Joan Adam, Secretary of Health
South Dakota Department of Health


125 Years of Health in South Dakota - Milestones

Fellow South Dakotans,

     As we celebrate the 125th year of statehood for South Dakota, it is important to reflect on those individuals who, through the decades, have helped make this a great state. At the Department of Health we are particularly interested in noting those who have played key roles in advancing the health of the citizens of our state. In the coming weeks we will be featuring some of those individuals on this site along with key health-related milestones. Any such listings will inevitably be incomplete but it is our hope that these brief snapshots will introduce South Dakotans to some of the health pioneers whose efforts have helped create the quality of life we enjoy today.

Doneen Hollingsworth

Secretary of Health
February 2014


  • The state saw the first cases of mumps since 1992.

  • The Department of Health implemented a hospital pricing website for consumers, and published a companion report, “Helping South Dakotans Become Informed Health Care Consumers: South Dakota’s Hospital Pricing Report, 2005.”

  • For the second year in a row, the state met the Healthy People 2010 objectives for two or more A1c tests (goal of 65%) and dilated eye exams (goal 76%) for people with diabetes.

  • Administrative rules were passed and the process was initiated to license Massage Therapists for the first time.

  • South Dakota voters passed Initiated Measure 2, increasing the tax on tobacco products and allocating funds to the Department of Health for tobacco prevention and control.

  • Cases of mumps were identified on college campuses as part of a multi-state outbreak and after several years of zero cases, syphilis cases were diagnosed in a homeless population.


  • The Legislature passed a law requiring a second dose of measles/mumps/rubella vaccine prior to students entering public or private post-secondary educational institutions.

  • A new statute offered a human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination initiative, transferred funds, and declared an emergency to fight this common virus which is spread by sexual contact.

  • A statewide mandatory cystic fibrosis screening of infants in hospitals was implemented.

  • The South Dakota Sexual Violence Prevention Planning Committee was created to advise on the development and implementation of a statewide comprehensive primary prevention plan for the state.

  • A colorectal pilot screening program was implemented in six South Dakota Community Health Association of the Dakotas clinics.

  • With the assistance of First Lady Jean Rounds, the Fit from the Start Campaign and initiative was launched targeting parents and caregivers of preschool children with messaging about healthy nutrition and increased physical activity.

  • In cooperation with the Department of Public Safety, the Department of Health  launched the bReady Campaign to encourage South Dakotans to prepare for emergencies in their homes, businesses and towns and cities.

  • A total of 25 new cases of HIV/AIDS cases were reported in South Dakota.


  • The Department of Health was authorized, with input from the Department of Public Safety, to establish a trauma system in the state which included designation of hospitals, transfer protocols and development and maintenance of a trauma registry.

  • A workgroup under the auspices of the Department of Health completed and released, “Creating a Roadmap Toward Health Information Exchange,” a report addressing issues pertinent to the topic.

  • The Statewide Emergency Registry of Volunteers in South Dakota Program was implemented. These volunteers could be called upon in the event of a public health emergency.


  • In cooperation with the Department of Social Services and the Indian Health Service, the Department of Health secured a grant to purchase a mobile medical unit to serve children and pregnant women in rural areas of the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation.

  • The Governor signed an executive order forming the South Dakota eHealth Collaborative to enhance health information technology and exchanges.

  • The statewide Hospital Availability Bed System was implemented allowing real-time bed availability status via a web-based tracking system.

  • In April, a new influenza virus, A/California/2009-H1N1, emerged causing a global pandemic with more than 2,300 reported cases in South Dakota during the 2009-2010 influenza season.



  • The Department received and distributed more than 400,000 doses of H1N1 vaccine at over 600 locations across the state, vaccinating 34.4% of adults in the state which was the highest percentage in the nation.
  • The Legislature passed a law which exempts persons selling certain foods at farmers’ markets from licensure requirements and established other requirements for the sale of those foods.

  • A $6 million federal ARRA (American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009) grant was received to develop a statewide Health Information Exchange (HIE), to give providers and hospitals secure and instant access to a patient’s medical history, prescriptions, and other medical records.


(Emergency medical staff participate in a SIM-SD

training using a patient simulator, 2009.

South Dakota Department of Health photo)

  • The ACA Maternal, Infant and Early Childhood Home Visiting Program provided a $635,000 grant to help assess and assist the expanding of the home visiting program.
  • The Department secured $5,505,725 for three years from The Leona M. and Harry B. Charitable Trust to enhance the Partnership for Emergency Care Program which provides trauma education for rural EMS agencies and rural hospitals. The SIM-SD (Simulation in Motion - South Dakota) project uses mobile training units equipped with patient simulators to bring advanced training to rural areas.