3RNet Blog

Thanks for visiting the 3RNet blog! Blog posts are written by members, staff, and partners. If you have an idea for a blog post, or are interested in writing one, please contact Kristine Morin, Director of Communications and Marketing, at Morin@3RNet.org.

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Our members know their states! Learn what scenic South Dakota has to offer from our member, Jill.

Name:  Jill Dean, South Dakota Office of Rural Health 

City, State:  Pierre, South Dakota

Organization: South Dakota Office of Rural Health

How long have you lived in South Dakota? Why do you choose to live there?

South Dakotans choose to live in our great state because of the friendly people, clean air and water, and the wide-open spaces.

How is 3RNet impacting South Dakota?

The Office of Rural Health administers 3RNet to help rural healthcare facilities post job opportunities and to assist healthcare providers who are looking for job opportunities in rural areas. This service is provided free for both healthcare facilities and providers.

What are the best cultural events that happen in South Dakota?

South Dakota’s culture reflects the state’s American Indian, rural, western and European roots. There are nine Native American tribes in South Dakota and each of them has a unique story to tell. Every year, the Native American tribes hold powwows which are social events with singing and dancing that can last several days. 

Why should a health professional choose South Dakota over surrounding states?

Although all the midwestern states are friendly, South Dakota is a great place to live, work and raise a family with a low cost of living, and abundant outdoor recreational activities.

What loan repayment programs does South Dakota have? Anything that makes those programs unique?

The South Dakota Office of Rural Health administers two different incentive programs to help rural healthcare facilities with their recruitment efforts. The Recruitment Assistance Program (RAP) offers an incentive payment for healthcare professionals who agree to a 3-year full-time work commitment at a rural healthcare facility in our state. The RAP incentive is currently $231,384 for physicians and dentists, and $66,819 for physician assistants, nurse practitioners and nurse midwives.  South Dakota also administers the Rural Healthcare Facility Recruitment Assistance Program (RHFRAP) which offers a $10,000 incentive for a 3-year full-time work commitment at a rural healthcare facility. This program is available for nurses, OT, PT, paramedics, pharmacists, medical lab technologists, dietitians, respiratory therapists, radiologic technologists, speech therapists, and healthcare social workers. 

How is the J-1 Visa Waiver program utilized in South Dakota?

South Dakota is committed to assuring that all South Dakotans have access to quality and affordable healthcare. The J-1 Visa Waiver Program helps rural communities recruit foreign or international medical graduate physicians. Applications must be submitted by the employing facility and the employing facility must be in or serving residents of a shortage area as determined by the South Dakota Department of Health and designated by the federal government.

Are healthcare professionals valued in South Dakota?

All healthcare professionals in South Dakota are extremely valuable, particularly in the rural areas. The travel time and distance to more urban areas are what makes the local healthcare professionals so valuable. With telemedicine, rural healthcare facilities across the state have easy access to specialists from our urban areas. 

Why do people travel to South Dakota?

Most people travel to South Dakota to visit Mount Rushmore, Crazy Horse Monument, and the beautiful Badlands. Many people also come to South Dakota for the abundant fishing and hunting opportunities that are available throughout the state.

What sports teams does South Dakota have?

South Dakota has two Division 1 college athletic programs at South Dakota State University and the University of South Dakota, along with numerous Division 2 and NAIA college and university athletic programs throughout the state.  Our state also has a minor league baseball team - the Sioux Falls Canaries, an amateur junior league hockey team - the Sioux Falls Stampede, and a professional minor league hockey team - the Rapid City Rush. 

What is your favorite local food?

The favorite local foods across the state are beef, walleye, pheasant, and fry bread.  Our state dessert is kuchen, a cake and pie combination topped with creamy custard. 

What is South Dakota best known for?

South Dakota is best known for Mount Rushmore, a national monument with the presidential faces of Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln and Theodore Roosevelt carved into the granite hillside. South Dakota is also known for the Black Hills which are covered with evergreen trees and are the highest mountains east of the Rockies.

Laura Ingalls Wilder is one of South Dakota’s best-known writers and wrote about her life growing up on a homestead near DeSmet, South Dakota as the basis for five of her novels. 

What is the biggest misconception about South Dakota?

Due to our geographic location, people may think that South Dakota is behind in technology. However, that is truly not the case as many South Dakota communities are some of the most technologically advanced communities in the country. Our universities are nationally recognized as leaders in their respective fields with Dakota State University in Madison being a leader in cybersecurity and South Dakota State in Brookings being a leader in precision agriculture.

What are the biggest industries in South Dakota?

In addition to the cattle and agricultural crops grown in South Dakota, we also have abundant hunting and fishing available across the state.

How is the weather/climate in South Dakota?

Because of the considerable size of South Dakota which is 380 miles long and 210 miles wide, there are several geographic areas with different weather patterns. Our state enjoys four distinct seasons of weather with warm springs, hot summers, mild fall weather with vibrant colors, and cold winters with snow for ski enthusiasts.

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