South Dakota | 50 states of population health

DAVID FLICEK. President and CEO of Avera McKennan Hospital & University Health Center and Chief Administrative Officer of Avera Medical Group (Sioux Falls, S.D.)

On the top challenge

"Avera is proud to be the largest employer in the state of South Dakota. That being said, workforce is one of the most pressing concerns when it comes to caring for our patients. Having adequate staffing in place to care for the countless patients that choose us for their care can be a challenge at times when considering an exceptionally low unemployment rate in our region."

On the hospital's response  

"With our mission as our guide, our health ministry is consistently thinking ahead and planning for our patients. We are an integrated delivery model, so discharge planning or even home care needs are often addressed at the clinic visit. Innovation is an integral part of addressing our workforce woes.

Rural health is a significant part of our ministry — and with the number of square miles in our service area, that comes with some complexities as well. That is why we have developed an incredibly robust telemedicine network that not only helps us reach the most rural of areas in South Dakota, but also provides services in 16 states. Establishing or maintaining a specialized or skilled workforce in these rural areas is not always an option, so the use of telemedicine helps to address those staffing challenges."

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