Establishing Community Health Workers in South Dakota

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Attend this session to hear about the process of establishing the Community Health Worker position in South Dakota, one of the last states to adopt CHWs across health systems. After this session, participants will be able to:

1. Discuss various aspects of the position from the determination of roles and responsibilities, to training, models for reimbursement. 

2. Discuss integration with Chronic Disease Self-Management Education Programs.

Megan Jacobson

South Dakota State University Extension

Megan Jacobson is the Program Associate for Better Choices, Better Health® SD (BCBH® SD), South Dakota’s suite of chronic disease self-management education (CDSME). She was trained as a Master Trainer in the Chronic Disease Self-Management Program in 2014. Megan has led workshops and trainings for a variety of CDSME programs including chronic pain, diabetes, and workplace chronic disease. Though collaboration with a variety of local, state, and national partners, she works to implement and sustain evidence-based programming, like BCBH® SD, to help people manage and prevent chronic disease in South Dakota.

Lori Oster

South Dakota State University Extension

Lori Oster is the Program Director for Better Choices, Better Health SD (BCBH-SD), South Dakota’s statewide suite of Self-Management Education programs. Established in 2014, BCBH-SD has grown to become a recognized chronic disease prevention resource. Though collaboration with a variety of local, state, and national partners, BCBH-SD now offers six different evidence-based programs to help adults manage their chronic conditions. Lori is a registered nurse and has coordinated the development, growth, and sustainment of BCBH-SD since its planning began in 2013.

Ben Tiensvold

Community Outreach Coordinator

Community Health Work Collaborative

Ben Tiensvold has served as the lead contact for the Community Health Worker Collaborative – South Dakota (CHWSD) since its inception in January 2020. He has led the CHWSD through significant growth over the first two years, in part to the CDC Health Disparities Grant funding the SD Department of Health received in June of 2022. Ben is also a Project Coordinator with Sage Project Consultants, has worked with the SD Department of Health and SD Department of Social Services to develop CHW reimbursement. He is passionate about the CHW profession and works to be an ally for all CHWs in South Dakota and across the country.  Ben has Bachelor of Arts degrees in Communication Studies and Public Relations from Southwest Minnesota State University and is currently pursuing his Master of Public Health degree from New Mexico State University.

Laura Harmelink

Community Outreach Coordinator

Better Choices, Better Health SD

Laura Harmelink MSN, RN, LNHA serves as the Community Outreach Coordinator for Better Choices Better Health SD and partner to CHWSD. She has spent her career convening interdisciplinary teams and collaborating, mentoring, advising, and coaching students across the professions of medicine, nursing, social work and healthcare administration. Laura has worked with the Center for Medicaid/Medicare Services (CMS) and the American Hospital Association (AHA) utilizing her leadership skills as Improvement Advisor for South Dakota on the Partnership for Patients/Hospital Engagement Network (HEN) Collaborative alongside 34 states, together, successfully improving patient safety, reducing harm and readmission rates across the country.


Establishing Community Health Workers in South Dakota
03/16/2022 at 1:00 PM (EDT)  |  Recorded On: 03/16/2022
03/16/2022 at 1:00 PM (EDT)  |  Recorded On: 03/16/2022
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Certificate of Attendance
No credits available  |  Certificate available
No credits available  |  Certificate available