History of the Association
In 1933, the first group of individuals gathered to promote public health activities in South Dakota. This group was called the State Health Officers Association. In 1939, that group was renamed the South Dakota Public Health Association (SDPHA). They originally came together to provide more coordination between state health services for its citizens. In 1952, SDPHA reorganized and established the following goals:
- To promote interest in public health in SD.
- To develop, extend and coordinate public health activities.
- To aid in developing legislation and in the interest of improved public health.
The association helped to organize South Dakota’s first Welfare, Health, Rehabilitation Conference (WHRC) in 1955. Through the WHRC, the association supported establishing a diagnostic and treatment center for emotionally disturbed children, urged fluoridation of water for dental health and opposed a state law which claimed to deny the poor the right to welfare payments.
In 1969, SDPHA led the way in assisting the WHRC in becoming a more action-oriented group, the South Dakota Human Services Association. More recently, SDPHA has coordinated with the South Dakota Environmental Health Association, the SD Infection Control Conference and the Rural Health Conference.
Over the years, SDPHA has taken positions on many pieces of legislation and has adopted a variety of resolutions at its biennial meetings.
Future of the Association
The future of the South Dakota Public Health Association can be as bright and purposeful as its membership wants it to be. Many of the same challenges are still there, as well as some new ones. With the help of dedicated and passionate members, SDPHA can continue to influence legislation and public policy while providing educational opportunities to its members and promoting activities that improve the health of all South Dakotans.
You can advocate for public health issues and make your voice heard by becoming a member. Complete the Membership Form or go to the Contact Page to fill out the online form. You are also welcome to contact any of our Officers or the Executive Director to get more information or to receive a form.
You can advocate for public health issues and make your voice heard by becoming a member. Complete the online Membership Form. You are also welcome to contact any of our Officers to get more information.
Affiliate Representative to the Governing Council
Shelby Hintze Jepperson