Category: Check this out!

Region VII Learning Series: Strategies to Address Opioid and Prescription Drug Misuse

CR_ATTC_webinar_series(2)HRSA is pleased to announce a 5-part Learning Series brought to you by a collaborative effort with the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and the Central Rockies Addiction Technology Transfer Center Network (ATTC) that will outline Strategies to Address Opioid and Prescription Drug Misuse in the healthcare setting. This Learning Series is offered free of charge to all clinicians serving HRSA programs. Please share this opportunity widely within your program and with colleagues. Continuing Education is being pursued for a variety of health professions, including physicians, nurses, pharmacists, certified health education specialists, certified public health, and other professionals (CME, CNE,CPE, CECH, CPH, CEU).

Click the link below for more information. 

Please take a moment to explore this link:


Rural Experiences for Health Professions Students Finishes its Sixth Year


(Left to Right Seated): Elizabeth Murray, April Lick, Shannon Miller, Emily Young, Haylee Erickson, Rebecca Jarratt, Ashley Reierson, Rebecca Runge, Nathan Wunder, (Second row, standing, left to right) Mariah Taylor, Kristin Fiegen, Tanya Ochsner, Lauren Fanta, Ali Haines, Laura Rezac, Alyssa Kerkaert, Mandy Wilde, Lauren Kuschel, Kiel Grant (Back row, left to right) Joseph Bretschneider, Betsy Price, Nathan Smith, Wade Johnson, Rick Heiman, Nicholas Purcell, Spencer Kurtz, Rebecca Donaldson, and David Boedeker.

Fourteen South Dakota communities welcomed 28 health professions students for four weeks during the summer of 2016. The Rural Experiences for Health Professions Students (REHPS) summer experience is designed to bring health professions graduates back to rural South Dakota for rewarding careers. Communities selected to participate in the REHPS summer experience must have populations under 10,000 people and house a critical access hospital.

The 2016 REHPS communities were: Bowdle, Chamberlain, Custer, Faulkton, Hot Springs, Miller, Parkston, Philip, Platte, Redfield, Sisseton, Sturgis, Wagner, and Winner. In its sixth year, REHPS is designed to not only expose students to the world of rural healthcare, but it also brings two students from different disciplines together for an interprofessional experience. The students were selected through a competitive process. Students were enrolled in one of the following programs at SDSU and USD: clinical psychology, family nurse practitioner, medical, medical laboratory science, physician assistant, pharmacy, and social work.

One of the 2016 REHPS students was Rebecca Runge, a medical student from the Sanford School of Medicine at USD, who is experienced rural healthcare at Avera Hand County Memorial Hospital in Miller, just 12 miles from her home of Wessington.

After her first week, Runge commented: “I wake up each morning excited to start my day and fall asleep each evening imagining what coming back to practice here would be like.”

Students are inspired by the experience, due in large part to the host communities, and their professionals’ mentoring skills. Rebecca Donaldson, a master of social work student from USD, wrote about her experience in Faulkton.

“The REHPS program gave me the opportunity to not only work with various individuals from different disciplines, but I was able to see how the social work profession can play a crucial role in the health profession. I experienced the rural community first hand and have a grasp on the importance of rural health care. I hope to apply the knowledge and experiences I gained to my future profession as a social worker,” Donaldson wrote.

REHPS receives funding from the Office of Rural Health/South Dakota Department of Health and is managed by the Yankton Rural Area Health Education Center. Follow the student’s experiences at

2016 Healthcare Video Contest Winners


Three teams of South Dakota high school students shared cash prizes of $2,000 with their schools by using creativity in telling the story of the state’s healthcare workforce shortage through 26-second videos. Their videos are posted online in an effort to educate their peers about the state’s workforce needs and the possibilities available with healthcare careers.

The contest was sponsored by the SD Association of Health Care Organizations, the SD Healthcare Workforce Center, Midco and Yankton Rural AHEC. The contest aims to bring a greater awareness to high school students, their peers and others about the demand for healthcare workers in the state.

Baylor DeVries, a Harrisburg High School senior took top prize with her video entitled “Save a Life.” DeVries composed the video as part of an EMT course and worked with her HOSA advisor Angela Wachal. Both the Harrisburg High School and DeVries took home a $500 prize for a total $1,000 package. HOSA – Future Health Professionals is a student organization with chapters nationwide providing educational activities encompassing health care careers and topics.

The winning video along with the runner-ups are posted online here.

Two entries took runner-up prizes of $500 each to be split with their schools. Shelby Price, a senior at Langford Area High School, took runner-up with her video: “Make a Difference.” Project instructor was Harlan Heitz, anatomy instructor and guidance counselor. Also taking runner-up honors were: senior, Jesse Mikrut; sophomore, Matthew Larsen and sophomore, James Cutshaw – students at Wolsey-Wessington High School. Their video “Fill the Need – Be an EMT” was a project of Multi-Media Design class instructed by Caroline McGillvrey.


SMART goals for 2016

bigstock-Sport-Couple-Of-Athletes-Succe-50307215Many of us who decided to set wellness or exercise goals for 2016 likely have already identified those goals. Perhaps now is a good time to step back and consider whether those goals are realistic. With a quick Google search, the idea of SMART goal setting popped up at multiple sites.

We’ll just touch on the highlights. We encourage you to look at it more closely. It’s a good system for a variety of goal setting tasks at work and in your personal life.

Developing SMART goals entails: being Specific, setting Measurable goals, creating Attainable goals (others cite Assignable goals – specifying who will do it), selecting Relevant goals for you (or your team) (others use “realistic”), and ensuring goals are Time-related – that there’s a time-frame when your goal can be achieved.

The idea of SMART goals is commonly attributed to George T. Doran, a consultant and corporate planner, who published an article in 1981 outlining the concept. Fifty years ago, Peter Drucker also became known in the corporate goal setting world with management by objectives principles.

Whether it’s for business or health, there are some common objectives for setting goals. Saying you want to be healthier in 2016 or you want to exercise more in 2016, may not be specific enough, or measurable. Perhaps try setting smaller goals that set you on the path to those two general milestones. Maybe you are consistently getting 3,500 steps daily. Set a goal for more steps, achieve it, and you are on your way.

You might also think about SMART goals for career planning, etc.

Take a look at this wikiHow for more ideas on goal setting.


High School Students: Thinking about entering the Video Contest?

Don’t forget time is ticking on the 2016 Healthcare Video Contest. Entries are due Feb. 17, 2016.

We found an interesting resource from Understand Media. We realize students entering the healthcare video contest do not have media budgets or expensive equipment; but this article might give you some ideas of what public service announcements are all about.

One thing to keep in mind, as Understand Media mentions is the importance of selecting your approach. Who is the target market and what is your purpose? The Healthcare Video Contest focuses on creating awareness about healthcare workforce needs, in particular with this year’s contest – the need for Certified Nursing Assistants and EMTs/Paramedics.

Who are the people that may be thinking about careers right now? For one, people just like you – who are in high school and thinking about their future careers. There could be others, too, who have already been in the workforce but are thinking about a different career.

Another tip for developing PSAs: Grab your listener’s attention.

Understand Media also mentions ideas about how to use language. How might you go about creating a connection between the announcer and the listener?

Remember you only have 26 seconds. Understand Media suggests narrowing the message’s focus. Some of the most recognized PSAs are very simple, remember the frying pan and the egg? As the Center for Digital Education points out, that PSA consisted of only 15 words: “This is your brain. This is drugs. This is your brain on drugs? Any questions?”

The Center for Digital Education has an itemized list to get started on creating a PSA.

We look forward to viewing your entries. Don’t hesitate to contact Yankton Rural AHEC with any questions.

Here’s a link to video contest information.


2016 Healthcare Video Contest Underway!

WaytogoCNA$2,000 in cash prizes to be awarded in the 2016 South Dakota Healthcare Video Contest

YANKTON, S.D. – A short message promoting healthcare careers could earn a creative high school team a $1,000 prize to be split with their school. Two runners-up will each split $500 with their schools, for a total of $2,000 in cash prizes to be awarded in the 2016 Healthcare Video contest.

South Dakota students, grades 9 through 12, are encouraged to create a 26-second video promoting the healthcare careers of Certified Nursing Assistants and/or Emergency Medical Technicians/Paramedics.

Three paramedics stand outside an ambulance and emergency room.South Dakota’s healthcare industry is projected to be among the largest growth industries from 2012-2022. The industry is expected to add 7,305 workers to South Dakota’s economy, which is a 13.8% growth almost double the 7% growth projected for all industries. The 65 and older population will increase by 95% between 2015 and 2035.

Videos will be judged on four criteria: educational value, entertainment value, originality and content. Videos are to be 26 seconds with no more than five participants per team.

The contest is sponsored by the SD Association of Healthcare Organizations, the SD Healthcare Workforce Center, Yankton Rural Area Health Education Center (YRAHEC) and Midcontinent Communications. The winning video may appear on regional television as a public service announcement, which will be determined by the sponsors based on entries received.

The contest aims to bring a greater awareness to high school students, their peers and others about the demand for healthcare workers in the state.

Contact your high school counselor or Yankton Rural AHEC for more information. Visit for contest details, forms and rules. Telephone YRAHEC at 605-655-1400. Entry deadline to YRAHEC is Feb. 17, 2016.


Scrubs Camp – Yankton Oct. 6, 2015

Yankton Rural AHEC hosted a Scrubs Camp on October 6th in the Avera Sacred Heart Professional Office Pavilion. High school students from 11 area schools attended the day designed to bring hands on activities in healthcare career exploration. The camp increases awareness, interest and understanding of the healthcare career opportunities in South Dakota. Avera Sacred Heart President/CEO Doug Ekeren welcomed the students and encouraged them to be involved in the healthcare field in any way they could, from volunteering and shadowing to becoming a CNA before attending college.

The students had a busy day with presentations on different careers including: Dietitian, EMT and Paramedics, Behavioral Health, Radiologic Tech, SDMyLife, Family Nurse Practitioner, Pediatrician, and LPN/CNA. Exhibitors included USD, WIT, SDSU, MMC, Augustana, MTI, SD Human Services Center, Avera Senior Services and Yankton Rural AHEC. Thank you to our regional exhibitors and speakers from Yankton County EMS, Avera Sacred Heart School of Radiologic Technology, Hy-Vee, SD Human Services Center, SDMyLife, SDSU, Yankton Medical Clinic, and Allied Health for making Scrubs Camp such a success!

The video will give you a glimpse at the activity-filled day.

Contact Corryn Celmer, Yankton Rural AHEC program specialist, with questions or comments regarding Scrubs Camp.

Yankton Rural AHEC: 605-655-1400 or email

YRAHEC Director Williams Receives Award


Williams, left, and Celmer back at the office in Yankton after the mentoring award presentation in Vermillion May 13. The outstanding mentorship award recognized Williams for making a difference.

YRAHEC Director Sandy Viau-Williams receives mentoring award from the University of South Dakota

At the University of South Dakota Department of Health Sciences Spring 2015 Advisory Board Meeting, June Larson, Associate Dean, recognized Yankton Rural AHEC Executive Director Sandy Williams for her contribution in mentoring a recent alum. Larson described for attendees how, through Williams’ mentorship, USD Health Sciences Alum Corryn Celmer became a valued member of the Yankton Rural AHEC team, recently being appointed as one of ten Regional Coordinators on a 5-year project through the National AHEC Organization in partnership with the Center for Disease Control. This project provides continuing education to healthcare professionals on the necessity to vaccinate 11 and 12 year old girls and boys to guard against the human papillomavirus (HPV).

Congratulations to Corryn for being named as one of 10 HPV regional coordinators around the United States. She will coordinate activities within the CDC’s National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion Region H, which includes Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wyoming, Utah and Colorado. Look for more information on this project very soon.

Exhibitors invited to Improving Combat Veterans Care Conference

photoOrganizations are invited to provide an exhibit at the Improving Combat Veterans Care – Supporting Families Conference in Aberdeen, April 23 or Yankton, April 24. Provide attendees with information about how your organization works with veterans/service members and families, including secondary training and referral resources.

See the registration form for details below. The conference is sponsored by Yankton Rural AHEC, Northeast AHEC, Northern Nebraska AHEC and VA Health Care.

Exhibitor Information & Registration Form

Nation’s Highest Ranking Nurse Visits South Dakota Wednesday

Dr. Mary Wakefield, administrator of the Health Resources and Services Administration since 2009, visited Sioux Falls Wednesday.

Falls Community Health is now nationally recognized as a Level 3 Patient-Centered Medical Home. The recognition was presented with the help of Wakefield. See the link to the KDLT story below.

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Dr. Wakefield also visited Avera’s eCare to examine what the program is doing right and how it can change medicine across the nation. South Dakota although rural, has been a leader of innovation in telemedicine. See the link to the Keloland story below.

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