Care Connections Best Practice Brief Series

one women writing on a clipboard while another woman talks with a blurred out face

Improving care connections provides a balance of care services and resources that improves overall health. While most individuals work to avoid the emergency department others consider it a source of primary health care. Neglecting routine and preventive care services increases the risk for health complications or crisis situations.  Overuse of emergency services places a burden on workforce and increases the cost of health care.

The South Dakota Foundation for Medical Care is hosting a five-part Care Connections Best Practice Briefs series to explore strategies for encouraging proper use of health care and increasing awareness of community resources. 

The Partnership to Advance Tribal Health (PATH) established an affinity group focused on addressing emergency department utilization in tribal health facilities across the nation. The group fosters a culture of open dialog to identify strengths, weaknesses, barriers, and challenges. This open communication provides the added benefits of identifying interventions and sharing best practices to improve emergency department utilization.

South Dakota Foundation for Medical Care

Nancy McDonald

Nancy McDonald RN, CPHQ
Director of Quality Improvement

Jess Danko

Jessica Danko MS, RRT, LTC-CIP
Program Manager

Naloxone (Narcan) has the power to reverse the impact of opioid overdose.  Access to this potentially life-saving option is limited across the state even as opioids continue to be routinely prescribed. Pharmacists play a valuable role for education and distribution of this life-saving medication. Josh Ohrtman, PharmD, will highlight the challenges and progress for improved screening, access, and reimbursement for a South Dakota pharmacy.

Joshua Ohrtman PharmD
Clinical Services Pharmacists and Pharmacy Consultant
Medicine Shoppe Pharmacy – Rapid City
South Dakota Foundation for Medical Care (SDFMC)
Community Pharmacy Enhanced Services Network (CPESN)

Medication assisted treatment (MAT) can ease the transition from addiction to recovery. Until recently, health care providers were required to complete a specialized waiver to provide MAT services. Experienced with in-person and telehealth MAT services, Project Recovery will highlight best practices for facilitating the road to recovery from substance use disorder.

Michaela Johnson, PharmD – Director of Pharmacy
Coteau des Prairies Health Care System

Community health workers (CHW) are rising to the top of the list of who to know in South Dakota communities. CHWs help individuals locate community resources and navigate the health care system. Creating connections relieves pressures from individuals and health care professionals.  Brookings Health System will share the benefits of incorporating CHWs for improving health and quality of life.

Alyssa Olson – Community Health Worker/Emergency Medical Technician
Brookings Health System

Many individuals with mental health issues have faced a closed door to services and instead turn to an open bottle. Whether pills or alcohol, their unmet need for mental health services may escalate into substance use disorder. Independent Health Solutions offers an open-door transitional center to help individuals cross the final threshold from treatment to recovery.

Ashley Kingdon-Reese – Owner
Independent Health Solutions