Sanford School of Medicine Center for Disabilities

Research and Evaluation

The Research core area of the Center for Disabilities supports the research conducted by Center for Disabilities staff and in collaboration with other organizations. In addition, the Research core area encourages student directed research or the completion of a research based project through the Dietetic Internship and the South Dakota LEND Program.

Current Ongoing Research Projects at the Center for Disabilities
  • Boekelheide Neonatal Intensive Care Unit Environmental Research Program
    Dr. Dennis Stevens, the South Dakota LEND Program Director, has devoted significant effort to the Boekelheide Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (located at the Sanford Health/USD Medical Center in Sioux Falls, South Dakota) Environmental Research Program comparing the outcomes of care in the conventional, open-bay neonatal intensive care unit with the new single-family room, environmental controlled Boekelheide Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. Over the past two years, a number of Center for Disabilities and South Dakota LEND Program trainees and faculty members have actively participated in the research.
Current Research Publications by the Staff of the Center for Disabilities
  • Sneve, J., Kattelman, K., Ren, C., & Stevens, D.C. (2008). Implementation of a multidisciplinary team that includes a registered dietitian in a neonatal intensive care unit improved nutrition outcomes. Nutrition in Clinical Practice, 23(6), 630-634.
  • Samra, H.A., Stevens, D.C, Binkley, T., & Specker, B. (2009). Determinates of bone mass and size in 7-year-old former term, late-preterm and preterm boys. Osteoporosis International.
  • Stevens, D.C., Khan, M.A., Munson, D.P., Reid, E.J., Helseth, C.C., & Buggy, J. (2007). The impact of architectural design upon the environmental sound and light exposure of neonates who require intensive care: an evaluation of the Book Neonatal Intensive Care Nursery. Journal of Pediatrics, 27, 520-528.

The Evaluation core area's ultimate outcome is identifying whether people with disabilities in South Dakota have moved toward more independence and self-sufficiency than their current status in these areas. The formative component of the evaluation includes the Center for Disabilities Management Information System and the Quality Assurance and Satisfaction Data. The summative evaluation focuses on the success of improvements in the lives of people with disabilities and effective collaborations.

Current Ongoing Evaluation Project at the Center for Disabilities
  • Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders/Women, Infants and Children (FASD WIC Project)
    The FASD WIC Project implements a screening for all pregnant women at identified WIC sites, brief intervention for those pregnant women who are identified as being at risk, and case management and follow-up processes for those pregnant women who are identified as being at high risk of prenatal alcohol use. This project provides the South Dakota Division of Alcohol and Drug Abuse, within the South Dakota Department of Human Services, with the resources to mobilize and build the capacity of South Dakota to provide a critical service to pregnant women in South Dakota who are at risk of prenatal alcohol use.