Applications are being sought for a state government program that helps rural medical facilities in South Dakota recruit nurses, pharmacists, physical therapists and other health professionals.
The Rural Healthcare Facility Recruitment Assistance Program was launched in 2012 as part of Gov. Dennis Daugaard's South Dakota Workforce Initiatives (SD WINS). It provides $10,000 incentive payments to eligible health professionals who complete three-year service commitments in communities up to 10,000 people.
"It can be challenging for rural hospitals and clinics to recruit the health professionals they need," the Governor said. "There was a great response to this program in its first year, and we're looking forward to building on that success in more communities this year."
Gov. Daugaard said the program helped place 60 applicants in hospitals, nursing facilities, clinics and home health agencies in 35 towns across South Dakota in the past year. Participating health professionals included nurses, physical therapists, paramedics, pharmacists, dietitians, medical laboratory professionals and radiologic technologists.
The cost of the $10,000 incentive payment is split between the state and the employing facility, with health facilities in smaller communities paying a smaller share. The state covers 75 percent of the total for communities up to 2,500 people and 50 percent for those larger than 2,500 people.
Applications must be submitted by the employing health facility. The application period begins May 1. Application forms and additional information can be found on the state Department of Health website at ruralhealth.sd.gov
Sustaining essential healthcare services in rural and underserved areas is a priority goal of the Health 2020 initiative in the South Dakota Department of Health.