Advance Care Planning

Our goal is to implement an initiative to educate South Dakota’s citizens and their health care providers about the importance of Advance Care Planning (ACP). ACP is a deliberate, thoughtful process that enables medical decision-making in the event that a person is incapacitated. Funded by the South Dakota Community Foundation, the USD nursing department has assembled a multi-institutional team that includes representatives from the state’s major health care systems and many professional specialties to test an educational initiative that is acceptable, feasible and effective in South Dakota. We expect that in response to this intervention, public awareness will increase, more South Dakotans will have a conversation about their health care wishes, more ACDs will be completed and, ultimately, patient satisfaction will improve. Moreover, a large portion of health care dollars are spent within the last few months of life and much is spent on care that is not wanted by the patient. In the long run, implementing ACP may decrease the length of hospital stays and increase hospice admissions to reduce the cost, while increasing the quality of care.

Distance Learning and Telemedicine

The goal of this project is to enable and incentivize students to rural practice with telemedicine. Funding by a three-year United States Department of Agriculture Distance Learning and Telemedicine grant, this project expands telemedicine in South Dakota to 24 rural sites, thereby establishing a distance learning network in sparsely populated areas. This will emphasize and encourage nursing and medical students to pursue a career in rural health settings, especially in clinics.

Rural Health and Chronic Disease

During this project, we will conduct a community health needs assessment and implement a rational planning process within the Vermillion community. Funded by the South Dakota Good and Healthy Community Grant, this project is aimed at assessing the community in regards to chronic disease control and prevention with focus on needs and gaps in services for nutrition, physical activity, tobacco use/exposure, chronic disease management and school health.

Safe Sleep for Childcare Providers

The purpose of this project is to promote awareness and implementation of safe sleep practices to reduce infant mortality in South Dakota. Funded by the South Dakota Community Foundation, this project carried out a recommendation from the governor’s Task Force on Infant Mortality to promote awareness and implementation of "safe Sleep practices to reduce the high infant mortality rate in the state. The project provided nursing faculty and students with a meaningful opportunity to influence population health and demonstrate how nurses can use evidence-based practice to impact the health outcomes in their community.

Simulation and Technology

The goal of this project is to integrate advanced technology into instruction to enhance student learning. Funding through the Center for Teaching and Learning Mobile Computer Initiative at USD enables nursing faculty to implement and evaluate the use of an iPad in nursing simulation. The purpose of the grant is to support the statewide implementation of a translational, quality improvement project to reduce loss-to-follow-up in full- and preterm infants who did not pass their initial hearing screen. In collaboration with the Department of Health, this two-year Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) grant is aimed at meeting the National Early Hearing Detection and Intervention (EHDI) 1-3-6 goal of newborn hearing screening. This means a screening are performed on newborns prior to hospital discharge or no later than one month of age, an audiologic assessment is done by three months of age on newborns who did not pass their screening, and intervention services for those diagnosed with hearing loss are provided by 6 months of age.  

Reducing Loss to Follow-up after Failure to Pass Newborn Hearing Screening

The purpose of this grant is so support the statewide implementation of a translational, quality improvement project to reduce loss-to-follow-up in full and preterm infants who did not pass their initial hearing screen. In collaboration with the SD Department of Health, this two-year HRSA grant is aimed at meeting the EHDI 1-3-6 goal of newborn hearing screening. This means newborns are screened prior to hospital discharge or no later than one month of age, an audiologic assessment for newborns who did not pass their screening is done by three months of age and intervention services for those diagnosed with hearing loss are provided by six months of age.

Cardiac Care Data Management

The purpose of this project is to utilize robust data sets to inform evidence-based practice, quality improvement efforts, and research needs of the Emergency Medical Services in regards to out-of-hospital cardiac arrest and implementation of the LUCAS device in South Dakota.  Funded by the Office of Rural Health and Office of Emergency Medical Services, this grant spans a two-year period.