Bob Burns and his son Murray LaHood-Burns, of Earthorizons Inc., install a radon mitigation system in a Rapid City home on March 24, 2023. (Seth Tupper/South Dakota Searchlight)

Living in SD means elevated risk for radon exposure, lung cancer

BY: - April 10, 2023

Donna Wright and her husband moved to the Black Hills in 2005 and built their home atop a mountain ridge overlooking the prairie, Bear Butte and the Black Hills near Sturgis. It was a “dream come true,” until the couple realized they were being exposed to 20 times more radon than the amount deemed safe […]

Iley and Frank Petereit, both 92, pictured in their home in Sioux Falls. (John Hult/South Dakota Searchlight)

Workforce woes, nursing home closures pressure sustainability of long term care

BY: - February 4, 2023

Iley and Frank Petereit bought their burial plots two decades ago. Frank likes to think of himself as a planner, so he has most everything worked out for when they eventually, in his words, “kick the can.” The now 92-year-olds have a gravestone at the site, already etched with everything but the year of their […]

Legislators and guests wait for Gov. Kristi Noem to deliver her budget address on Dec. 6, 2022, in the House chamber at the Capitol in Pierre. (Joshua Haiar/SD Searchlight)

House sends Medicaid work requirement ballot measure to Senate

BY: - January 31, 2023

A resolution that would put Medicaid back on the ballot in 2024 passed the House of Representatives and will head to the Senate. The House passed HJR 5004 with a 60-8 vote. The resolution would ask South Dakota voters to amend the state constitution to let the state impose work requirements on “able-bodied” people eligible […]

South Dakota transgender 16-year-old Elliot Morehead testifies Jan. 31, 2023, at the Capitol in Pierre against a bill to ban some forms of health care for transgender youth. (Joshua Haiar/South Dakota Searchlight)

Ban on youth transgender care passes committee after impassioned debate

BY: - January 31, 2023

PIERRE – A bill that would ban some forms of health care for transgender youth passed its first committee today at the Capitol, sparking a passionate debate among supporters and opponents.  The bill has been met with resistance from LGBTQ advocacy groups, medical professionals and concerned citizens. They argue the bill violates the rights of […]

Fairview Health CEO James Hereford, left, and Sanford Health CEO Bill Gassen testified about the proposed Sanford-Fairview merger at the State Office Building in St. Paul on Jan. 30, 2023. (Michelle Griffith/Minnesota Reformer)

Minnesota lawmaker seeks authority over mergers in response to Sanford-Fairview plan

BY: - January 31, 2023

Minnesota House Democrats on Monday warned a merger between Fairview Health Services and Sanford Health could increase health care costs or lead to hospital and clinic closures. In November, Fairview and Sanford announced their intention to merge into one health care system run by Sanford’s current CEO Bill Gassen. The target date to complete the […]

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Treating health care as a commodity has not driven costs lower

BY: - January 29, 2023

Assuring effective health care to a population is a challenge for every society. As care options become more complex — and expensive — the challenges increase. In the U.S. both the organization and the financing of health care are perennial issues in public discussions, political campaigns and among social policy researchers. Basically there are two […]

Rep. Bethany Soye, R-Sioux Falls, speaks on Jan. 17, 2023, at the Capitol in Pierre about a bill she introduced to ban some forms of health care for transgender youth. (Joshua Haiar/SD Searchlight)

New bill would ban several forms of transgender health care for youth

BY: - January 17, 2023

PIERRE – A group of South Dakota Republicans introduced a bill Tuesday that would prohibit physicians from providing some services to transgender youth. A Democratic legislator and the American Civil Liberties Union of South Dakota immediately condemned the bill, which the ACLU labeled as “discriminatory.” Rep. Bethany Soye, R-Sioux Falls, introduced the “Help Not Harm […]

Advocates, legislators, and pregnant workers rallied in support of the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act on Dec. 1, 2022 in Washington, D.C. The amendment was included in the federal spending bill signed by President Joe Biden at the end of the year. (Photo by Paul Morigi/Getty Images for A Better Balance)

Here’s what you need to know about new workplace protections for pregnant, nursing workers

BY: - January 5, 2023

The $1.7 trillion federal spending bill President Joe Biden signed last week ushers in expanded protections for workers who are pregnant or nursing. Proponents of the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act and the PUMP for Nursing Mothers Act — both included as amendments to the spending bill — say the measures clarify rights for these workers, […]

An employee of the Rapid City Public Library hands out free COVID-19 tests. (Courtesy of Rapid City Public Library)

1 million free COVID tests, one year later: Some used, some not, some nearly thrown out

BY: - January 4, 2023

Mellette County Emergency Manager Karen O’Brien has hundreds of unused, free COVID-19 tests sitting in a box in her office. With COVID-19 still circulating across South Dakota and the country, she’d gladly hand them out to any residents of the rural, south-central South Dakota county who want them. But they expired in November, according to […]

Smoke rises from a controlled burn that escaped and became a wildfire in 2015 at Wind Cave National Park. (Seth Tupper/South Dakota Searchlight)

Climate change is pushing wildfire smoke farther east in South Dakota

BY: - January 3, 2023

South Dakotans like to brag about their clean air, and for the most part, they’re right. But that boast isn’t as true as it once was, especially in the half of the state to the right of the Missouri River on a map – a region known as East River. Five East River cities have […]

Lindee Miller, a nurse at Avera St. Mary’s Hospital in Pierre, turns on the camera attached to a colpo scope, a magnifying device used to closely examine the vagina and cervix. The camera transmits a live view of the exam to the remote sexual assault nurse examiner. (Arielle Zionts/KHN)

Telehealth brings expert sexual assault exams to rural patients

BY: - January 3, 2023

Amanda Shelley was sitting in her dentist’s waiting room when she received a call from the police. A local teenage girl had been sexually assaulted and needed an exam. Shelley, a nurse in rural Eagle County, Colorado, went to her car and called a telehealth company to arrange an appointment with a sexual assault nurse […]

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Nursing home complaints surge 117% higher since 2021

BY: - December 19, 2022

Nursing home complaints are on the rise this year after falling during the early pandemic years of 2020 and 2021. The state Department of Health, which oversees more than 100 long-term care facilities, according to its website, fielded 39 complaints as of Dec. 9. That’s an increase of 117% over 2020 and 2021, when the […]