Get to know a public health student – Shelby Hintze Jepperson

Tell us a little bit about yourself. I am from Sioux Falls SD, I graduated high school from Lincoln High School. I graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Biology from the University of Sioux Falls. While in obtaining my undergraduate degree and in the years after, I also took undergraduate and graduate courses in psychology, due to my interest in mental health.

How did you get interested in public health? With an interest in the medical field, mental health, and human subjects research, I found public health to be a way to have a potential impact on all three. Also, having worked in a variety of medical and human subject research jobs over the past ten years I have seen how SD can improve the well-being of its citizens.

Where are you going to school? I currently attend the University of New England in Maine in the Master of Public Health program. I plan to complete the program mid-2015.

How did you choose your school? Having moved across the country before with the intent to obtain a graduate degree, I knew that option would not be available now that I was established in SD. I started with a spreadsheet of all the public health programs I could find in the United States incorporating accreditation, cost, and amount of time required on site. I found UNE to be CEPH accredited, on the lower spectrum for cost, and entirely online, so a good fit for my current lifestyle.

How are you experiencing distance education? It is going very smoothly! I would prefer having classmates in person, but technology does wonders allowing for video conferencing and networking.

What are some challenges to being a public health student in SD?

UNE’s MPH program has a great mix of people from the rural state of Maine and the metro area of Boston, but many do not understand the issues the Midwest faces.

Is there anything else that you’d like us to know?

Working in a small population, low density state can be very challenging for any field, especially public health, but I can envision many plausible solutions if only public health awareness and cooperation are enhanced!

SDSU & USD collaborate for MPH program

SDSU and USD have requested approval of a Master of Public Health (MPH) degree program from the South Dakota Board of Regents. The universities will collaborate to deliver the curriculum that is designed to educate students in the core competencies of public health practice and prepare them with the knowledge and skills necessary to assume a variety of positions.  Distance delivery (online, DDN, etc.) will be used for most of the program using lecture formats and asynchronous presentations.  Those interested in learning more about the MPH program can contact the Graduate School at SDSU or the School of Health Sciences at USD.  The current goal is to begin offering program courses this Fall 2014.

South Dakota “One Health” Meeting on antibiotic resistance – February 19, 2014, 9 AM, SDSU Student Union

Topic: “Preserving the Usefulness of Antibiotics:

Efforts in Animal and Human Medicine in South Dakota”

This will be the 5th meeting in a series that has brought together state agencies and interested stakeholders to discuss health and disease issues shared between humans and animals in South Dakota.  Oftentimes, agencies that work primarily with agriculture or wildlife do not get a chance to sit down with their counterparts in human and public health to talk over common issues in an informal setting.

This meeting will look at the topic of antimicrobial resistance in human and animal populations in South Dakota, with an emphasis on what efforts are underway to preserve the effectiveness of these medications.  To help the conversation along, we have arranged a great lineup of speakers.

Antimicrobial resistance is an important issue for those tasked with keeping people healthy as well as those whose focus is animal health.  It is an extremely complex and fascinating topic, one that we will not solve in an afternoon meeting!  However, gaining a knowledge of what efforts are taking place both in human and animal medicine is an important first step in understanding the challenges and what the future brings.

9:00 AM          Welcome and Introductions

Russ Daly, DVM, MS, DACVPM: State Public Health Veterinarian; Extension Veterinarian, SDSU, Brookings, SD

9:10 AM          Antimicrobial Stewardship in Large Hospital Systems: Programs and Experiences Brad Laible, PharmD, BCPS: Professor, Dept. of Pharmacy Practice, SDSU; Clinical Pharmacologist, Avera McKennan Hospital, Sioux Falls, SD

10:00 AM        Antibiotic Use in South Dakota Livestock Operations: A Veterinary Practitioner’s Perspective Darrel Kraayenbrink, DVM, DACVPM: Platte Veterinary Hospital, Platte, SD.

10:50 AM        Break

11:05 AM        Antibiotic Use in South Dakota’s Community and Clinic Settings: A Physician’s Perspective Susan Anderson, MD: Director, Frontier and Rural Medicine Program, USD Sanford School of Medicine, Canistota, SD.

11:55 AM        Break for working lunch

12:30 PM        Antimicrobial Resistance Patterns in Animals: Data from SDSU and NARMS; On-farm Methods That Reduce Antibiotic Use Russ Daly, SDSU.

1:20 PM          Epidemiology of Antimicrobial Resistant Bacterial Infections in South Dakota Lon Kightlinger, MSPH, PhD: State Epidemiologist, South Dakota Department of Health, Pierre, SD.

2:10 PM          Break

2:25 PM          New FDA Proposals to Change Livestock Antibiotic Use in the U. S. Dustin Oedekoven, DVM, State Veterinarian, Animal Industry Board, Pierre, SD.

3:15 PM          Comments from Other Participants

Speakers Q & A and Group discussion

4:00 PM          Adjourn

Behavior Risk Factor Surveillance System 2011 Report Now Available

The Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) was created by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to collect prevalence data on risk behaviors and preventive health practices that affect health status.  In 1987 the South Dakota Department of Health conducted its first BRFSS via telephone.  In 2011, the BRFSS data collection method incorporated cell phone users for the first time, and in turn the sampling methodology was changed, therefore 2011 estimates cannot be compared to previous years.  In South Dakota there were 8,259 respondents in 2011, of those 88% were landline users and 12% were cell phone users.   This article is intended to give you a brief review of some of the data available in the 2011 BRFSS report which is available at:

Selected Risk Factors:

General Health Status                                                                                         

Participants were asked how they would rate their health status; 15% of South Dakota adults stated their health was fair or poor.  Figure 1 examines the percent by age, for example 9% of 18-44 years olds state their health is fair or poor.  This percentage increases with age.  The national median was 14.5; Minnesota had the lowest percent (12) while West Virginia had the highest (25.1).


The prevalence for overweight and obesity combined was 64% in 2011.  This matches the nationwide median of 64%.  The lowest percent of respondents who were overweight or obese was 53% in D.C. and the highest percent was 69% in West Virginia.  As shown in Figure 2, 28% of South Dakota adults are obese while 36% are overweight.

 Tobacco Use

The prevalence of cigarette smoking in 2011 was 23%.  This is equivalent to 143,000 South Dakota adults currently smoking.  South Dakota was slightly higher than the national median of 21%.  Utah had the lowest prevalence (12%) while Kentucky had the highest prevalence (29%).  In 2011, the percentage of current smokers who tried to stop smoking one day or longer because they were trying to quit was 58%.

Binge Drinking

Binge drinking is defined as 5 or more alcoholic drinks on one occasion for males and 4 or more alcoholic drinks on one occasion for females, one or more times in the past month.  In South Dakota, 22% of 18 and older adults engage in binge drinking.  This is higher than the national rate of 18%.  Nationally Tennessee had the lowest prevalence at 10% while DC had the highest at 25%.


As stated earlier these are just a few of the selected statistics available in the report.  A more detailed description of the indicators, as well as a demographic breakdown is included for each indicator in the report.

Get Screened SD – Stop Colorectal Cancer

In November 2013, CDC released both a Vital Signs and MMWR report focused on recommended colorectal cancer screening tests and approaches that can be taken to increase screening rates.  The report indicates that colorectal cancer is the second leading cancer killer of men and women in the US.  Although the percentage of the US population that is up-to-date with recommended screening increased from 54% in 2002 to 65% in 2010, 2012 data shows that 27.7% of US adults have never been screened.1    “The proportion who had never been screened was greater in those without insurance (55%) and without a regular care provider (61%).”1  In South Dakota, only 62.3% of adults aged 50-75 were up-to-date with CRC screening.1  This puts South Dakota in the lower third of states.

The US Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommends three CRC screening tests that are effective at saving lives:  colonoscopy, stool tests (guaiac fecal occult blood test (FOBT) or fecal immunochemical test (FIT)), and sigmoidoscopy.2  According to the MMWR, “the potential to increase screening rates exists if health-care providers identify the test that their patient is most likely to complete and consistently offer all recommended screening tests.”1

So what can you do?  To increase testing, doctors, nurses, and health systems can:

  • Offer all recommended test options with advice about each.
  • Match patients with the test they are most likely to complete.
  • Use patient reminder systems to notify patients when it’s time to get a screening test done.
  • Make sure patients get their results quickly.  If the test is not normal, make sure they get the follow-up care they need.
  • Use patient navigators to help patients get checked.
  • Collaborate with GetScreenedSD (1-800-738-2301) to enroll eligible patients for financial assistance.


State and local public health can:

  • Work with those doctors, health systems and public health professionals who have already greatly increased CRC testing rates.
  • Develop record systems to keep track of and notify those who need to be tested.
  • Promote recommended testing options with the public.
  • Use public health workers and patient navigators to increase testing rates in communities with low testing rates.
  • Work with state Medicaid programs, primary care associations, and Medicare quality improvement organizations to help people get tested and make sure they get additional tests or treatment if needed.

1. CDC.  Vital Signs:  Colorectal Cancer Screening Test Use – United States, 2012.  MMWR 2013; 62: 1 – 8.

2. CDC Vital Signs Fact Sheet.  Available at:


For more information on the SDDOH Get Screened SD campaign: