Posted on Mar 23, 2017
South Dakota’s opioid drug epidemic, effectiveness of immunizations, impact of smoking, latest data on infant mortality and the pending overhaul of federal policy on health care and on medical insurance was discussed by the state’s health secretary when she spoke at the Rotary Club of Downtown Sioux Falls on Monday, March 20. “This is an exciting time for health care policy in our state and country,” said Secretary of Health Kim Malsam-Rysdon. “There are many ideas to improve state and federal programs, and it will be key that any changes lead to better health outcomes for people in South Dakota.” In addition to being a senior advisor to Gov. Dennis Daugaard, Malsam-Rysdon chairs the Governor’s Primary Care Oversight Committee, focused on improving access to quality primary care across the state.
Program Highlights:
  • Malsam-Rysdon oversees 450 employees across SD.
  • She commands a $94.6 million-dollar budget, and has 20 years in government.
  • The mission of the South Dakota Department of Health (DOH) is:  To promote, protect, and improve the health of every South Dakotan.
  • There are 5 areas to the DOH dashboard:  Access to preventative care; Infant mortality; Smoking; Childhood immunization; Suicide.  These are of special concern among South Dakota's Native American population.
  • Prescription abuse/use of opioids is being tracked by the DOH.  In 2015, SD was the 3rd lowest in the Nation -- 22 deaths were attributed to the abuse.
  • In 1963, the last case of polio was reported in SD.  In 2017, three cases have been reported worldwide. 
Next Week’s Program:
Mike Headley, Executive Director, SD Science & Technology Authority/Lab Director of Sanford Underground Research Facility—Big Science at Sanford Lab