On Call With The Prairie Doc®

21 hours ago
On Call With The Prairie Doc®

In The Moment … May 7, 2020 Show 812 Hour 2

On Call with the Prairie Doc® is on SDPB TV Thursday nights at 7 central 6 mountain on SDPB TV. Tonight's episode is titled When the Brain of Ours Starts to Fail. Doctors will take on questions about neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's. Andrew Ellsworth is a family medicine physician with Avera Medical Group in Brookings and a member of the team of Prairie Doc® physicians and joins us now with a preview.


Caring For Healthcare Workers

Mar 18, 2020

In The Moment ... March 18, 2020 Show 776 Hour 1

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

South Dakotans don’t have answers to many of their health care questions. Between federal administration changes and decisions at the state level, the issue of delivering quality, cost-effective health care is bathed in uncertainty. Local advocates say patients should not panic; instead they say people can better understand the factors at play nationally and within South Dakota – and know that people are fighting for their wellness.

Kealey Bultena / SDPB

Medicaid expansion in South Dakota may not happen, but many health care providers say they’re not giving up on reforms that could help the working poor. Some health leaders are looking for other ways to deliver medical care to thousands of people.

Doctor Tim Ridgway says the point of the complicated medical system is to take care of people and improve the health of all individuals in communities.

Ridgway says navigating those elements and figuring out how to pay for all of it is an intricate process.

Kealey Bultena / SDPB

National health experts are looking to South Dakota strategies as they discuss rural health care. The US Department of Health and Human Services showcased Avera’s telemedicine efforts with viewers around the country. It was part of an effort about National Rural Health Day.

Avera’s eCare services use high-quality video and audio to connect Sioux Falls physicians with small town hospital staff. This allows doctors and nurses to collaborate on treating rural patients in real time.

Kealey Bultena / SDPB

A new agreement preserves health insurance options for 26,000 State of South Dakota employees. State leaders and Sanford Health negotiated to cover state employees at an in-network cost. That allows some DakotaCare patients to see Sanford doctors without huge price increases.

Kealey Bultena / SDPB

Avera Health is removing its South Dakota hospitals, clinics, and physicians from the Sanford Health Plan. The change means people who have Sanford insurance won’t have coverage if they go to Avera’s providers. It’s the latest development in a health care clash among the state’s two largest health systems.

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.

Informed Consent Abortion Bill Passes

Mar 7, 2016
Charles Michael Ray

House Bill 1157 has cleared the state legislature.

The measure requires medical doctors to inform a woman who is undergoing a drug-induced abortion that she can stop the procedure by not taking a second pill. 

Kealey Bultena / SDPB

Medical professionals from six small hospitals across South Dakota are learning how to handle complications during childbirth. Avera Health teams of doctors, anesthesiologists, nurses, and other care providers are working in teams in critical simulations.

Eight medical professionals crowd around a simulator that forces them to figure out how to deliver a baby when its shoulders are stuck. Trainers use a device to measure the pressure a doctor or nurse puts on a baby while trying to free the newborn.

Sanford Health

Dr. Jerome Freeman is a practicing neurologist and chair of the Department of Neurosciences at Sanford School of Medicine. Dr. Freeman believes medicine is rich in science and technology, but all too often its marvelous powers are accompanied by a clinician's calm detachment rather than the soft touch of human kindness. Dr. Freeman's book "Bringing Kindness to medicine: Stories from the Prairie" illustrates the power and importance of kindness through real-life stories from his years practicing medicine in South Dakota.



What Is Multiple Myeloma?

Feb 13, 2014

Former NBC Nightly News anchor and Yankton native Tom Brokaw announced Tuesday that he has been diagnosed with cancer.  In a statement posted on, Brokaw said he has multiple myeloma, a cancer affecting blood cells in the bone marrow.  Brokaw, who turned 74 last Thursday, said doctors are optimistic about his prognosis.  There is no cure for multiple myeloma, but treatments are available that slow its progression.  Diagnosed in August, Brokaw has continued to do work for NBC, including contributing to the coverage of the Winter Olympic Games.  Sanford Health oncologist Dr.

Increasing Cancer Cases

Feb 11, 2014
Sanford Health

According to a new report from the World Health Organization, cancer cases are expected to surge 57% nationwide in the next 20 years.  According to Christopher Wild, director of the International Agency for Research on Cancer, the rising incidence of cancer will require a heavier focus on preventative health policies.  Sanford Health oncologist Dr.

High School Football And Concussions

Oct 10, 2013

Dr. Thayne Munce is Associate Director of the National Institute for Athletic Health and Performance at Sanford Health. Dr. Samuel Schimelpfenig is a pediatrician with Avera Medical Group. Last night, SDPB-TV aired the documentary “The Smartest Team: Making High School Football Safer.” The hour-long program examined ways football programs and athletes can reduce concussions and the risk of long-term injury by playing smarter. The doctors offered their perspectives on how concussions occur in youth and high school sports and effective ways to reduce them. 



Mental Health Month

May 20, 2013

May is Mental Health Month, and more people are finding effective treatment for cognitive challenges.  Dr. Matt Stanley and Avera Behavioral Health Assistant Vice President Steve Lindquist discussed why more people are seeking treatment for conditions typically seen in clinical practice.

Indian Health Issues

Mar 19, 2013

Dr. Jeff Henderson discussed health issues in Indian Country.  In 1998, Henderson founded the Black Hills Center for American Indian Health, a community-based, non-profit organization whose mission is to enhance the wellness of American Indians through research, service, education and philanthropy.  The Center has met with considerable success, garnering over $26 million through 19 peer-reviewed health research grants and contracts.

Limb Preservation

Mar 5, 2013

Sanford Health has announced a new limb preservation program.  The Sanford Limb Preservation Center specializes in treating lower extremity wounds in patients at high risk of amputation and compromised leg and toe function, particularly those with diabetes and peripheral arterial disease.  The Center also includes Sanford Health's wound clinic, which is home to nurses trained in managing and treating acute infections of the lower extremities.  Dr. Patrick Kelly, a vascular surgeon at the Sanford Limb Preservation Center, explained what the center does and how it is helping patients.

Lung Cancer Treatment

Feb 15, 2013

Dr. Fady Jamous, a pulmonologist for Avera Medical Group, discussed a new screening and treatment for lung cancer.  Jamous joined Innovation host Cara Hetland at SDPB's University of Sioux Falls studio.

Circle Of Smiles

Feb 6, 2013

A new $3.3 million grant will help with oral care on South Dakota's Indian reservations.  Connie Halverson, vice president of public benefit at Delta Dental of South Dakota, discussed the need for the grant and the services that will be provided as a result.

FARM Program Participation

Jan 30, 2013

The first group of medical students has been selected for participation in the University of South Dakota Sanford School of Medicine's Frontier and Rural Medicine (FARM) program.  The FARM program is a new initiative designed to combat rural physician shortage by exposing students to the challenges of unique opportunities inherent in rural medicine.  Dr. Susan Anderson, director of the FARM program, explained the program on Wednesday's Dakota Midday.

Robotic Assisted Surgery

Jan 4, 2013

Sanford Health has received a $2.4 million grant to purchase two robotic-assisted catheterization systems to aid in placing stents and balloons in patients with coronary artery disease.  South Dakota is one of five locations to receive the device.  Dr. Tom Stys talked about the new procedure which Sanford will begin using later this month.

Sleep Disorders

Dec 12, 2012

Dr. Rizan Hajal discussed the basics of healthy sleep, diseases that could affect sleep and changes in sleep with aging.  Hajal is board certified in pulmonary medicine, sleep medicine and critical care medicine.  He is the medical director of the Sioux Falls Sleep Center.  Hajal will speak on sleep disorders at a health forum at Avera St. Luke's Hospital in Aberdeen on Thursday evening.