Health

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.

Dr. Reiland's focus in breast cancer and breast health allows her to research and recommend the most advanced and appropriate treatment methods for patients. She has a special interest in breast oncoplasty and Electron-based IntraOperative Radiation Therapy (IORT).

The chief cancer control officer of the American Cancer Society is encouraging South Dakotans to get tested for colon cancer. National estimates show one in three adults over age 50 is not screened, even though survival chances skyrocket when doctors catch the disease early. Colon cancer is the third most common cause of cancer death for both men and women in the country.

Be Healthy For The Hunt

Sep 28, 2015

Hunting season may be a good time to check in with your doctor to make sure your body is ready for the increased activity. Here are some tips on being healthy for the hunt.

 

www.orbera.com

Dr. Brad Thaemert joins Dakota Midday to discuss a new weight loss procedure being offered in South Dakota. Avera McKennan Hospital & University Health Center is the exclusive site in South Dakota to offer a revolutionary weight-loss procedure that’s non-surgical and incision-free. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has recently approved the ORBERA™ Intragastric Balloon by Apollo Endoscopy, Inc. This new minimally-invasive weight-loss procedure will be performed by board-certified surgeons, Brad Thaemert, MD, and David Strand, MD.

For several diseases South Dakota has top childhood vaccination rates in the nation. The latest information available comes from the 2014 National Immunization Survey from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

South Dakota’s immunization rates are in the top 10 for more than one dozen individual vaccines recommended across the country. A CDC survey examines rates for children 18 to 35 months old.

Kealey Bultena / SDPB

Sioux Falls is gaining another emergency department. Avera Health is building a new family medical center west of Interstate 29, and health leaders are including a full-service emergency room. The free-standing ER will provide quick access for people experiencing a health crisis.

By this time next year, physicians, nurses, and a care team will operate an emergency department on the west side of Sioux Falls for 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.

In her song, "Everything’s Beautiful Now," Christine Albert sings  from her mother-in-law’s perspective as she's dying and making peace with her life. Since she first sang at a small gathering for a man facing death from an early death from a terminal illness, Albert has been providing music for people facing the end of their lives. In 2005, she founded Swan Songs, an Austin, Texas area non-profit that fulfills musical last wishes by organizing private concerts for individuals with a terminal illness.

Lori Oster, Program Coordinator for the Better Choices Better Health Program and Megan Olesen, Program Associate for the Better Choices Better Health Program.  Better Choices Better Health is a chronic disease self-management program developed at Stanford University in the 1990’s. 

Local Oncologists Use New Cancer Therapies

Aug 24, 2015

Doctors in South Dakota are using recently-approved drugs to help patients fight cancer. Former President Jimmy Carter’s melanoma diagnosis highlights treatment that includes both radiation and IV immune therapy. Similar treatments may work for cancer patients in South Dakota.

Melanoma is one type of skin cancer. Doctor Marcus Frohm says about 75,000 people will get melanoma this year, and traditional cancer treatments like chemotherapy and radiation may be necessary.

Photography Project Showcases Natural Beauty

Aug 19, 2015
Holly Davidson Photography

A photography display called 'The Truth in Beauty' is on display tonight in downtown Sioux Falls. 

Four women are coming together to make a statement: that everyone is beautiful. Chelsea Tracy is the owner of Chelsea’s Boutique in downtown Sioux Falls. The ‘Truth in Beauty' project featured in her store is a fundraiser for Dress for Success. 

Tracy says she wanted to be part of the project after photographer Holly Davidson realized that women shouldn’t have to wear layers of makeup and accessories to feel beautiful.

Kealey Bultena / SDPB

An area health system is donating $75,000 to support a truck that takes food to hungry people across the state. Avera is putting $25,000 into Feeding South Dakota’s mobile food pantry each year for the next three. The donation supports communities in the central part of the state.

Feeding South Dakota’s mobile food truck has refrigerated sections. That means foods that need to stay cool – think dairy products, produce, and meats – can make it across the state for distribution to hungry families.

In 1960 Dr. Frances Oldham Kelsey was the new medical officer at the Food and Drug Administration when she was assigned the review of a new drug application for thalidomide. The drug was already being sold to pregnant women in Europe and other countries as an anti-nausea drug to treat morning sickness. But Dr. Kelsey refused to approve the application without adequate evidence that the drug was safe. By late 1961 scientists had discovered that thalidomide was causing crippling birth defects in thousands of babies.

Seven Tularemia Cases Found In SD

Jul 28, 2015

Seven people in South Dakota have contracted tularemia. The state health department reports the disease in six adults over the age of 50 and one child who is younger than five. Some needed to be hospitalized.

Health officials discovered all seven tularemia cases in the northern part of the Black Hills. State epidemiologist Lon Kightlinger says the disease is sometimes called rabbit fever.

"Tularemia is often found in rabbits, and people get infected when they kill a rabbit or are exposed to rabbit blood," Kightlinger says.

The Helpline Center in Sioux Falls is leading a mental health first aid training. The 8-hour long session teaches people to look for the signs and symptoms of a mental health crisis and how to help.

Mental health first aid is giving help to someone after noticing signs of illness or distress. Lori Montis is the Suicide and Crisis Support Director at the Helpline Center. She says the training teaches anyone to recognize symptoms and respond.

CDC/Jim Gathany

The state health department is reporting the first West Nile virus detection case of the season. It was detected in a mosquito pool in Meade County last week.

Since its first human West Nile virus case in 2002, South Dakota has reported 2,168 human cases and nearly 700 hospitalizations with 32 deaths. In 2013 there were 149 human cases of West Nile with three deaths. Last year 57 cases were reported.

Karl Gehrke SDPB

Now that we’re well into the summer, people are spending more time out on the state’s lakes and rivers. South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks is encouraging boaters to be safe on the water and wear life jackets. According to the U.S. Coast Guard, 84 percent of people who drowned in boating fatalities were not wearing life jackets.

This Friday through Sunday is also Operation Dry Water’s national heightened awareness and enforcement weekend for boating under the influence.

South Dakota State Medical Association

The South Dakota State Medical Association has a new president. Tim Ridgway, MD of Brandon was elected during the organization's annual meeting May 29. Dr. Ridgway is dean of faculty affairs and associate professor of medicine at the University of South Dakota Sanford School of Medicine. He has an active gastroenterology practice and serves as director of endoscopy at the Veterans Administration Hospital in Sioux Falls.

Kentucky ACA Expert Touts Expanded Medicaid

May 15, 2015

The Affordable Care Act has been a point of contention around the United States since it was first proposed.  The act gives states the option to implement its own insurance markets and to expand the availability of Medicaid.  Although it is a red state, Kentucky chose to do both.  An expert on Kentucky health care paid a visit to Rapid City this week. To hear more, click play below.  

Sanford Health

Customized cancer treatment is the future of cancer therapy, but analyzing the unique genetic make-up of individuals can take an enormous amount of time. It typically takes weeks for clinicians to analyze each genetic mutation, but IBM Watson Genomic Analytics in some cases can complete the process in just a few minutes and produce a report, including treatment recommendations. The ambitious goal is personalized medicine for cancer patients everywhere based on their unique genomic profile.

Pages