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USD School of Medicine Co-Sponsors Rural Health Equity Summit Scheduled for September 2020

A scene of rural South Dakota prairie. The sky is blue with few clouds and the grassland is green with hints of brown. The USD Sanford School of Medicine's South Dakota Area Health Education Center (AHEC) co-sponsors the Rural Health Equity Summit scheduled for Sept. 10, 2020.

VERMILLION, S.D. – To address ongoing health care issues and inequities facing rural South Dakotans, a statewide summit has been scheduled for Sept.10, 2020 at the Arrowwood Cedar Shore Resort and Conference Center in Oacoma, South Dakota.

Topics will include telehealth in rural South Dakota, rural health care workforce recruitment and retention, South Dakota's obstetrical deserts and challenges for rural critical-access hospitals.

The daylong meeting will be divided into two parts. The morning session will consist of expert panels and speakers, and the afternoon session will feature a moderated group discussion and the identification of specific ideas to improve rural health care delivery.

One of the morning speakers, Dr. John Cullen, current board chair of the American Academy of Family Physicians from Valdez, Alaska, will address obstetrical deserts in rural America. The conclusion of the summit will result in a roadmap of positive interventions and possible policy changes addressing South Dakota’s health inequities.

Prospective participants can learn more and also register for the summit by visiting

Partners sponsoring the gathering are the South Dakota Academy of Family Physicians and the South Dakota Area Health Education Center (AHEC), a program managed by the University of South Dakota Sanford School of Medicine.


USD's Sanford School of Medicine is nationally known for excellence. With its award-winning curriculum, the school prepares medical students to practice in all fields of medicine and is particularly recognized and ranked for its reputation in family medicine and rural medicine. In addition to the M.D., it offers graduate degrees in basic biomedical science, sustains a vibrant and forward-looking research agenda, and is home to the interdisciplinary Center for Brain and Behavioral Research.


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