SD DOH Strategic Plan

The South Dakota Department of Health is dedicated to keeping South Dakotans healthy and strong while providing them, healthcare providers, and administrators with the most up-to-date, health-related information and guidance to help them make the best decisions for themselves, their families, and their businesses.

The South Dakota Department of Health is based in Pierre, SD, but maintains a statewide presence.

View Strategic Plan   GOAC Performance Measures


Every South Dakotan Healthy and Strong


Working together to promote, protect, and improve health

Guiding Principles

  • Serve with integrity and respect
  • Focus on evidence-based prevention and outcomes
  • Support data-driven innovation
  • Achieve health equity in all communities
  • Demonstrate proactive leadership and strengthen partnerships
  • Exhibit transparency and accountability

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Strategic Plan

Objectives & Activities:

  1. Increase screening for depression

    1. Increase awareness of depression screening options and available treatment resources by 2025.
      • Develop an internal communication strategy to educate staff on 211, 988, and other behavioral health resources by the end of 2023.
      • Increase participation of Office of Child and Family Health Services staff on the SHIP Behavioral Health workgroup from 0 to 2 by December 2023.
  2. Increase knowledge and understanding of the impact of population determinants of health on public health outcomes. 
    1. Provide public health program staff with education to recognize population determinants of health and their impact on the health of South Dakotans. 
      • Implement ongoing population determinants of health and cultural training for all Department of Health staff by the end of 2024.
      • Review and update all disease prevention program resources online and in print to ensure materials are up-to-date, accurate, culturally appropriate, and address the effect of population determinants of health.
  3. Increase statewide access to public health services

    1. Increase implementation of telehealth services to be available in all Department of Health field offices.
      • Develop a standard Department of Health survey measuring client satisfaction for those who utilize telehealth services. 
    2. Increase mobile health services from 0 to 10 locations by 2025.
      • Implement three mobile health units to bring department services to communities without a local Department of Health office.
      • Develop and implement a strategic communication plan to promote use of telehealth and mobile units. 
  4. Ensure statewide access to emergency medical services in South Dakota

    1. Increase access to Telemedicine in Motion for emergency medical services agencies from 60 in 2023 to 120 by December 31, 2024.
      • Implement Telemedicine in Motion in ambulance services in South Dakota.
    2. Implement three recommendations from the Statewide EMS Assessment by July 1, 2024.
      • Procure 6 regional service designation grants by July 1, 2024. 

Objectives & Activities:

  1. Reduce high school tobacco use
    1. Reduce high school tobacco use (cigarettes, cigars, smokeless, and electronic) from 30.3% in 2015 to 20% by 2025. (YRBS)

      • Work with media vendor to create materials and strategies for educating K-5 about dangers of tobacco use.

    2. Decrease the percent of youth grades 6-8 who have ever used tobacco from 22.3% in 2019 to 18% by 2025. (Youth Tobacco Survey)

      • Increase outreach to 30 school districts to educate youth in K-12 schools on tobacco prevention and cessation by May 2024.

  2. Reduce infant mortality
    1. Reduce infant mortality from 6.3 infant deaths per 1,000 live births (2014-2018) to 5.8 per 1,000 (2020-2025). (South Dakota Vital Records)

      • Identify three Community Health offices to pilot syphilis screening and testing for pregnant women by May 2024. 


    2. Decrease the percentage of infant deaths (post-birth hospitalization) that occurred when sharing a sleep surface with an adult or other child from 69% (2017-2021) to 62.1% (2021-2025). (SD Child Death Review)

      • Identify three birthing hospitals in South Dakota willing to become safe sleep certified by May 2024. 

  3. Reduce the percentage of WIC participants aged 2 through 4 with obesity
    1. Reduce the percent of WIC participants aged 2 through 4 with obesity from 15.6% in 2019 to 14.0% by 2025. (SD WIC-IT)

      • Identify barriers to accessing services and retention of WIC participants over the age of 1 through focus groups with parents by May 2024.

    2. Increase consumption of fruits and vegetables among WIC participants from 62% in 2020 to 75% by 2025. (SD WIC-IT)

      • Offer educational incentives at yearly milestones that encourage fruit and vegetable consumption by May 2024.

  4. Reduce the percentage of school-aged children who are obese

    1. Reduce the percent of school-aged children who are obese from 16.4% during the 2018-2019 school year to 14.5% by the 2024-2025 school year. (School Height and Weight Survey) 

      • Promote the Move Your Way campaign with partner organizations and targeted population groups.

      • Increase implementation of Harvest of the Month by offering a funding opportunity to up to ten at-risk community daycares, schools, and after-school programs by May 2024.

  5. Increase vaccination rates
    1. Increase routine childhood vaccination for MMR at 24 months from 94.1% in 2020 to 97% by 2025. (CDC ChildVaxView) 

      • Use Medicaid Well Child Checkup program to identify barriers to childhood immunizations in seven tribal communities by May 2024.

      • Leverage the new immunization information system to develop clinic report cards on vaccination status of children 24 months of age.

    2. Increase influenza vaccination among individuals aged 6 months and older from 54.3% during 2018-2019 flu season to 60% by the 2024-2025 influenza season and among individuals aged 65 and older from 67.1% during the 2018-2019 flu season to 75% by the 2024-2025 influenza season (CDC FluVaxView)

      • Increase influenza vaccination among state employees through outreach, education, and vaccination events during the 2023-2024 influenza season.

Objectives & Activities:

  1. Exercise emergency operation plan
    1. Increase the percent of identified Department of Health staff who have completed ICS 100/200 from 16% (May 2023) to 100% by December 31, 2023. 

      • Utilize TRAIN to provide ICS 100/200 training to identified staff, to include ODP and EPI staff

    2. Ensure the Department of Health is prepared to respond to pandemic influenza by October 2023.

      • Evaluate and report on the Pandemic Influenza tabletop exercise.

    3. Ensure the Department of Health is prepared to respond to an Ebola event by December 2024.

      • Evaluate Ebola exercise and plan. 

    4. Increase number of Department of Health Incident Management Team members who have participated in an emergency operations plan exercise from 0 to 15 by 2024. 

      • Conduct three specific exercises to practice responding to the Emergency Operations Plan with one exercise by June 30, 2024.

      • Identify key individuals to plan the first exercise.

  2. Develop and test statewide emergency capability plans
    1. Increase the number of statewide emergency capability plans (chemical, pediatric, burns, infectious disease, and radiological) completed and tested through exercise from 0 in 2019 to 5 by June 30, 2025.

      • Schedule radiologic exercise.

    2. Establish three key metrics from chemical event exercise by December 31, 2023. 

      • Share results and key metrics from chemical event exercise with Department of Health staff. 

  3. Establish data governance structure for the Department of Health
    1. Optimize Department of Health collective information assets by 2024.

      • Identify membership of IT Data Governance Committee and convene meeting by December 31, 2023.

      • Complete landscape of all the different data sources into a single unified document. 

Objectives & Activities:

  1. Reduce suicide attempts and deaths
    1. Increase the number of contacts from South Dakotans to the Suicide and Crisis Lifeline (988) from 4,185 in 2022 to 9,000 in 2023.

      • Assist with promotion of 988 by utilizing the Department of Health’s social media platforms.

      • Disseminate 988 print materials to post in all Department of Health local offices. 

    2. Reduce the number of counties that exceeded their ten-year average of suicide deaths from 25 in 2022 to 20 in 2023.

      • Disseminate population-specific infographics by December 2023.

      • Utilize Data to Action to develop two success stories to highlight communities taking action around suicide prevention by December 2023.

      • Provide technical assistance to the Department of Health-funded entities providing suicide prevention peer support services, data services, and suicide loss response efforts.

  2. Reduce unintentional or accidental drug overdoses
    1. Reduce the number of counties that exceeded their ten-year average of overdose deaths from 15 in 2022 to 12 in 2023.

      • Partner with the Department of Social Services on utilization of the state opioid settlement funds by providing technical assistance to the three pilot communities selected through the RFP by 2024.

      • Provide training to all Department of Health staff on Naloxone administration by May 2024.

      • Implement the Communities that Care comprehensive prevention model across the currently funded five communities through December 2023. 

    2. Increase the number of Vital Records Case Management records with autopsy results by 25% by 2025.

      • Complete three regional and one online, in-depth coroner trainings per year on Case Management System and death registration. 

  3. Decrease rates of sexually transmitted infections
    1. Increase Department of Health-coordinated syphilis testing opportunities by 20% in 2023. (Baseline: 26 Department of Health-assisted screening events in 2022).

      • Contract with five entities to perform enhanced syphilis screening of at-risk populations by May 2024. 

    2. Expand the use of congenital syphilis campaign materials.

      • Implement the distribution plan for the various print materials and social media posts including key partners and state agencies.
  4. Assess the impact of medical cannabis on the public.
    1. Present the annual report to the Legislature that gauges the impact to public health and mental health by January 2024.

      • Re-evaluate and adjust the report based on recommendations.

      • Develop partnerships based on gaps in data. 

Objectives & Activities:

  1. Develop an internal recruitment plan to attract qualified applicants to Department of Health positions.
    1. Complete the Department of Health Workforce Development Plan by July 2024.

      • Conduct workforce needs assessment.

    2. Develop staffing pipeline by July 2024.

      • Establish partnerships with three post-secondary education institutions to promote public health careers in the Department of Health. 

    3. Increase LinkedIn followers from 500 to 1500 by July 2024.

      • Continue content calendar creation that encourages engagement.

      • Promote Workplace Wellness, Healthcare Revolution Summit, and other workforce-related initiatives. 

    4. Maintain a careers page on Department of Health website to highlight public health career paths by the end of 2023.

      • Integrate posts on social platforms to drive traffic back to careers page.

      • Develop baseline by monitoring analytics of visitors to careers page.

  2. Develop a retention plan to maintain a qualified and diverse Department of Health workforce.
    1. Decrease the number of Department of Health employees that are considering leaving from 26.2% to 20% by 2024. (PHWINS)

      • Review PHWINS results to identify opportunities to increase retention of Department of Health employees.

      • Enhance employee recognition program.

    2. Increase the percent of Department of Health employees that are fully or moderately engaged from 76% in 2019 to 80% by 2025.

      • Promote policies that support work-life balance of Department of Health employees. 

  3. Enhance training opportunities for Department of Health employees.
    1. Increase the percent of Department of Health employees utilizing TRAIN from 27% in 2022 to 100% by 2025.

      • Establish training tracks customized to department programs and/or roles.

      • Utilize TRAIN to provide basic HIPAA training to all Department of Health employees by December 31, 2023.

      • Promote training opportunities available on TRAIN for Department of Health employees through monthly email from Secretary of Health, employee newsletter, and other communications. 

    2. Increase the percent of Department of Health employees completing job-related training to 80% by 2025.

    • Utilize Continuous Performance Communication to identify training opportunities for individual employees to complete during each quarter.

    • Support staff participation in trainings offered by external entities.

    • Support staff participation in leadership development program offered through the Bureau of Human Resources and Administration and others. 

  4. Increase healthcare workforce recruitment and retention in South Dakota.
    1. Develop a pipeline of healthcare workforce by end of 2024.

      • Host an interagency Workforce Summit.

      • Explore development of workforce pipeline website.

    2. Conduct strategic analysis and environmental scan of current recruitment programs and gaps in rural healthcare workforce by end of 2024.

      • Provide periodic updates on status of the analysis and scan.

    3. Increase the number of students attending health career camps across the state by 10% by 2025.

      • Market health career camps across South Dakota

  • ACIP - Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices
  • BRFSS - Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System
  • DOH - Department of Health
  • LIMS - Laboratory Information Management System
  • NCHS - National Center for Health Statistics
  • PDMP - Prescription Drug Monitoring Program
  • SPHL - State Public Health Laboratory
  • YRBS - Youth Risk Behavior Survey