Rapid City Regional Hospital

Victoria Wicks

Hospital food has long been the butt of Jell-O jokes. But an online search of the term "hospital food" turns up mixed reviews, some of them raves.

Rapid City Regional Hospital's chef hopes to earn rave reviews for taste but also has been introducing patients to food that is healthy.

He buys local foods when he can and has future plans to grow much of it in a garden near the hospital.

SDPB's Victoria Wicks met Scott Brinker during a recent tour of farms near Newell and follows up in Rapid City.


Cardiologists in Rapid City are using a new pacemaker that is fully implanted inside a person’s heart. The FDA only recently approved the technology. Doctor Kelly Airey with Rapid City Regional Hospital performed the first procedure to place the pacemaker.  Her patient is impressed.

Paul Baldwin has had two traditional pacemakers to normalize and regulate his heartbeat. When his latest device’s battery was up for replacement, he talked with Dr. Kelly Airey about his options. Baldwin says she recommended a tiny pacemaker that’s self-contained within his heart.

Charles Michael Ray / SDPB

Rapid City emergency officials say they learned important lessons after a commercial air liner made an unexpected landing at Regional Airport last week.

The incident flooded extra patients into the ER in the middle of the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, a time when resources are already spread thin.

Despite the chaos, officials say following protocol and communication helped the situation end successfully.


The Sturgis Motorcycle Rally is just one week away and roads and businesses won’t be the only places packed with bikers. Rapid City Regional Hospital officials expect the emergency room to be just as overcrowded. So, they’re advising locals to save a trip to the ER for emergencies only and choose urgent care centers whenever possible.  

Photo by Victoria Wicks

The federal jury has sided with Rapid City Regional Health in a civil case alleging that hospital employees were racially discriminatory in their treatment of a Native heart patient. Vernon Traversie, a member of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe, alleged that someone at the hospital carved the letters “K-K-K” onto his abdomen, handled him roughly, refused him pain medication, and didn’t prepare him adequately for aftercare. SDPB’s Victoria Wicks has followed this case since the allegations emerged.

About three and a half years ago, Vernon Traversie first reported that someone at Rapid City Regional Hospital carved the letters “KKK” on his abdomen. Now a federal jury is deliberating his civil claim. The trial started Monday, and Thursday afternoon the case went to the jury.