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Success Stories

Active Transportation in South Dakota: A Better Way to Get Around Town

Through this unique collaboration and pilot program, SDSU Landscape Architecture Design students under the direction of Professor Donald Burger conducted built environment assessments of the city of Huron to provide the catalyst for community improvements to the connectivity and overall walkability of Huron. Active transportation encourages the integration of physical activity into daily routines such as walking or biking to destinations such as work, grocery stores, or parks. Making physical activity part of daily living increases physical activity levels in communities for better health outcomes.Read more

The Big Squeeze: Putting the Squeeze on High Blood Pressure

Sioux Falls community partners – including American Heart Association, Avera Health, City of Sioux Falls, DAKOTACARE, Lewis Drug, Novartis, Sanford Health, Sioux Falls Fire Rescue and Walgreens – developed the concept of a month-long initiative to focus on performing blood pressure screenings and delivering education to Sioux Falls residents.Read more

Healthy Little Town on the Prairie: De Smet Now Knows What it Needs Thanks to Outstanding Planning and Public Participation

After completing a city-wide community needs assessment, physical activity was the greatest need identified. The City of De Smet used the results of this assessment to write a grant and develop a Community Event Center project that will be used for many functions including indoor activities in the winter, weddings, sporting events, etc. The project is expected to break ground in a few months.

Domestic violence is a topic that is not much discussed in a small town, and the committee thought the number of respondents who indicated its presence was significant considering the reluctance to be identified. We were able to work with the school district to have the Rural Outreach Coordinator at the Brookings Domestic Abuse Shelter begin a program at the school.

Public participation in the assessment was the greatest challenge. The greatest response came when paper surveys, along with a cover letter, were sent home with all school children in the county. Read more
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Breathe Well, Eat Well, Feel Well, Move Well: The Live Well Sioux Falls Initiative

Sioux Falls has taken a proactive approach in addressing its public health issues. Live Well Sioux Falls engaged a coalition of more than 24 organizations to utilize the CDC’s Community Health Assessment and Group Evaluation (CHANGE) tool to collect and organize data concerning community assets and needs regarding policy, systems, and environmental change strategies. In addition to the coalition-led CHANGE tool assessment, they also distributed a resident survey to gain insight from Sioux Falls residents regarding health issues. This was distributed as an online survey as well as in paper form as they tried to ensure representation from different population
groups in the community. They are using that data to make informed decisions and to guide their efforts as they work to improve community health and wellness. Read more
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Healthy Choices for Children & Their Families: Dakota Hospital Foundation’s Children’s Health and Wellness Steering Committee

Vermilion’s Dakota Hospital Foundation (DHF) understands that the future burden of chronic disease in adults can be addressed through the activation of healthy habits in children. They have established a Children’s Health and Wellness Steering Committee to lead health promotion activities and further their mission of “improving health and wellness of the individuals and communities in the Vermillion area.”

A school and community health assessment was conducted in 2012. The strategic plan guides the selection of training, development, and programs that promote and activate children’s healthy behaviors. A community coordinator helped to facilitate community-wide efforts including:

  • Offering the fit-Care best practice health and wellness curriculum training.
  • Piloting the fit4School health promotion program in six elementary classrooms.
  • Providing Saturday gym programs to promote physical activity during winter months.
  • Providing summer health promotion programs.

Assessments and evaluations of the actions reveal that—in Vermillion—over 600 children (and their families) have been touched by programs promoting healthy behavior choices during the first six months of 2013. Read more

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Changing for the Future: Building on Past Successes and Improving Our Current Environment

Thanks to the funding of the South Dakota Department of Health, the Strategic Team for Economic Wealth and Wellbeing (STEW) was able to set up a website, conduct a community assessment using survey monkey, and establish meetings to explore and finalize our strategic plan quite quickly. Participant enthusiasm led to the immediate implementation of a number of projects including: a community garden, legislative cracker barrels, Paint the Town project, cosponsored leadership, school activities, safety programs, and health-related events. Having active and involved community participants, a website, and Facebook page has been key for community communication.

Other cultural projects implemented include: establishment of a community garden; houses painted by volunteers; summer safety program, activity days, and leadership events. Our project, including planned future projects, incorporate multiple goals. Read more