Health

Health Issues

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Management of the Rapid City Indian Health Services Hospital is in the early stages of transferring from the federal government to area tribes. The Oglala Sioux, Cheyenne River Sioux and Rosebud Sioux Tribes all authorize the Great Plains Tribal Chairman’s Health Board to operate the facility. 

The Sioux San hospital is a secondary care unit for members of those three tribes. Poor federal inspection results and last year’s proposed closure of the inpatient and emergency departments prompted the tribes to investigate other management options.

Avera Health

Avera Health plans to build an Addiction Care Center on its new campus at 69th and Louise in Sioux Falls. Avera psychiatrist Dr. Matthew Stanley says an estimated 10%-15% of the general population struggles with some kind of chemical dependency. 

Sanford Health

Dr. Gene Hoyme participated in a study with results recently published in JAMA. The study began in 2010 and spanned six years. Researchers interviews first grade students in different communities around the United States to look for children on the Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder spectrum. Sioux Falls is the Midwestern community listed in the research.  Dr. Hoyme says the prevalence rate for FASD is as high as 5%. He says FASD is completely preventable and is caused by women drinking while pregnant.

Dr. Jose Teixeira – a cardiologist with Regional Health Heart and Vascular Institute discusses the Watchman device.  This is a new procedure in the Black Hills. The Watchman is an alternative for patients with AFib (not caused by heart valve problem) keeping patients off lifelong use of blood thinners. The implant reduces the risk of stroke and can eliminate regular blood tests as well as food/drink restrictions that come with taking blood thinners. 

In The Moment ... December 5, 2017 Show 233 Hour 2 

Deanna Larson is CEO of Avera eCare. She joins us for a conversation about innovations in rural healthcare and why relationships are key in telemedicine.

In The Moment ... November 9, 2017 Show 217 Hour 2

This week, we preview Dr. Holm's weekly television program on SDPB-TV with a conversation about dementia.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services is releasing reports that led to their decision to cut ties with the Indian Health Service hospital in Pine Ridge.

CMS placed the hospital on “Immediate Jeopardy” late last week.

CMS found the hospital failed to comply with standards they set for providing care. The organization made the “Immediate Jeopardy” designation after the third of three unannounced visits to the Pine Ridge IHS hospital.

Kealey Bultena / SDPB

The cost for individual health insurance is going up in South Dakota following an executive order from the Trump Administration rolling back cost-sharing payments.

Those payments back insurance companies who lose money by insuring individuals on the exchange.

The rollback will impact the ten percent of South Dakotans who get healthcare from the exchange.

Kirk Zimmer is the executive Vice President for Sanford Health Plan.

Rapid City Collective Impact

Last month, grocery distributor SpartanNash announced it will close three grocery stores in Rapid City in October.

According to a food security group in the city, that will create critical gaps in food availability to neighborhoods north of downtown.

In April, Mary Corbine started analyzing income levels and walking distances to grocery stores in Rapid City. Then in July,  SpartanNash officials announced they would close two Family Thrift grocery stores, and the Prairie Market grocery store.

Kealey Bultena / SDPB

Before the Affordable Care Act went into effect, South Dakota had as many as 17 individual health insurance providers. Now the state has two, Avera and Sanford.

Conservative state leaders say that happened because Obamacare forced insurers out of the marketplace.

However, the CEO of Avera Health Plans says the state’s market isn’t big enough to host 17 individual health providers.

“Before the Affordable Care Act, South Dakota had 17 insurers offering individual health insurance policies. Now we just have two,” says Governor Dennis Daugaard.

Lee Strubinger / SDPB

The Indian Health Service is permanently closing the Sioux San Hospital’s emergency room and inpatient services.

IHS must report to Congress at least one year prior to the date they intend to close the facility.

In a press release, IHS says it will terminate emergency room and overnight, inpatient services by July of 2018.

IHS’s emergency room temporarily closed in September last year.  Those seeking emergency room care were referred to the nearby Rapid City Regional Hospital. It never reopened.

Rounds: Senate GOP Still Working To Overhaul ACA

Jul 20, 2017
U.S. Senator Mike Rounds

Following a lengthy meeting at the White House Wednesday night, South Dakota US Senator Mike Rounds says Senate Republicans came to a broad agreement on overhauling the Affordable Care Act.

Another revised version of the Senate’s healthcare bill was released Thursday morning.

Rounds says debate on a revised Senate bill should come next week.

Lee Strubinger / SDPB

For about a decade the rate of uninsured Native American children in South Dakota declined by almost fifty percent. In the same period, the rate of uninsured adults went up.

That’s according to a recent study out of Georgetown University, which finds South Dakota is one of two states in the country where that happened.

According to a nationwide study of health insurance coverage rates from 2008 to 2015, the uninsured rate for American Indian and Alaska Native children and families has declined.

Kealey Bultena / SDPB

Schools and producers are working to feed kids with local crops. A federal grant worth $24,158 helps educate stakeholders on the Farm to School movement. The project brings local ingredients to school food programs.

Farm to Table restaurants aim to bring local foods directly to diners. Schools have a similar program to connect students with products raised nearby.

Sandra Kangas is the South Dakota Department of Education’s director of Child and Adult Nutrition Services. She says Farm to School improves access to local foods.

Kealey Bultena / SDPB

South Dakota authorities have taken 500-thousand dollars’ worth of a dangerous drug off the street. Tuesday Chamberlain Police and the state’s Division of Criminal Investigation executed a search warrant. They found 20,000 fentanyl pills.

Fentanyl has real medical uses. The National Institute on Drug Abuse reports that doctors prescribe the synthetic opioid to ease pain after surgery or alleviate chronic pain. People addicted to drugs may use fentanyl that’s manufactured for medicine.

Kealey Bultena

A treatment developed at Sanford Research is in clinical trial to help kids with a debilitating genetic condition. The FDA fast-tracked the study in part because the condition progresses quickly and children die.

Six patients are part of the Batten Disease trial. One family from the Midwest has a child treated.

Beth and Bryan live in Minnesota. At four years old, their son Blake struggled with fine motor skills. They incorporated occupational therapy. Then Blake needed speech therapy. Then his gross motor skills deteriorated, and he needed physical therapy.

Earlier this year Rapid City Regional Hospital announced they’d no longer accept patients suffering from mental illness when they’re at capacity.

Instead, they would go to jail.

That’s causing the hospital, Pennington County Sheriff’s office and Rapid City police department, among various other organizations, to come up with other solutions to tackle the issue.

The West River Behavioral Health Alliance held its second meeting Wednesday to discuss what options are on the table.

Kealey Bultena / SDPB

A national study examines whether medication approved for one cancer treats other forms of the disease.

Sanford Health locations are part of the clinical trial. It's called the Targeted Agent and Profiling Utilization Registry Study (TAPUR).

Dr. Steven Powell is the principal investigator for Sanford Health. He says precision cancer therapy uses patients' genetics and traits of individual cancers to treat disease. He says the study may expand options for treating patients who have advanced cancers.

Kealey Bultena

Fewer South Dakota babies are dying. New numbers reveal 2016 had the lowest infant mortality rate on South Dakota record.   

South Dakota welcomed 12,270 babies last year, and 59 of them died. That means for every 1,000 live births fewer than five babies die. The rate is 4.8.

In 2015, the rate was 7.3 deaths per 1,000 live births.

Colleen Winter with the South Dakota Department of Health says people can prevent many infant deaths with a combination of healthy decisions that prioritize safety.

Andrew Bork / SDPB

First responders and medical professionals are assessing their performance during a mock helicopter crash. They held the drill Tuesday morning. Crews began by pretending they had Avera helicopter on the Sanford landing pad and people were hurt. 

Rounds for Senate

United States Senator Mike Rounds says he expects Congress will avoid a government shutdown. The current federal funding bill runs out Friday night. Rounds says lawmakers agree on a measure to extend the continuing resolution one week. He says that time allows Congress time to finalize federal government funding through September.

Kealey Bultena / SDPB

Law enforcement officers soften their stern authority to better serve people experiencing mental health crises. Training in Sioux Falls tests their ability by simulating real-life scenarios. Twenty-five officials learn new policing strategies in Crisis Intervention Training.

Courtesy Wikipedia

A Nebraska commission is not renewing liquor licenses for stores along the South Dakota border near Pine Ridge. The town of Whiteclay has fewer than one dozen residents. Four businesses there sell millions of cans of beer each year. The liquor licenses expire at the end of the month, but the beer stores may stay open.

Native Americans from the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota drink beer in Whiteclay, Nebraska. Witnesses say people who get drunk there urinate in public, assault others, and pass out on the streets.

Kealey Bultena

Avera leaders say a new campus in Sioux Falls can better serve people with specialty health needs and promote economic growth. Wednesday Avera Health announced plans for building projects including new buildings and a surgical hospital.

Avera on Louise is the name of an additional campus planned for 82 acres at 69th Street and Louise Avenue in Sioux Falls.

Dr. Dave Kapaska is Avera McKennan Hospital’s President and CEO.

Liver Transplant Recipient Shares Story

Mar 29, 2017
Courtesy Paula Edwards

It’s been 50 years since the first successful human liver transplant was performed. Since then more than 149,000 people have received donated replacements for the second largest organ in their bodies. But some 1,500 patients die every year waiting for an available liver.

SDPB’s Jim Kent spoke with a Hot Springs resident who recently celebrated her 5-year liver transplant anniversary and notes that it would never have been possible without a donor.

Kealey Bultena / SDPB

Judges, attorneys, and law enforcement endorse a bill in South Dakota’s Statehouse that aims to ease mental health problems for people entering the justice system. House Bill 1183 is a measure that changes competency assessments, creates training for people who work in criminal justice, and encourages works that helps people avoid unnecessary arrests or extended time in jail.

Kealey Bultena / SDPB

Governor Dennis Daugaard gets to decide whether certain medical professionals must collaborate with doctors for licensing. Right now certified nurse practitioners and nurse midwives must have an official connection to a physician to get their own licenses. Now lawmakers endorse a bill changing the requirement.

Both chambers of South Dakota’s legislature support Senate Bill 61.

Kealey Bultena / SDPB

Some South Dakota lawmakers want to loosen regulations on nursing home beds. One measure allows nursing homes to move certain beds within organizations or sell them. A split committee in the State House is sending the legislation to the full chamber.

Kealey Bultena / SDPB

A drug that reverses opioid overdose is available in South Dakota without a prescription. The option is a response to national trends in painkiller abuse. Pharmacists at Walgreens can dispense the drug. Starting February 1st, Avera and Hy-Vee pharmacies also offer the medication to keep in case of emergency.

A medicine called naloxone reverses the toxic effects of taking too many painkillers. It’s the generic drug for the brand-name Narcan.

Dr. Matthew Stanley with Avera Health says using the nasal spray is the first step in saving someone who overdoses on opioids.

Kealey Bultena / SDPB

Leaders use the phrase "workforce shortage" often as South Dakota sees low unemployment and a mismatch of skills with job openings. Local hospitals and clinics are not immune. One area health organizations is paying to train students for positions they can’t fill. In turn, students learn on-the-job during internships and commit to staying in town for a few years.

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