Health

Health Issues

Lee Strubinger / SDPB

Federal lawmakers hope to create institutional change at the Indian Health Service with a bill meant to protect whistleblowers, increase oversite and implement leadership changes. The bill was discussed at length in Rapid City late last week.

Several hours of testimony and hearings on what it’s like to receive care from IHS hospitals was meant to give lawmakers an idea of the culture at several Great Plains area hospitals.

Wiki Commons

Tribal members from Nebraska and South Dakota packed the Rapid City council chambers Thursday to discuss the IHS Accountability Act of 2016.

It’s a reform bill meant to tackle mismanagement by network of hospitals both on and off reservations.

South Dakota U.S. Senator John Thune introduced the bill last month, and a panel is seeking input on the measure.

The federal government is required to provide healthcare to tribal members. But many Native Americans even forgo the care they are guaranteed, due to poor conditions at Indian Health Services hospitals.

Sanford

June has been named as Cancer Immunotherapy Awareness Month as part of the ongoing effort to bring awareness to how it's revolutionizing cancer treatment. Dr. Steven Powell discusses the latest research in Immunotherapy.

Cancer Immunotherapy uses the body's own immune system to target and attack cancer cells throughout the body. Scientists are working on improving these therapies by combining them with other types of cancer treatments to make them as effective as possible.

American Medical Association

The American Medical Association wants to see more diabetic lifestyle modification programs. Roughly 86 million Americans are estimated to be pre-diabetic, meaning many people may develop diabetes if they don’t change diet and exercise choices.

Steven Stack is President of the American Medical Association. Stack says he would like to see more programs developed to prevent chronic illnesses before patients need treatment.

 Indian Health Service facilities in Pine Ridge and Rosebud were closed earlier.  The move comes alongside allegations the IHS facilities are failing to meet basic standards of service and care. Now, the U-S Senate Committee for Indian Affairs is planning a hearing in South Dakota in June.  

Kealey Bultena / SDPB

A Pierre man is alive because first responders used a medication to reverse the effects of a drug overdose. Officials credit the drug Narcan for saving the man’s life.

South Dakota Attorney General Marty Jackley says emergency crews responded to a call in Pierre Monday night for a man who needed medical attention.

Kealey Bultena / SDPB

A United States Senator and a state lawmaker agree that the federal government is failing to provide adequate health care to Native Americans. United States Senator John Thune and South Dakota State Senator Troy Heinert see different solutions to ongoing problems with the Indian Health Service.

U-S  Senator Thune has legislation in Congress aimed at comprehensive reform for federal health services for Native Americans. He says the bill makes it easier to fire ineffective IHS leaders, examines whistle-blower protections, and requires fiscal accountability so patient care funds actually make it to patients.

Kealey Bultena / SDPB

Avera is launching the first South Dakota-based study to track twins. The health organization’s Institute for Human Genetics has partnered with the world’s leading twin registry out of the Netherlands for seven years. Now the Avera Twin Register will collect and analyze DNA from twins.

Doctor Dave Kapaska is the regional president and CEO of Avera McKennan in Sioux Falls. He highlights how people are fascinated by multiples as he introduces two Avera physicians who are twins and mixes them up in the process.

Photo by Jim Kent

The Full Circle Martial Arts Academy of Rapid City has expanded its circle to include the Pine Ridge Reservation. We visited Oglala Lakota College for a martial arts demonstration by Lakota youth who are finding a path toward defending themselves, staying in shape and gaining more confidence in themselves and everything they do.

It’s a cold, windy, overcast Saturday afternoon on the Pine Ridge Reservation. Snow or rain is in the air.

Kealey Bultena / SDPB

A new study shows many children in South Dakota are vulnerable when it comes to poverty and hunger. The latest information from Feeding America shows some areas have up to four out of 10 kids who don’t know where they’ll get their next meal. The annual report is a detailed look at food insecurity in the state.

The latest data on hunger issues in South Dakota shows 12.4 percent of people in the state are food insecure. That number is unchanged from last year, but Kerri DeGraff with Feeding South Dakota says more South Dakotans are hungry.

Courtesy Little Wound School

 A national organization that teaches people how to deal with stress and heal from trauma is spending time on the Pine Ridge Reservation each month.  

Representatives of The Center for Mind-Body Medicine pledged to return to Pine Ridge as often as possible to help combat the suicide epidemic among Lakota youth.

Kathy Farrah is a Wisconsin family physician. She’s also a facilitator for The Center for Mind Body Medicine healing workshops.

Kealey Bultena / SDPB

First-year medical students are tapping into new technologies that support health providers in rural areas. Avera’s eCare facility provides live video access to specialists and emergency physicians to support providers in different circumstances. Some students say it makes them more confident in pursuing work in rural medicine. 

Medical students in short white coats surround a mannequin. Three volunteers in blue paper gowns take direction from a physician on a TV screen who walks them through life-saving techniques.

Avera

A new treatment for brain tumors is available at Avera McKennan in Sioux Falls starting early May.

Officials say the new technology is the first of its kind to be offered in the state.

 

The radiation technology treatment uses what is known as a ‘gamma knife.’ It is a non-invasive treatment for brain tumors. Before, patients seeking this form of treatment had to travel to Rochester Minnesota or Omaha. 

 

The Helmsely Charitable Trust is giving the State Department of Health a $302,500 grant to fund a community justice and mental health early intervention taskforce. The project intends to evaluate how to better help people with mental health issues that end up in the criminal justice system.

 

South Dakota Chef Supreme Court Justice David Gilbertson is leading the taskforce. He says a study conducted last year found that South Dakota faces challenges in providing access to mental health care.

 

Regional Health CEO Backs Medicaid Expansion

Mar 29, 2016
Charles Michael Ray

The CEO of Regional Health, Brent Phillips, says the talk on Medicaid expansion in South Dakota has too often missed the point.  

Phillips says expanding Medicaid to thousands of uninsured residents will not only help Native people but also be a huge boost to the economy.  

Regional Health is among the largest employers in western South Dakota, and one of the largest health care providers in the state.

Brent Phillips, Regional Health CEO grew up on a Dairy Farm.

Regional Health operates health care facilities across western South Dakota.  Brent Phillips, the new CEO of Regional Health, joined Dakota Midday to discuss the challenges of rural health care, Medicaid expansion, the Affordable Care Act and issues regarding health care for veterans and American Indians.

Dept. Of Health Offers Mosquito Control Grants

Mar 15, 2016

Many in South Dakota welcome the arrival of spring and summer. But the season can also bring swarms of pesky mosquitoes. The State Department of Health awards grants funding to help local governments control mosquito populations and prevent West Nile virus.  

South Dakota’s West Nile epidemic peaked back in 2003. Since then, the number of West Nile cases has decreased from over 1,000 to 40 reported illnesses last year.

Lon Kightlinger is the state epidemiologist. He says mosquito control programs and grant funding help reduce the number of West Nile cases each year.  

State 911 Coordinator Receives National Award

Mar 1, 2016
South Dakota Department of Public Safety

If a zombie attack, earthquake, or biblical sized flood hits South Dakota emergency communications are now statewide.  South Dakota is among the first in the nation to install a new statewide 911 network. While zombies are not a real concern –the state coordinator behind the project is being honored nationally for her efforts.

It's estimated that half of all Americans take a health supplement every day, from fish oil to multivitamins to diet pills.  The booming $30 billion plus vitamins and supplements industry says these products can make consumers healthier, but "Supplements and Safety," a new FRONTLINE investigation with the New York Times and the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, raises troubling questions.  Director/producer Neil Docherty discussed the episode which premieres Tuesday night (1/19) at 9:00 p.m.

Vascular surgeon and research scientist Dr. Patrick Kelly is working to develop a next-generation medical device that can save patients thousands of dollars and prevent repeat surgeries. He joins Dakota Midday host Lori Walsh to talk about his partnership with Gopinath Mani, Ph.D., and the culture of innovation in South Dakota.

Jill Johnson joins us to discuss how laughter can calm, restore, and heal. Yoga instructor Johnson and her husband own Joyful Living Therapy in Sioux Falls and teach others how to laugh with abandon and intention.

Heroin Overdoses: Hype Or Actual Pending SD Epidemic?

Dec 17, 2015
Centers for Disease Control

The Centers for Disease Control describe heroin related deaths as an epidemic in the United States, and some officials have raised concerns South Dakota is about to see a spike in heroin and prescription opioid overdoses.

But, data from the State Department of Health shows that over the last decade heroin overdoses are almost non-existent in South Dakota.   

 And while prescription drug abuse is a concern the numbers of opioid overdose deaths are smaller than other drugs like meth or alcohol.

Courtesy The Center for Mind-Body Medicine

As parents, teachers, school administrators and tribal officials continue to seek solutions to the youth suicide epidemic that’s plagued the Pine Ridge Reservation for years, health organizations from off the reservation are also offering their help.

SDPB’s Jim Kent visited with representatives of The Center for Mind-Body Medicine and workers at the Pine Ridge Boarding School to discuss how the suicide issue has impacted students and “supervisors” and what’s being done to address the problem.

If you’re feeling exhausted, depleted, and burned out, you might have something in common with your doctor. Forty six percent of all physicians now report experiencing burnout. That’s a 16 percent increase in the past two years. 

Jill Kruse, DO,  is the medical director for Avera’s LIGHT program, a well-being initiative for healthcare providers. She talks about avoiding and healing from burnout with tips gleaned from the struggles and successes of exhausted doctors.

Dakota Midday: Treating Aortic Aneurysms

Nov 19, 2015
South Dakota State University

Dr. Stephen Gent, Associate Professor in the Mechanical Engineering Department at South Dakota State University in Brookings, is part of a Sanford research team that has developed a better stent for treating aortic aneurysms.  Gent used computational fluid dynamics modeling to model blood flow through the new and improved stent.  Gent visited with Dakota Midday guest host Jackelyn Severin.

Steven F. Powell, MD is a medical oncologist and clinician scientist at Sanford Health, based in Sioux Falls, SD. Dr. Powell is also an assistant professor in Internal Medicine at the University Of South Dakota Sanford School Of Medicine. He serves as a sub-investigator for Sanford Health’s National Cancer Institute Community Oncology Research Program (NCORP). In addition to this, he serves as a principal investigator for several industry-sponsored and investigator-initiated studies. Dr.

Sue Johannsen of the South Dakota Diabetes Coalition joins Dakota Midday.  November is Diabetes Awareness Month.  Johannsen discusses Type 1 & Type 2 diabetes, diabetes prevention, diabetes control and recent research.

Jill Weimer, Ph.D. recently was awarded $440,000 to support her research of a rare neurodegenerative disease called Batten Disease.  Weimer's lab is among only a few in the world studying the condition which primarily affects children that can cause seizures, blindness, motor and cognitive decline and premature death. Genetic mutations disrupt the ability of cells to dispose of waste and causes abnormal accumulation of proteins and lipids within nerve cells.  The grant funding will allow Weimer to screen several different treatment methods, which can include gene therapy or stem cells.

American Heart Association

Wednesday is National Eating Healthy Day. The American Heart Association wants to encourage families to focus on eating healthy for a day to build good habits.

With one in eight U.S. women diagnosed with breast cancer in her lifetime, the odds are high that at some point most students’ lives are impacted by this disease. During Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Texas Instruments (TI) and Sanford Health have introduced a new “STEM Behind Health” activity called “Breast Cancer: When Good DNA Goes Bad” to help students better understand breast cancer and explore the math and science concepts that are helping to find a cure.

 In the activity, Dr.

Pages