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CDC recognizes South Dakota's efforts promoting infectious disease control training

Project Firstline marketing materials
South Dakota Foundation for Medical Care
Project Firstline marketing materials

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are recognizing South Dakota's efforts to promote Project Firstline – an effort to train more health care workers to battle infectious disease.

The CDC acknowledged South Dakota’s marketing acumen, highlighting the diverse methods the state used to promote Project Firstline.

Charlotte Hofer is the director of marketing for the South Dakota Foundation for Medical Care.

“We’ve used a lot of out-of-the-box creative ideas to draw attention to Project Firstline and infection prevention," Hofer said "I think it’s really exciting to see that creativity and health care works.”

The COVID-19 pandemic stressed South Dakota’s health care system, and most providers are still feeling the effects. Hofer says efforts like Project Firstline help put us ahead of the next potential problem.

“The more we can get the word out about Project Firstline Training, the more we can protect everyone from future pandemics and the spread of infectious diseases, and that includes Covid, the flu, even the common cold," Hofer said. "This training protects healthcare workers, it helps them to protect their patients, and that protects all of us.”

Hofer said reducing infections up to all of us – not just health care workers.

“There are steps everybody can do to reduce our risk of infection," Hofer said. "So, the number one thing you can do is to wash your hands. Germs enter the body most often from the hands touching the eyes and the nose and the mouth, so wash hands frequently. Use soap or an alcohol-based sanitizer. Stay home when you’re sick, cover your cough, be sure to disinfect frequently touched surfaces.”

Online resources for health care workers can be found at

C.J. Keene is a Rapid City-based journalist covering the legal system, education, and culture