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Success Stories

Black Hills Farmers Market Provides Access to Fruits and Vegetables for Lower Income South Dakotans

The Black Hills Farmers Market (BHFM) Double Up Food Bucks program is increasing access to fresh produce
for families, including Supplemental Nutrition Access Program (SNAP) recipients, and building a foundation for
lifelong healthy eating habits. Read more

“Some Things You Can’t Undo. Prediabetes You Can.”

The South Dakota Department of Health – Diabetes Program (SD DOH) developed a prediabetes awareness campaign called “Undo the Risk”, which
included a quiz to help users determine their risk for prediabetes. Those at high risk received information about prediabetes, its dangers, and steps they can take to undo their risk for prediabetes. Resources and tips were available on the website about how to “Undo the Risk” of prediabetes.
Prediabetes means a person’s blood glucose (sugar) level is higher than normal, but not high enough yet for a diagnosis of type 2 diabetes. There are some prediabetes risks you cannot control, like age and family history. But there are small things you can do to reduce your risk, such as increasing your physical activity and adjusting your diet. These small actions can also help prevent or delay the onset of type 2 diabetes. Read more

Tobacco Policy Change: National High School Rodeo Association

The Michael Glynn Memorial Coalition (MGMC) was awarded a Tobacco Disparities Grant from the South Dakota Department of Health-Tobacco Control Program to promote long-term change aimed at reducing disparate tobacco use. As part of their efforts, the MGMC sought to partner with the South Dakota High School Rodeo Association (SDHSRA) to encourage the organization to adopt a tobacco-free rodeo grounds policy. Ultimately, the MGMC discovered that if they wanted the SDHSRA to adopt a tobacco-free rodeo grounds policy that the policy would first need to be adopted at the national level through the National High School Rodeo Association (NHSRA). Read more

Tobacco-Free Rodeo Grounds at Seven Down Arenas and Tobacco-Free Fairgrounds in Lawrence/Butte Counties

Rodeo grounds have been known for their prevalence of spit tobacco use occurring on the grounds. It is challenging to change this stereotype and encourage the community to change social norms related to tobacco use. Additionally, fairgrounds have often allowed tobacco and alcohol use on their grounds. Some sponsors, participants, and patrons who attend events at the rodeo grounds and fairgrounds do not want restrictions put on what people can do at these events. Read more

How Does Your Garden Grow in Fort Pierre? A Healthy Hometown Powered by Wellmark Success Story

It took Fort Pierre 200 years to build a community garden, but they got it done. With inspiration from Wellmark’s Healthy Hometown community health improvement initiative, the city of Fort Pierre began talking about establishing their first community garden in February 2018 and the garden was open for growing by summer 2018. Read more

Collaboration, Not Competition: Unique Partnerships for Community Health Assessment

Tax-exempt hospitals are required to complete a Community Health Needs Assessment (CHNA) every three years. The information gathered through the assessment process is used to develop strategies that improve community health. In 2012, the City of Sioux Falls completed its first formal CHNA by inviting community partners from all sectors to come together to participate in the assessment process, including Avera Health and Sanford Health. Read more

Utilizing Evidence-Based Interventions to Increase Preventative Cancer Screening Among the Hutterite Population in SD

Preventative cancer screening rates for the SD Hutterite population insured by DAKOTACARE are disproportionately lower than screening rates of the overall SD population insured by DAKOTACARE. During project implementation, a challenge encountered by the DAKOTACARE team involved additional time and effort required to manage the procedural differences regarding scheduling, billing, and coordination of three different Avera mobile mammography units located in Sioux Falls, Mitchell, and Aberdeen. Read more

From the Ground Up: Making Healthy Local Foods Accessible for All

The Vermillion Area Farmers Market created a system to accept SNAP that is easy for customers, vendors, and the market manager. There has been a steady increase in the use of SNAP at the market, and they are seeking ways to further expand the program and forge new partnerships. Volunteers devised an annual fundraiser to help cover fees associated with the SNAP program, so this can be absorbed by the market rather than the vendors.Read more

Better Choices, Better Health® South Dakota: Providing a Better Quality of Life

Offered by the South Dakota Department of Health, SDSU Extension, South Dakota Department of Human Services and other partners, Better Choices, Better Health® South Dakota (BCBH) is an evidence-based, community-led intervention that helps individuals with chronic conditions learn to manage and improve their health. Read more

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

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

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


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