New program doubles incentives for rural healthcare


PIERRE, S.D. – Health facilities in rural areas of South Dakota have gained a new tool to help recruit nurses, pharmacists, physical therapists and other health professionals, Gov. Dennis Daugaard said today.


The Rural Healthcare Facility Recruitment Assistance Program pays a $10,000 incentive to eligible health professionals who complete three-year service commitments in communities up to 10,000 people. The program is part of the Governor’s South Dakota Workforce Initiative 2012 legislative package.


It replaces a previous healthcare professional recruitment assistance program, doubling the incentive payment and limiting participation to communities smaller than 10,000 people.


“Health professionals in South Dakota are concentrated in our most populous areas, and it can be a challenge for rural hospitals, clinics and other facilities to recruit them,” Gov. Daugaard said.


The $10,000 incentive payment is split between the state and the employing facility, with facilities in smaller communities paying a smaller share. The state covers 75 percent of the total for communities up to 2,500 people and 50 percent for those larger than 2,500 people.


Health professionals eligible to participate in the program include dietitians, nutritionists, nurses, occupational therapists, physical therapists, paramedics, pharmacists, respiratory therapists, certified medical laboratory professionals, and radiologic technologists.


Applications must be submitted by the employing health facility. The application period opened July 1.  Application forms and additional information can be found on the South Dakota Department of Health website at