Health

Kealey Bultena / SDPB

South Dakotans who don’t have insurance are more likely to skip cancer screenings. Figures from the South Dakota Department of Health show insurance status affects patients’ preventative care decisions.

Health leaders are examining cancer screening rates, and they say a stark division emerges when breaking down the numbers.

Secretary Kim Malsam-Rysdon leads South Dakota’s Department of Health. She says people without insurance receive fewer cancer screenings than people with health coverage.

STDs Hit 30 Year High In SD

Jul 18, 2016
South Dakota Department of Health

State health officials warn that sexually transmitted diseases are at a 30 year high in South Dakota. 

In South Dakota this year there are over 2,000 cases of chlamydia, over 600 cases of gonorrhea and 17 cases of syphilis.

Lon Kightlinger is the state epidemiologist for the South Dakota Department of Health. He says rates of all sexually transmitted diseases are increasing.

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During his State of the Union address President Barack Obama announced the establishment of a new initiative to accelerate cancer research called Cancer Moonshot. The initiative comes with a billion dollar pledge and is being led by Vice-President Joe Biden. The goal is to make therapies available to more patients and also improve early detection. Last week the vice president held a nationwide summit. We are recreating the panel that met at Avera Health in Sioux Falls on Dakota. Midday.

Guests Include:

Dr. Luis Rojas - Avera Medical Group Gynecologic Oncology

Sarah Kuhnert is a survivorship nurse with the mySurvivorMentor program at Sanford Health in Sioux Falls. mySurvivorMentor is a new program that is currently available to breast cancer patients. It links survivors to walk the cancer journey with newly diagnosed patients. 

Department of Heath

This fall kids entering 6th grade are required to get a vaccine to protect against meningitis. The change in vaccine requirements for 6th graders results from a bill passed by the 2016 legislature.

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.

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.

A Brookings group and the state Department of Health want businesses to support breastfeeding employees and customers. The city is a pilot community for the Breastfeeding-Friendly Business Initiative. The program educates businesses and employees on the benefits of breastfeeding, as well as state and federal law.

 

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.

Kealey Bultena / SDPB

State leaders are talking weekly with federal officials as they work on a change that could prompt Medicaid expansion in South Dakota. Governor Dennis Daugaard says federal leaders need to settle their policy before South Dakotans can decide whether the state can financially support as many as 55,000 more people on Medicaid.

The Medicaid expansion discussion typically falls along party lines. Democrats push for the state to accept federal dollars and change the rules to make more people eligible for the program, while Republican lawmakers and the governor says it’s too expensive.

Kealey Bultena / SDPB

The deadline looms for seniors who want insurance plans to help cover the cost of prescription drugs. Monday is the last day to enroll in or change Medicare Part D insurance plans. One expert says seniors should find out whether they can benefit from prescription drug coverage, even if they’re already enrolled.

Medicare Part D plans are private health insurance from private companies that are subsidized by the federal government. That means seniors pay for the drug plans, but they don’t have to cover the full cost of the insurance out of pocket.

Tribal Health Board CEO: Repeal Of ACA Hurts Tribes

Dec 2, 2015
Great Plains Tribal Chairman’s Health Board

U.S. Senator John Thune says he’s in favor of an effort to repeal part of the Affordable Care Act now making its way through congress. The move fulfills a promise made by many in the GOP to see the act removed.   But, President Obama is expected to veto any repeal effort.    

Some in South Dakota worry repealing the act would hurt Native Americans and those in the state who lack adequate health care coverage.

Thune says the Affordable Care Act has failed.   He supports repealing a number of provisions within the act.

Kealey Bultena / SDPB

Four children and their parents are alive after first responders saved them from carbon monoxide poisoning. Sioux Falls emergency leaders say the deadly gas has no smell, no taste and no color. That makes it hard to detect. Family members are telling their story of a close call to encourage others to purchase carbon monoxide detectors.

Michael Holloway says his weekend started as usual. His family stayed in bed Saturday while he got up to make breakfast for everyone. Holloway says he realized something was wrong when his daughter said she couldn’t feel her legs.

Kealey Bultena / SDPB

Avera Health is buying insurance organization DakotaCare. Company leaders are not revealing the purchase price. Talks started two weeks ago, and representatives for both entities could reach a final deal by the end of this month. Leaders say customers and employees likely won’t notice changes in the short term.

The board chair for DAKOTACARE says health insurance reform can be good for consumers but difficult on insurance companies. Doctor Kevin Bjordahl says sometimes making insurance affordable for a patient puts a strain on insurance providers.

Kealey Bultena / SDPB

Avera’s work to personalize cancer treatment could help people around the world. Leaders for the health system made the announcement Tuesday that the genomic oncology team is joining with the Worldwide Innovative Networking Consortium to participate in research and clinical trials. Now internationally renowned cancer expert Doctor Brian Leyland-Jones and Avera’s Center for Precision Oncology Director Casey Williams talk about the potential that exists in the new partnership.

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.

Patty Buechler

Mental health care providers working in schools receive recognition this week. Governor Dennis Daugaard has declared School Psychology Week in South Dakota to acknowledge their impact on learning. School psychologists focus on removing challenges so students can succeed in the classroom.

SDSU Extension Receives Grant For Food Hub

Nov 11, 2015
USDA.gov

SDSU Extension is launching a food hub for producers and consumers in the southeastern part of the state. Its purpose is to help local farmers sell products to restaurants, schools, and institutions. Funding for food hub project comes from a $100,000 grant from the USDA.

Kealey Bultena / SDPB

Cancer researchers in Sioux Falls are now part of an international group collaborating on personalized treatment. Avera Cancer Institute is one of five American institutions partnering in a consortium referred to as WIN. Doctors say the revelations can help people with cancer at all stages.

Standard cancer treatments are often based on therapies that work for most people. Doctor Brian Leyland-Jones says everyone is different – and so are their cancers. He says tumors have different genes, compositions and signaling pathways.

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.

A library in Sioux Falls is partnering with Feeding South Dakota to provide after-school snacks for elementary students.

At 3 o'clock on a school day, students at Anne Sullivan Middle School walk across the street to Oak View Library while they wait to get picked up. Director of Siouxland Libraries  Mary Johns says staff had the idea of asking Feeding South Dakota if the two groups could partner to provide a snack for students who stay late in the evening waiting for parents.

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.

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.

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.

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