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Rural Health Information Hub

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.

Other Project Examples

Simulation in Motion-South Dakota (SIM-SD) EMS Educational Outreach Program
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.
Safe Farming, Safe Living
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.
funded by the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy Sowing the Seeds of Hope
Updated/reviewed November 2020
  • 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 1999-2014 and successfully established a variety of interventions to help individuals in rural communities' access behavioral health services.
funded by the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy Delta Dental/Head Start Early Childhood Caries Prevention Project
Updated/reviewed June 2020
  • Need: To provide dental care to Head Start children on South Dakota reservations.
  • Intervention: The Early Childhood Caries (ECC) Prevention Project brings dental hygienists to tribal Head Start programs to provide dental care to children and oral health education to parents.
  • Results: In three years, 1,133 children and their parents completed an ECC visit. An additional 2,780 children received preventive care.
funded by the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy Rural Experiences for Health Professions Students (REHPS)
Updated/reviewed March 2020
  • 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, 71% practice in South Dakota with 30% of those graduates practicing in rural communities with populations fewer than 10,000, or veteran facilities.
Eastern Plains Sexual Assault Response Team (EPSART)
Updated/reviewed December 2019
  • Need: To support victims after sexual assault and to collaborate and streamline processes for victim-centered care.
  • Intervention: The EPSART holds monthly team meetings, case review, and opportunities for team training.
  • Results: Enhanced victim and public safety by facilitating investigations and successful prosecutions.
Pathways to Healthcare Professions
Added December 2018
  • Need: Healthcare professionals and support staff are in high demand on tribal reservations in the Great Plains region.
  • Intervention: The Great Plains Tribal Chairmen's Health Board of South Dakota offer healthcare occupation courses for industry-recognized healthcare certifications and post-secondary degrees through the Health Profession Opportunity Grants program.
  • Results: Since the program's start, 241 participants have completed a healthcare training program, and 109 have found employment in healthcare occupations. Both participants and healthcare providers have expressed the value in local and cultural training for these healthcare professions.

Last Updated: 1/19/2021