated/reviewed August 2020
- Need: To increase local health services to rural elderly populations in long-term care facilities located in four Midwest states near a tertiary care organization.
- Intervention: A non-profit healthcare organization implemented telehealth services to provide acute care evaluations for long-term residents in their home facilities.
- Results: The program increased local care as evidenced by improved year-over-year provider-determined available transfer data: 33%, 50%, 63% program years 1 through 3, respectively. From the success of the initial pilot implementation, the program has further matured into a long-term care offering that now reaches many other rural facilities located in 10 states across the nation.
Updated/reviewed April 2020
- Need: Allow rural cancer patients in a region inclusive of 26 counties in Iowa, Minnesota, and South Dakota to have access to tertiary-level chemotherapy regimens in rural infusion centers.
- Intervention: With telehealth-based oversight from a tertiary care oncology team, 3 rural infusion teams were trained to coordinate cancer treatment plans and administer complex chemotherapy regimens.
- Results: Almost 130 patients were transitioned to receive chemotherapy in a rural infusion center, translating to over 1,000 infusion visits and saving patients/families nearly 65,000 trip miles, 1,800 travel hours and $71,000.
Other Project Examples
Updated/reviewed March 2021
- Need: Assistance for urban and rural physicians — as well as other healthcare providers — who are experiencing burnout and other issues associated with well-being.
- Intervention: As part of its provider well-being focus in its rural and urban facilities, Avera Health system has created a program which attends to physician wellness issues starting with recruitment with continued support through retirement.
- Results: With increasing engagement due to word of mouth, the program creates a culture of wellness where stigma is decreased and providers are encouraged to be proactive in reaching out for assistance for issues related to their personal and professional well-being.
Updated/reviewed March 2021
- Need: Lack of access to oral healthcare for children from limited-income families in the rural and urban areas of South Dakota.
- Intervention: Delta Dental of South Dakota launched the Delta Dental Mobile Program in 2004 to expand access to oral healthcare services to children throughout the rural state.
- Results: The Delta Dental Mobile Program has provided over $31 million in dental care to more than 58,000 South Dakota children.
Updated/reviewed February 2021
- Need: Localized specialty and surgery services for residents in rural northeastern South Dakota and western Minnesota.
- Intervention: Prairie Lakes Healthcare System expanded their services by recruiting specialty physicians and networking with regional community hospitals to increase patient referrals.
- Results: Patients receive surgery and specialized care closer to home through Prairie Lakes' specialty medical providers and specialty services.
Updated/reviewed January 2021
- Need: To provide increased educational opportunities for emergency care personnel in rural and frontier South Dakota.
- Intervention: A technologically advanced training was created to enhance the delivery of emergency patient care.
- Results: Hundreds of emergency medical services (EMS) staff and volunteers received training that in turn helped them in the field of emergency patient care.
Updated/reviewed December 2020
- Need: In 2014, the Avera St. Benedict Health Center's emergency department experienced a drastic increase in the amount of Hutterite patients with farm-related injuries.
- Intervention: The South Dakota Critical Access Hospital created a program to educate Hutterite communities on farm hazards and safe work practices.
- Results: Since the program began in 2015, the Avera St. Benedict emergency department has had no life-threatening agricultural injury admissions from the Hutterite communities. Attendees have said their confidence in their ability to identify hazards has increased, and more of them are using safety equipment on a regular basis.
Last Updated: 3/26/2021