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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.

Evidence-Based Examples

Women to Women Online Support Network
Updated/reviewed August 2018
  • 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

Effective Examples

Avera eCARE
Updated/reviewed September 2018
  • 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.
Care for Our Elders/Wakanki Ewastepikte
Updated/reviewed June 2018
  • 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.

Promising Examples

funded by the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy SD eResidential Facilities Healthcare Services Access Project
Updated/reviewed January 2018
  • Need: To bring more local health services to rural, elderly populations in long-term care facilities located in four Midwest states near a tertiary care organization.
  • Intervention: Implementation of telemedicine services to reach patients at their respective sites.
  • Results: The program increased local care evidenced by yearly avoidable provider-determined transfer data: 33%, 50%, 63% program years 1 through 3, respectively.

Other Project Examples

Safe Farming, Safe Living
Updated/reviewed July 2018
  • 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.
funded by the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy Facing Diabetes: Quality Improvement in Rural South Dakota Project
Updated/reviewed June 2018
  • Need: To help adults and children in rural South Dakota prevent or manage their diabetes.
  • Intervention: The Facing Diabetes Project offered group medical visits for adults and provides prevention and education sessions for the local 4th to 5th graders.
  • Results: Many adults and children in the region feel better equipped to choose healthy foods, exercise regularly, and manage their stress: all factors that can help prevent diabetes or decrease its effects.
South Dakota Harvest of the Month Program
Updated/reviewed June 2018
  • Need: To encourage children to make healthy eating choices through learning and tasting.
  • Intervention: Brief, fun, and informative presentations for children on over 42 different fruits and vegetables.
  • Results: Participants are exposed to new foods and show more interest in healthy eating.
Avera LIGHT
Updated/reviewed March 2018
  • Need: Assistance for Midwest rural physicians who are experiencing burnout due to heavy workload, lack of staff, limited resources, and stress related to the use of electronic medical records.
  • Intervention: Through a variety of methods, Avera LIGHT comes alongside of providers to prevent and treat physician burnout and support their physical, emotional, and spiritual health.
  • Results: Physicians who have been on the brink of quitting because of burnout have stayed on staff as a direct result of executive coaching through Avera LIGHT. The program has helped to build a culture of wellness where providers are encouraged to be proactive in reaching out for help.
Delta Dental Mobile Program
Updated/reviewed January 2018
  • 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 $19.4 million in dental care to more than 48,000 South Dakota children.
funded by the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy Rural Experiences for Health Professions Students (REHPS)
Updated/reviewed January 2018
  • Need: An ongoing shortage of healthcare providers in rural areas of South Dakota
  • Intervention: A 4-week summer program placing health professions students in rural communities.
  • Results: Of graduating participants, 70% practice in South Dakota with 30% practicing in rural communities with populations fewer than 10,000, or veteran facilities.
Simulation in Motion-South Dakota (SIM-SD) EMS Educational Outreach Program
Updated/reviewed January 2018
  • 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 EMS staff and volunteers received training that in turn helped them in the field of emergency patient care.
funded by the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy “It’s a HIT!” Rural Health IT Workforce Training Program
Updated/reviewed January 2018
  • Need: To provide rural health workers with advanced health information technology (HIT) training and skills.
  • Intervention: A program for health network members to increase HIT knowledge and prepare for Certified Healthcare Technology Specialist (CHTS) certification.
  • Results: Participants learned how to adopt HIT within their own clinics, and 80% of students received certification as an HIT Clinic Workflow Redesign Specialist.
Eastern Plains Sexual Assault Response Team (EPSART)
Added December 2017
  • Need: To support victims after sexual assault and to collaborate and streamline processes for victim-centered care.
  • Intervention: The EPSART holds monthly team meetings and opportunities for team training.
  • Results: Enhanced victim and public safety by facilitating investigations and successful prosecutions.
Prairie Lakes Healthcare System Physician Recruitment Model
Updated/reviewed December 2017
  • 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' 26 specialty medical providers and more than 20 specialty services
Mitchell Area Safehouse and Family Visitation Center
Added November 2017
  • Need: To provide victims of domestic violence a safe space as well as advocacy, education, and family support services.
  • Intervention: The Mitchell Area Safehouse and Family Visitation Center in rural South Dakota provides emergency/transitional housing, support groups, and community education.
  • Results: In 2016, Mitchell Area Safehouse answered 2,114 crisis calls, provided shelter for 193 survivors, and advocated for 1,226 survivors.
Mobile Women's Health Unit
Updated/reviewed July 2017
  • Need: Because breast cancer is a leading cause of cancer death for American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) women, access to screening mammograms for those women living in remote areas is needed.
  • Intervention: The Great Plains Area Indian Health Service Mobile Women's Health Unit provides mammograms to women on multiple reservations across four states.
  • Results: Approximately 1,000 women are screened annually for breast cancer by the mobile unit.
funded by the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy Sowing the Seeds of Hope
Updated/reviewed June 2017
  • Need: Agriculture workers and their families have high rates of psychological distress and suicide, but limited access to mental health services.
  • Intervention: The "Sowing the Seeds of Hope" (SSoH) program was created to provide affordable and culturally appropriate mental health services to individuals working in agriculture and their families in Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wisconsin.
  • Results: The regional program ran from 1999-2011 and successfully established a variety of interventions to help individuals in rural communities’ access behavioral health services.
Sanford Canby Dental Clinic
Updated/reviewed February 2017
  • Need: To replace a dental practice in rural Minnesota for local and regional residents.
  • Intervention: The Sanford Canby Medical Center started a new dental practice when the private dental practice closed.
  • Results: Quality dental care is available for Canby residents, keeping business dollars local and reducing absenteeism at work due to long commutes for dental care.

Last Updated: 9/10/2018