Commentary

Thu
23
Nov
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Community Health Centers face uncertainty due to federal funding cliff

Editor’s Note: The Topic invited the Community HealthCare Association of the Dakotas to explain how the loss of federal funding impacts health care in our local communities. The Horizon Health Care clinics in Isabel, Bison, McIntosh, Eagle Butte, Faith and LaPlant are directly affected. This guest editorial comes from John Mengenhausen, CEO, Horizon Health Care; Shelly Ten Napel, CEO, Community HealthCare Association of the Dakotas; and CEOs of eight other community health centers in the two states.

Thu
23
Nov
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LETTER

South Dakota Keystone oil spill

On November 16, 2017, the existing Keystone pipeline spilled more than 210,000 gallons of Alberta tar sands crude oil within miles of the Lake Traverse Sioux, our sister Tribe. This was the third pipeline spill in the state of South Dakota this year alone. It was also the largest Keystone spill to date in South Dakota. I condemn this oil spill, the company that built this pipeline and anybody associated with it. The evidence speaks for itself.

On Monday (Nov. 20) the State of Nebraska will decide whether to approve the new Keystone XL Pipeline, which is planned to cross within three short miles of my reservation and through countless miles of Lakota treaty lands. Like the Dakota Access Pipeline, which my Tribe is still fighting, the KXL poses a critical threat to our resources and our very way of life.

Wed
15
Nov
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Mentoring med students

By Richard P. Holm, MD

As part of our Prairie Doc volunteer work to spread science-based public health information, we have assembled a group of pre-professional college women and men to help us out. Almost every Thursday night at 6 p.m. MT (7 p.m. CT) these young “Prairie Doc Assistants” or PDAs, answer telephone call-in questions for our TV show on PBS. This changing group, initiated by our friend and advisor Mr. Judge Kelley, has been helping us for more than four years.

These kids not only help answer phone calls during live shows, but they also help research medical topics, and even help others during medical mission trips. In return, we give them the opportunity to meet our medical guests for 30 minutes before the show, and we help them find shadowing experiences with physicians. They need to experience a taste of what it would be like in med school and in the real world after starting practice, before they commit to it.

 

Wed
15
Nov
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Slices of Life: Speaking of Gratitude

By Jill Pertler

Gratitude is among us! ‘Tis the season for giving thanks. Let’s talk turkey.

Each year, at about this time, my family sits down to a big meal and we go around the table and tell one another what we are thankful for. Usually things like family, togetherness and green bean casserole top the list.

These are all groovy items to bestow with our gratitude. But, if I am being honest, they lack a bit in the creativity department. Being thankful for family? Of course you are. Not much thought or contemplation went into that choice. Family is just about everyone’s gratitude go-to.

 

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Wed
08
Nov
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Participate in the Great American Smoke-Out

Canli Coalition of Cheyenne River

Thursday, November 16 is the Great American Smoke Out. This is the day where persons who smoke, chew, or use other forms of commercial tobacco can end the hold tobacco has over them.

The Canli Coalition of Cheyenne River is challenging people of all ages who use cigarettes, cigars, chew, ecigarettes or other commercial tobacco products to go just one day without using tobacco on November 16 and to take their pledge to be “Smoke-Free for a Day.” If someone does not use commercial tobacco they can participate in the Great American Smoke-Out by pledging to “Support a Quitter” for the day. By quitting — even for one day — tobacco users will be taking an important step towards a healthier life.

To read more please log in or subscribe to the digital edition https://www.etypeservices.com/Timber%20Lake%20TopicID443/

Wed
01
Nov
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Luther and the printing press

By Amanda Fanger

It’s amazing what the power of the printed word can do.

While Martin Luther’s act of nailing his 95 Theses to the door of the church is the image that sticks out in everyone’s mind when thinking of the Protestant Reformation of the 16th century, the spreading of this movement was really made possible by what was then a relatively new piece of technology: the printing press.

To read more please log in or subscribe to the digital edition https://www.etypeservices.com/Timber%20Lake%20TopicID443/

Wed
01
Nov
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Prairie Doc: At home with dementia

By Richard P. Holm, MD

In the U.S. there are almost five million people with mild to moderate dementia. Studies show that about 70% of these people are at home, either alone or with a caregiver (often a spouse). If more people with mild to moderate dementia could stay home safely, this would save Medicare and Medicaid a great deal of taxpayer money. More importantly, this would provide those affected by dementia with their preferred environment. Indeed, it is important to allow all people the chance to stay at home whenever possible.

Recent Johns Hopkins research studied more than 250 people with dementia and found that 99% of the demented and 97% of their care givers had at least one unmet need. The foremost unmet need was safety issues which increased risk of falling, such as poor lighting in walkways.

Wed
25
Oct
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If they want to lead, empower them to lead

By Paula Jensen

 

Leaders are the essence of small towns and rural communities. The success or failure of any housing, community or economic development effort in the places we call home often rests upon the level of engagement and investment of local citizen leaders.

Yet, in so many communities I work in across South Dakota there is an invisible divide holding back the development of a strong leadership base. I hear experienced leaders saying, “Young people just don’t want to be involved in the community!” and I hear emerging leaders saying,

“The people in charge won’t let us try anything new!” So, I am asking you, “How can we empower more people to lead in our rural communities?” To begin searching for a solution to this question, I want to help you understand two community leadership systems that exist:

 

Wed
25
Oct
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Everyone needs someone in their corner

By Amanda Fanger

We all have trouble in this life. It’s the one thing that’s a given. For some people, those problems are big. For others, they seem not so big. Take me, for example. Some people wouldn’t consider a tiny barn spider a problem. For me, that’s a problem. Larger than the barn itself.

While at my boyfriend’s farm the other night, we found ourselves in one of the tractors as we often are on our “dates.” Somehow, a hoard of mosquitoes had gotten in the cab with us. I was almost absent mindedly squishing them with my hands against the glass as they buzzed and bounced around. I was wearing a pair of rubber gloves, so it didn’t seem to bother me too bad. The squished mosquito-count was reaching record highs when, suddenly, a spider dropped down on a slender piece of webbing from the top of the tractor door.

 

 

Wed
18
Oct
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Keeping our promise

By Gov. Dennis Daugaard

Two years ago, South Dakotans joined together to solve a long-standing problem. Our state’s average salaries for teachers were lowest in the nation. Even after adjusting for cost of living differences, teachers made significantly more in our neighboring states. I heard from many educators that the problem had reached its breaking point. As many older teachers retired, schools were struggling to fill vacant positions.

The Blue Ribbon Task Force met throughout 2015, and after seeking input from thousands of South Dakotans, it recommended a number of solutions. I proposed several legislative changes based on that report, and a bipartisan coalition in the State Legislature passed versions of those proposals with two-thirds votes. We raised the state sales tax to put more money into education, changed the funding formula to prioritize teacher pay and put strict requirements in place for use of the new money.

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