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Public Health ACTion Campaign South Dakota

Shelby Hintze Jepperson  | Published on 2/20/2018
Join APHA members, Affiliates and other advocates in educating members of Congress on important public health issues that help build and maintain healthy communities. Reach out to your congressional leaders to express support for protecting critical funding for public health agencies and the Prevention and Public Health Fund, addressing the health impacts of climate change and protecting the Affordable Care Act. When we all raise our voices together, our leaders in Congress are more likely to listen! 

Public Health ACTion Campaign South Dakota

Public health funding: Strong investments in public health allow a state to carry out programs that improve

health. South Dakota receives $33.98 per person in funding from CDC (4th in the nation) and $35.34 per person

from HRSA (13th in the nation). The Prevention and Public Health Fund has awarded over $16 million in grants

to South Dakota since 2010 for community and clinical prevention efforts and improvements to public health


Access to care: 10.2 percent of people in South Dakota do not have health insurance coverage, which is above

the national uninsured rate of 9.4 percent. The number of practicing primary care physicians is also an important

measure of health care availability. South Dakota has 120.2 active primary care physicians per 100,000 people.

Nationally, there are 145.3 practicing primary care physicians per 100,000 people.

Notable health measures

• Drug deaths: While drug deaths have increased 8 percent from 6.1 to 6.6 deaths per 100,000 people in the

past two years, the state boasts the 2nd lowest drug death rate in the nation.

• Air pollution: The state is ranked 5th lowest with an estimated 6.3 micrograms of fine particles per

cubic meter. Reduced exposure to air pollution is important to public health as poor air quality leads to

reduced lung function, increased risk of asthma complications, heart attacks, heart failure and death,

and impacts a large number of people, particularly impacting young children and older adults.

The challenges ahead

• Occupational fatalities: The state has the 6th highest rate of occupational fatalities with 7 deaths per

100,000 workers.

• Infectious diseases: South Dakota has the 9th highest rate of infectious diseases in the nation measured

by incidence rates of chlamydia, pertussis and Salmonella.

• Violent crime: In the past 10 years, violent crime increased 114 percent from 179 to 383 offenses per

100,000 people. Violent crimes may cause injuries, disability and early death. Additionally, violent

crimes may cause long-term stress for families and communities, and interfere with leading a healthy

lifestyle. However, violent crime can be prevented. Numerous programs and practices have shown that

by addressing root causes it is possible to prevent violence.