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South Dakota and USD Identified as National Leaders in Interprofessional Health Care

MINNEAPOLIS — South Dakota joins Arizona as the leading states attempting to blend interprofessional practice into health care across an entire state, the Minneapolis-based National Center for Interprofessional Practice and Education said in announcing that the University of South Dakota and its School of Health Sciences will lead the statewide effort.

Interprofessional health care is widely acknowledged as the next major advance in the improvement of health care delivery. It occurs when multiple health workers from different professional backgrounds blend their expertise to provide comprehensive health services to patients, families and communities.   

USD joins universities and health care institutions in 10 states already testing new models and methods of integrating and advancing interprofessional health care practice and education. Each of the 17 projects in the growing Nexus Innovations Network focuses on real-world testing of interprofessional strategies with the potential to improve the experience, outcomes and costs of health care.

In joining the network, USD will serve as the leadership hub for interprofessional research and health care throughout South Dakota. Partners from South Dakota State University, Dakota State University, Augustana University, Avera Health and Sanford Health will collaborate with USD on research projects and data collection through the South Dakota Interprofessional Practice & Education Collaborative (SD-IPEC).

“South Dakota provides us a unique opportunity to see the potential of a unified, statewide collaborative of higher education and health system partners working towards the shared goal of improved population health,” said Barbara F. Brandt, Ph.D., director, National Center for Interprofessional Practice and Education. 

Under the leadership of Carla Dieter, Ed.D., RN, professor and chair of nursing in USD’s Department of Nursing, the SD-IPEC will focus on collaborative education and practice partnerships to develop projects that will benefit healthcare in South Dakota and elsewhere. “By working with the national center, South Dakota can tap into resources that will propel our work forward. We will contribute not only to our own state moving forward, but to the national effort, as well," she said.


USD’s School of Health Sciences is a national leader in interprofessional health sciences education. South Dakota’s comprehensive School of Health Sciences develops scholars, practitioners and leaders in health and human services, including addiction counselors, dental hygienists, health science practitioners, medical laboratory scientists, nurses, occupational therapists, physical therapists, physician assistants, public health practitioners and social workers.


Founded in 1862 and the first university in the Dakotas, the University of South Dakota is the only public liberal arts university in the state, with 202 undergraduate and 84 graduate programs in the College of Arts & Sciences, School of Education, Knudson School of Law, Sanford School of Medicine, School of Health Sciences, Beacom School of Business and College of Fine Arts. With an enrollment of nearly 10,000 students and more than 400 faculty, USD has a 16:1 student/faculty ratio, and it ranks among the best in academics and affordability. USD’s 18 athletic programs compete at the NCAA Division I level.


Hanna DeLange
USD News