Sisseton joins 13 other South Dakota communities in welcoming health professions
students for four weeks during the summer of 2016. Ashley Reierson, South
Dakota State University (SDSU) pharmacy student from Pollock and University
of South Dakota (USD) – Sanford School of Medicine medical student
Rebecca Jarratt from Sioux Falls will follow providers at Coteau des Prairies
Health Center starting May 31.
Communities selected to participate in Rural Experiences for Health Professions
Students (REHPS) summer experience must have populations under 10,000
people and house a critical access hospital. The program is designed to
bring health professions graduates to rural South Dakota for rewarding careers.
Starting its sixth year, REHPS will bring 28 students to 14 South Dakota
communities. The students were selected in a competitive process earlier
this year. Each community hosts two students from different areas of healthcare.
The REHPS program began in 2011, when three communities welcomed six students.
Students are inspired by the experience, due in large part to the host
communities, and their professionals’ mentoring skills.
“I would have to wrap up this experience as one of the best choices
I have made in my program to pursue. … I mentioned my fondest memory
will be having shared a moment with a provider that is retiring while
following her with one of her patients of 30 years. He was weeping, wondering
where he would find care. Nothing is more intimate than a man telling
you that you are like a daughter to him. As I witnessed this, I felt that
this physician is such a reminder of what it means to be rural. She stuck
by this man through so many things in his life. I consider her a role
model for providers. I hope to experience this someday in my career. As
I exited the site, I had to let her know she raises the bar very high
for providers everywhere. I look forward to looking for employment as
a future NP in the near future and I do look forward to seeking a position
(in) a rural community,” said SDSU family nurse practitioner student
Kelli Hinsch about her experience last year in Sisseton with USD master
of social work student Dana Martens.
The 2016 REHPS communities are: Bowdle, Chamberlain, Custer, Faulkton,
Hot Springs, Miller, Parkston, Philip, Platte, Redfield, Sisseton, Sturgis,
Wagner, and Winner. The REHPS program connects interprofessional groups
of students enrolled in clinical psychology, family nurse practitioner,
medical, medical laboratory science, physician assistant, pharmacy, and
social work programs at SDSU and USD.
“When selecting a site to host REHPS students, we look for a facility
interested in the education of health professions students and an understanding
of how important it is to give these students a first-hand look at how
rewarding a career in rural medicine can be. We are also looking for vibrant
and active communities who will welcome students and hopefully entice
them to return when they are finished with their education. I would encourage
families willing to host students for dinner or a family outing to contact
the facility to make those arrangements ,” said Cheri Buffington,
REHPS Program Manager.
REHPS receives funding from the Office of Rural Health/South Dakota Department
of Health and is managed by the Yankton Rural Area Health Education Center.
Follow the student’s experiences at www.rehps.org.