Best Practice Briefs

SDFMC’s Best Practice Briefs are 20-minute micro-learning sessions to highlight successful system and policy change. The briefs are short, to the point, and real. Real people and real processes that really work!

Care Connections Series – March/April 2023

While most individuals work to avoid the emergency department others consider it a source of primary health care.  When emergency services are overused, the cost of health care increases across the board. This series will explore strategies for encouraging proper use of emergency departments.

  1. Explore different health care professionals who contribute to proper emergency room utilization.
  2. Describe existing prevention and education programs to improve care coordination.
  3. Highlight best practices for improving health care navigation.

All sessions will be held at 12:00 PM Central, unless otherwise noted.

Exploring Interventions to Improve Emergency Department Utilization

March 21, 2023, at 12:00 PM Central

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.

Mindy Heuer, CST
Jessica Danko MS, RRT, LTC-CIP
Program Manager
South Dakota Foundation for Medical Care

Presentation File:

Video Recording:

Moving Forward with Reversing Drug Overdose

March 28, 2023, at 12:00 PM Central

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
Community Pharmacy Enhanced Services Network (CPESN)

Presentation File:

Video Recording:

Project Recovery at Forefront of MAT Services

April 4, 2023, at 12:00 PM Central

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

Video Recording:

Relieving Health Care Concerns by Creating Connections

April 11, 2023, at 12:00 PM Central

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

Opening Doors to Improved Mental Health

April 18, 2023, at 12:00 PM

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, MBHCA, BSN, RN, LNC (C)
Angelhaus Huron

Video Recording:

Tobacco Cessation/Nicotine Addiction Series – October/November 2022

Everyone knows bad habits are hard to break. Addiction is even more difficult. New vaping products have caused a major setback in the fight against tobacco and nicotine, especially among South Dakota’s youth. This Best Practice Brief series will provide information on programs and innovative solutions for reducing the use of tobacco and vaping products and improving the quality of life for South Dakotans.


  1. Highlight growing trends in use of tobacco and vaping products
  2. Describe programs to support cessation in high-need populations
  3. Encourage integration of cessation support in health care and community settings

All sessions will be held at 12:00 PM Central, unless otherwise noted.

Taking Control of Tobacco in South Dakota

Tuesday, October 18, 2022

Tobacco Control Program focuses on prevention, cessation, and education to reduce the impact of tobacco use. Specialized programs are used to reach South Dakota populations facing a higher proportion of tobacco-related challenges. With Be Free SD as a foundation, community and health care facilities have access to data, resources, and a collection of brands to reduce tobacco/nicotine use and tobacco-related disease.

Sierra Phelps, MS
Tobacco Control Coordinator
South Dakota Department of Health

Call it Quits: SD Quitline Overview

Tuesday, October 25, 2022

Quitting cold turkey doesn’t work for everyone. The SD Quitline provides support and resources to guide individuals on the journey to freedom from tobacco and vaping products: no matter how many times they walk the road.

Kaitlyn Ashley
Tobacco Cessation Coordinator
Black Hills Special Services

Kick Start the Quit at Avera Addiction Care Center

Tuesday, November 1, 2022

Admitting the need for help is the first step toward recovery. Avera Addiction Care Center in Aberdeen focuses on treatment for the whole person to encourage and promote healing and recovery. Use of tobacco and vaping products often go hand-in-hand with alcohol, drugs, and gambling.  Coordinating the delivery of a Kick Start Kit at the time of admission eases the transition to a tobacco free environment and extends the health care team for addiction support.

Jordan Mounga
Avera Addiction Care Center

Vape Video Challenge Promotes Peer Messaging

Tuesday, November 8, 2022

Teenagers experience peer pressure, and it can have significant consequences…some good and some bad.  Engaging high school students in developing messages about the dangers of vaping using a video challenge has created a positive buzz through the hallways and in the community. The South Dakota Foundation for Medical Care is expanding to include the creative talents of students participating in one-act plays to grow the collection of peer-based messages aimed at prevention, cessation, and education around tobacco use.

Mindy Heuer, RN, CST
Program Manager
South Dakota Foundation for Medical Care

Quitting for Two is a Bright Start

Tuesday, November 22, 2022

A first-time pregnancy can be an equally exciting and overwhelming phase of life.  Extra support and medical care is important for the health of every woman and every baby, and use of tobacco products during and after pregnancy can lead to health complications. The SD Quitline collaborates with the For Baby’s Sake program to help provide resources and help pregnant women quit tobacco products during and after pregnancy. In addition, Bright Start allows South Dakota women meeting financial requirements to experience support from a personal nurse during pregnancy and after the baby arrives.

Kaitlyn Ashley
Tobacco Cessation Coordinator, Black Hills Special Services

Shelly Freese, MSN, RN
Coordinator, Bright Start/Nurse Family Partnership – Office of Child and Family Services, South Dakota Department of Health

Refusing to Quit on Watertown Postponed Indefinitely

Tuesday, November 29, 2022

Gone are the days of ash trays and cigarettes in local restaurants and offices. Unfortunately, the fruity smell of nicotine vapors and smashed remains of electronic vaping devices in parking lots have become the alternative. Easy to conceal due to the pleasant smell and clever designs, a growing number of young adults and adolescents are becoming addicted to nicotine. The Northeast Prevention Resource Center is partnering with health care professionals and community members in Watertown, SD, to educate on the dangers of nicotine and promote resources to successfully overcome nicotine addiction.


  1. Highlight community partnerships for reducing nicotine access and exposure.
  2. Describe best practices and ongoing challenges increasing awareness.
  3. Encourage communities to request partnership grant funding.

Kelli Rumpza, CPS
Watertown Community Prevention Specialist
Human Service Agency

Health Disparity Series – May 2022

Imagine bare cupboards, an empty gas tank, and a pile of past due bills. Pile on a chronic physical or mental health condition that requires time off work or expensive medication. Then add a language or cultural barrier. This is a daily reality for some individuals living in rural communities across the Dakotas.  Connecting individuals with community resources can literally be a life saver.  Healthcare and community organizations will share how they are working together to improve quality of life by providing valuable resources and support.

Valuing Diversity at Monument Health – May 24, 2022

Trust is the foundation for every strong personal and professional relationship.  Earning trust begins by seeking to understand. Monument Health offers cultural awareness education programs to provide perspective and promote relationship building among those providing and receiving health care. 

Sandra Ogunremi
Monument Health 

Addressing Health Disparity in the Dakotas – April 26, 2022

Life is complicated and every person faces different challenges. Social, economic, and environmental factors where people live, work, learn, and play have a profound impact on overall health. It is important to acknowledge health disparities because they provide a metric to measure progress toward advancing health equity. Addressing health disparities leads to improved quality of life. Policies, cultural norms and values, and access to resources play a role in shaping health inequities.

Working to Unite HuronMay 3, 2022

Multiple rural communities have become home to refugees with different ethnic backgrounds, cultures, and languages. These complex barriers add to the existing challenges in an already struggling working population. Leaders in Huron, SD, manage the growth and change by coming together. Learn more about the solutions and impact resulting from effective community engagement and collaboration.

Building Opportunities to Provide Health Food Options – May 10, 2022

When money is tight, the trip to the grocery store becomes a scavenger hunt for the cheapest options. Eating well can be a key element for combating chronic disease. Community Health Center of the Black Hills and Feeding South Dakota will explain their efforts toward providing healthy food options for patients in need.

Connecting Community to Health Care – May 17, 2022

Trying to understand an acute or chronic health concern can be confusing. Lacking transportation or money for prescription medication adds to the frustration.  Community health workers serve as guides for connecting individuals with the right resources and support to achieve a positive health outcome.  Focused on patient-centered care, the Community Health Worker Collaborative of South Dakota is working to expand this health professional network to reduce health disparities and improve quality of life.

Crisis Prevention and Management Series – January 2022

Creating connections among community resources and healthcare facilities provides a pathway for individuals to come full circle from a personal crisis to a personal transformation.  Recognizing an individual in need and guiding them to the support services necessary to lift themselves from a desperate situation is a skill every South Dakotan should possess.

This Crisis Prevention and Management Best Practice Briefs series will highlight basic tools for recognizing and assisting an individual in crisis, resources available to reduce the risk of a crisis, and programs and services to reinforce change after a major intervention or treatment program.

Addiction Harm Reduction through Peer CoachingJanuary 4, 2022


Megan Colwell
Director of Community Engagement

Reentry Services to Break the Cycle – January 13, 2022

Lutheran Social Services

Jay Marchand, CSW-PIP
Director of Reentry Services

The Body Keeps the ScoreJanuary 25, 2022

Monument Health Behavioral Health Center

Katherine Sullivan, EdD, RN-BC, QMHP
Behavioral Health Director

Crisis Prevention and Management Series – December 2021

Creating connections among community resources and healthcare facilities provides a pathway for individuals to come full circle from a personal crisis to a personal transformation.  Recognizing an individual in need and guiding them to the support services necessary to lift themselves from a desperate situation is a skill every South Dakotan should possess.

This Crisis Prevention and Management Best Practice Briefs series will highlight basic tools for recognizing and assisting an individual in crisis, resources available to reduce the risk of a crisis, and programs and services to reinforce change after a major intervention or treatment program.

Extending Independent Living through Social Interaction – December 1, 2021

Lutheran Social Services

Amy Feterl
Better Together Coordinator

Providing Hope for Individuals Experiencing Suicidal Desperation – December 8, 2021


Sheri Nelson
Suicide Prevention Director

Navigating a Healthy Path Beyond Human Trafficking – December 15, 2021

Call To Freedom

Michelle Treasure
Associate Director

Behavioral Health Access Series – August 2021

Integrating Behavioral Health in Primary Care Practice – August 2, 2021

Community HealthCare Association of the Dakotas

Robin Landwehr, DBH, LPCC
Behavioral Health Director

Prioritizing the Mental Wellbeing of Youth in the Black Hills – August 12, 2021

Community Health Center of the Black Hills

Kara Roland, RN, BSN
Iris Clinic Nurse

Considering Tribal Culture in the Care Plan – August 26, 2021

South Dakota Urban Indian Health

  • Serene Thin Elk, MA, LPC-MH, LAC, QMHP
  • Theresa Henry, BA, HTMC

Spectra Support on a Case-by-Case Basis – September 2, 2021

Spectra Health

Kayla Hochstetler, LMSW

Chronic Disease Management Series – March 2021

Champions for Diabetes Prevention – March 18, 2021

Madison Regional Health System

  • Laura Hoefert, MD
  • Jordan Eichacker, MS, RDN, LN

Monument’s Epic Chronic Disease Referrals – March 25, 2021

Monument Health

Shelly Roy, DNP, MHA, BSN

Connecting Life Events to Lifestyle Change – April 1, 2021

South Dakota Foundation for Medical Care

Denise Kolba, MS, RN