State Health Improvement Plan (SHIP) and State Health Assessment (SHA)

The Power of Collaboration:
Aligning Strategies, Actions, and Resources

The South Dakota Department of Health (SD DOH) has a vision of Every South Dakotan Healthy and Strong. Committed to the mission to promote, protect, and improve the health of every South Dakotan, the SD DOH recognized the need to determine health priorities and emphasize solutions. The Department used a collaborative process to develop a State Health Assessment (SHA) and State Health Improvement Plan (SHIP) to ensure statewide alignment and representation. 

South Dakotans were encouraged to make their voice heard by providing feedback for the State Health Assessment through a priority health indicator assessment, community conversations, and key informant interviews. Completed in October 2023, the SHA marks a significant milestone in our ongoing journey to advance public health by providing a comprehensive view of the health landscape, highlighting valuable data to pinpoint critical health issues, and identifying existing best practices and impactful programs. 

The corresponding SHIP serves as a five-year strategic framework for developing and implementing community health improvement strategies and continues to emphasize statewide collaboration and alignment. Using the 2023 SHA as a data foundation, the 2024-2029 SHIP includes health priorities, aims, goals, measurable objectives, strategies, and assets. The SHIP will contribute to the ongoing monitoring of community health needs, health disparities, and high-risk populations, which is needed to identify barriers and take action to find solutions.

Together, the SHA and SHIP serve as a strategic planning guide for the SD DOH and the many other statewide partners and stakeholders who share in the vision of Every South Dakotan Healthy and Strong. Collaboration with partners across South Dakota is pivotal in shaping a healthier future for all. The SHIP and SHA are living documents requiring continuous input, evaluation, and adaptation. They represent the Department of Health’s commitment to addressing immediate health challenges while laying a strong foundation for long-term health equity and resilience.

View the State Health Improvement Plan     View the State Health Assessment

The SHIP is designed to aid in fulfilling the SD DOH vision of Every South Dakotan Healthy and Strong by emphasizing three health priorities for a wide range of public and private partners to advance collaboratively. The selection of goals, objectives, and strategies offers communities, partners, organizations, legislators, and change makers flexibility for engagement and assurance of project alignment with state priorities. The SHIP:

  • Increases statewide alignment of health improvement and strategic plans.
  • Highlights strategies and assets to advance common goals and objectives.
  • Identifies key partners for collaborative efforts.

Health Priority Aims and Goals

Access to Care: Improve health equity in all South Dakota communities.

  • Improve health insurance coverage.
  • Increase utilization of digital devices for telemedicine.
  • Improve the socio-economic condition of South Dakotans living in poverty.
  • Improve the American Indian patient experience through the delivery of culturally responsive care.
  • Improve the collection, utilization, and sharing of health equity data statewide.

Behavioral Health and Mental Health: Improve behavioral health and mental health outcomes.

  • Reduce deaths due to behavioral and mental health crises.
  • Improve behavioral and mental health literacy.
  • Increase diversity of the behavioral and mental health workforce.
  • Improve care coordination following crisis response intervention.

Care Quality: Elevate preventative health care.

  • Improve early detection through routine screenings and early intervention.
  • Increase healthy behaviors.

The SHIP also includes:

  • 54 measurable objectives
  • Numerous innovative and evidence-based strategies
  • Extensive partners, programs, initiatives, and assets

View the SHIP

The State Health Improvement Coalition was established in June 2022 to guide the development of the SHIP and will continue to support efforts to ensure alignment, monitor progress, and evaluate outcomes. Membership consists of representation from 24 key stakeholders including government agencies, healthcare facilities, nonprofit organizations, and tribal entities who share a commitment to improve health and achieve health equity.

HIC members engaged in this collaborative effort to develop a health assessment and health improvement plan by participating in data collection activities, and attending multiple in-person and virtual sessions focused on prioritizing health challenges and identifying potential solutions.


June 21, 2023:  Agenda & Minutes

April 11, 2023:  Agenda & Minutes

December 9, 2022:  Agenda  |  Minutes

August 26, 2022:  Agenda  |  Minutes

Represented HIC Member Organizations

  • Avera Health
  • Black Hills Special Services Cooperative
  • City of Sioux Falls Health Department
  • Disability Rights of South Dakota
  • Helpline Center
  • Horizon Health Care
  • Indian Health Services
  • Lutheran Social Services
  • Monument Health
  • Pennington County Health & Human Services
  • Sanford Health
  • South Dakota Association of Healthcare Organizations
  • South Dakota Council of Community Behavioral Health
  • SD Department of Education
  • SD Department of Health
  • SD Department of Labor & Regulation
  • SD Department of Social Services
  • SD Department of Transportation
  • SD Department of Tribal Relations
  • SD Department of Veterans Affairs
  • South Dakota Sheriff's Association
  • South Dakota State University Extension
  • Wellmark Blue Cross Blue Shield
  • WIC Breastfeeding Peer Counselor Program

Get Involved

The SD DOH and HIC will engage appropriate stakeholders to develop action plans for each priority area, monitor the objectives, and report on the progress toward the goals. Contact Mariah Pokorny, Accreditation Director at the SD DOH, to learn how to engage.