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South Dakota’s Underserved Benefit from New Healthcare Model

September 13, 2007

Sioux Falls, SD - A new model for helping South Dakota's underserved citizens emerged recently when the Falls Community Health Center in Sioux Falls moved into shared space with the city's Multi-Cultural Center and Minnehaha County Human Services offices. Jill Franken, with the Sioux Falls Health Department, says it was a smart move that's bringing together multiple services in one location for the culturally diverse and underserved populations.

"They go to the county for something, and can just walk across the hall and easily access other services versus having to arrange for a separate appointment. It's become a centralized place where people can get help."

Franken says it is a positive move that is bringing in new partners, including the University of South Dakota School of Hygiene, to improve the health of South Dakota citizens.

"It allows hygiene students who want to stay in South Dakota the opportunity to get their full complement of clinical experience in the state; and the students work with our underserved populations and develop an appreciation for their needs."

She hopes other areas of the state will consider similar space-sharing arrangements, because the success of the Sioux Falls model has been its creative approach at getting services to those most in need.

David Law/Eric Mack, Public News Service - SD