Health Top 10 Wins

  1. HealthTransition to Paramedics Plus: Following a multiyear request for proposals process, bid award, and contract negotiation, the Health Department provided project management leadership that resulted in a successful and seamless transition from an existing ambulance service provider to Paramedics Plus. This transition process involved coordination between many City departments, Metro Communications, and other members of the emergency medical services community.
  2. Complete Streets Policy: Safer People and Safer Streets is the vision behind a complete streets policy passed unanimously by the Sioux Falls City Council this year. Live Well Sioux Falls helped lead the effort to create an integrated street network allowing safe and convenient travel for all modes of transportation and users of all ages and abilities. An implementation checklist guides the addition of street elements that provide health, safety, and economic benefits to the community.
  3. STD Clinic and “Protect Your Parts” Campaign: In direct response to the pressing public health issue of increasing rates of sexually transmitted disease (STD), the Health Department evaluated and redesigned its screening and testing services, as well as the amount of public health information easily accessible to the community. We partnered with the South Dakota Department of Health to provide free HIV, gonorrhea, chlamydia, and syphilis testing to anyone in the community, and we also created the community’s first website and ad campaign, Protect Your Parts, to provide unbiased information on STDs, as well as a comprehensive list of all testing services within the community.
  4. FTCA Deeming: Falls Community Health became Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA) deemed for the first time, which means the federal government assumes responsibility for the cost and coverage of medical malpractice and liability insurance for the health center. The application process includes a comprehensive review of the health center’s policies and procedures, risk management, and clinical quality improvement program. By earning the deemed status, the clinic does not pay for expensive medical malpractice, allowing for more dollars to be invested in access to quality health care.
  5. ICD-10 Transition: All medical clinics and hospitals across the country were tasked with upgrading diagnosis codes this year. The change increased the number of diagnosis codes from 13,000 to 68,000 to allow for greater specificity. This upgrade required several years of planning, testing, and training to ensure a successful transition. Due to the tremendous planning effort at Falls Community Health, our health center saw minimal financial impact in the clinic billing system.
  6. Provider Recruitment: Health centers across the country can be challenged with provider recruitment. However, Falls Community Health hired two dedicated providers to serve in the medical and dental clinics. Leah Mergen is an experienced physician assistant who has already increased our access to medical services and is quickly assuming a leadership role within the clinical teams. Dr. Elizabeth Naber, a dentist, has also proven to be a wonderful fit with her high dental productivity and strong relationships with staff and patients.
  7. Patient-Centered Remodel: Falls Community Health renovated 2,100 square feet of existing space centrally located within the medical clinic. The renovation created efficiency through a centralized patient check out at the front desk and provided 11 staff work stations, which freed up office space for additional patient consulting rooms. These consult rooms allow for increased face-to-face time with care team members aside from the physician, including social workers, counselors, and case managers.
  8. Health Department/Live Well Sioux Falls Initiative Receives Award from SDPHA: The South Dakota Public Health Association presented the 2015 Outstanding Contribution to Public Health Award to the Sioux Falls Health Department’s Live Well Sioux Falls initiative for leadership and commitment to improving the health of the community. The initiative was recognized for its proactive approach to community health promotion and prevention and “thinking outside the box” to address issues such as blood pressure awareness, physical activity, and the built environment.
  9. Nuisance Case Compliance: The Environmental Division of the Health Department maintains a 90% compliance rate on nuisance complaints without any legal or enforcement activity. Health nuisance complaints may include items such as garbage, appliances, and unlicensed vehicles improperly present in neighborhoods. The vast majority of nuisance cases come into voluntary compliance with resident outreach through in-person consultation, phone calls, and letters.
  10. #Watch4Jerry Safety Campaign: After downtown residents raised concerns about bicycle, pedestrian, and vehicle traffic, Live Well Sioux Falls partnered with Downtown Sioux Falls to create the #Watch4Jerry safety campaign featuring a local pug with personality. The short video shot from Jerry’s perspective, which had more than 11,000 views in just the first few months, included reminders on how everyone, no matter the mode of transportation we use, can help keep streets safe. The video and safety tips are available at