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USD School of Health Sciences Interprofessional Health Education Center Receives SD Department of Health Grant

VERMILLION, S.D. – The School of Health Sciences Interprofessional Health Education Center (IHEC) at the University of South Dakota has been awarded a contract from the South Dakota Department of Health (SD DoH) to work on a major state-wide objective from a recent Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) grant to improve access to, participation in and coverage for the National Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP) for people with prediabetes, particularly in underserved areas.

The SD DoH-sponsored community service program aims to collaborate with payers and relevant public and private sector organizations within the state to expand the availability of the National DPP as a covered benefit for one or more of the following groups: Medicaid beneficiaries, state/public employees and employees of private sector organizations.

The five-year, $170,000 contract allows interprofessional USD students to work collaboratively to perform a comprehensive literature search and environmental scan, assist with policy analysis and development, create health education collateral and design a pilot demonstration project. Three students have been selected by Angela Landeen, public health instructor with the School of Heath Sciences and project officer for the contract: Carmelita Shouldis, health science major, Holly Sidlo, pre-dental hygiene major and Kyle Sorbe, political science major. These students share minors in public health and a passion to address disparities, health access provision and good policy development to strengthen the population’s health.

“The IHEC is excited to work with the South Dakota Department of Health to promote health insurance coverage for people with diabetes to gain access to needed supplies, medications, education and health care to manage their diabetes and live quality lives,” said Sabina Kupershmidt, chair of USD’s IHEC. “IHEC emphasizes student and workforce interactive learning focused on active collaborative and patient-centered practice to improve health care outcomes.”


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