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Dental Health Care for Rural Communities in South Dakota

Smiles for Miles Dental Health Care Program for Rural Children

In some cases, access to dental care may get overlooked for rural communities or for those who are uninsured. The cost alone of seeing a dentist can turn low-income individuals and families away.

Thankfully, South Dakota residents have Horizon Health Care clinics with locations in rural communities throughout the state. Eight dental clinic locations are consciously placed in high-need communities, including Faith, Martin, Yankton, Alcester, De Smet, Howard, Plankinton, and Wessington Springs.

South Dakota children in rural locations especially experience limited access to dental care and education on proper dental hygiene.

Limited Access to Dental Care for Rural Children

Based on the 2018 Children’s Oral Health Statistics report, 50% of South Dakota children ages 2 through 5-years-old have never seen a dentist. Additionally, about 20.5% of children in the same age range have experienced untreated tooth decay.

Cavities are one of the most common childhood diseases in our state. In fact, over 40% of children get cavities by the time they reach Kindergarten.

Both cavities and tooth decay are 100% preventable. Horizon Health Care recommends that a child sees a dentist when their first tooth appears, or by their 1st birthday. To help spread awareness, Horizon Health Care initiated the Smiles For Miles program.

Smiles For Miles: Affordable Dental Care for Kids

In 2018, Horizon piloted a children’s oral health campaign, “Smiles for Miles”, that focused on bringing children ages 0-5 into the dental clinic for a free preventative exam and cleaning. The campaign has now been established as an annual program that is held during October each year.

During Giving Tuesday in 2018, Horizon Health Care raised $17,624 to fund free dental exams, cleanings, and fluoride treatments for kids. The donations paid off in a big way. Horizon Health Care has seen over 400 children for free at their 8 rurally-located dental locations since Smiles for Miles started in 2018.

The need for support is in the numbers. Horizon Health Care provides medical health services to rurally located individuals and families. Of the 3,047 medical patients ages 0-5, 60% of them have not seen a dentist at all.

This year’s Smiles For Miles Program is currently accepting donations to make an impact on the lives of South Dakota kids in need of dental care. The amount of $184,035 is needed to impact 50% of Horizon Health Care’s children who are not receiving dental care.

Supporting a smile is worthwhile. This Giving Tuesday on December 3, 2019, we invite you to make a donation to Smiles For Miles at horizonhealthfoundation.com/smiles.

Horizon serves the health care and dental needs of South Dakotans throughout its 22 medical or dental clinic locations in rural communities. Individuals or families without insurance also have an opportunity to participate in a Sliding Fee Program for reduced rates on dentist services based on need.

Make a donation today or schedule an appointment with a Horizon Health Care clinic near you.

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Haley Brunke, PA-C, Joins Mission Community Health Center

(MISSION, SD) – Horizon Health Care, Inc. (Horizon) is pleased to welcome Haley Brunke, PA-C, to Mission Community Health Center. Brunke joins providers Tony Berg, MD, Larry Dubray, PA, Rachele Vietor, PA-C, Spencer Mason, PA-C, Autumn Tucker, CNP, and Ryan Rowe, CNP, to provide primary care medical services to the Mission community.

Brunke attended Dakota Wesleyan University in Mitchell, SD, graduating in 2016 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Biology. She then received a Master of Physician Assistant Studies (MPAS) in 2019 from Rocky Mountain College in Billings, MT.
Brunke, who is originally from Scotland, SD, enjoys playing guitar and singing country music. “I chose to become a PA to have the opportunity to serve patients in their most vulnerable moments,” stated Haley Brunke, PA-C. “It is a blessing to have the ability to comfort someone in a time of need and for them to allow you the chance to better their life.”

Brunke is currently available to be seen for appointments at Mission Community Health Center.

For over 40 years, Horizon Health Care, Inc. has been providing personalized, affordable, high-quality medical, dental and mental health care through a rural, community-based network in South Dakota. Horizon is a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) that serves the medical, dental and mental health care needs of South Dakotans in rural, medically underserved areas through 110,000 patient visits annually in 32 community health centers in: Aberdeen, Alcester, Bison, Bryant, De Smet, Eagle Butte, Elk Point, Faith, Fort Thompson, Howard, Huron, Isabel, La Plant, Lake Preston, Martin, McIntosh, Mission, Plankinton, Wessington Springs, White River, Woonsocket, and Yankton. For more information please visit www.horizonhealthcare.org.

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Patient Miracles and What it Means to Have Health Care Close to Home

Pregnancy Miracle at Isabel Community Health Clinic in South Dakota

Isabel is a small town of about 150 people on the rolling northwest South Dakota prairie. While remote, it still bustles as a commerce center for Dewey County and its neighboring farmers and ranchers.

It’s also home to Kristi — and thankfully, home to Horizon Health Care.

Kristi’s Health Crisis & Long Awaited Miracle

Kristi works at Sparky’s in Isabel, the town’s main street café and watering hole. Several years ago on her way home from work, she experienced a car accident that crushed her pelvis and required multiple surgeries. Because of the procedures on her pelvis and hip, it was likely that Kristi would never successfully have children.

But that changed.

When Kristi discovered she was pregnant, she was both thrilled and nervous. The pregnancy was risky; not only because of her surgical repairs, but also because of the volume of medications she was taking.

Her pregnancy went mostly without complication until a few weeks before birth.

Isabel Health Clinic in South Dakota

Convenient Visits to Horizon Health Care in Isabel

She began visiting Horizon Health Care in Isabel daily to have her blood pressure taken, run lab work and various other tests. The clinic is right across the street from the cafe — a fact she appreciates. With care and monitoring, her son was born healthy and Kristi was healthy too.

A few years later, the birth of her daughter was more complicated. Stressed and anxious, she again visited the clinic frequently for checkups. Her daughter was born 12 weeks premature, weighing just a couple pounds. Kristi made the 125-mile drive to Bismarck, daily after work, to visit her daughter in the hospital.

“It was a difficult time,” says Kristi. “I’m very thankful for having the clinic in town and the support of the community.”

Her daughter is now a healthy young girl and Kristi regularly brings all her children to Horizon Health Care in Isabel.

“I’ve grown a trust and bond with them,” says Kristi. While hours vary in small town clinics like Isabel, she adds, “You have to make some sacrifices in order to help your community.”

Although she qualifies for Indian Health Service Care, her loyalty remains with Horizon Health Care.

She is grateful for the care she received locally and wants to see the clinic and community thrive for years to come.

If you live in a small town in South Dakota, please find a Horizon Health Care clinic location near you. Horizon serves the health care and dental needs of South Dakotans throughout its medical or dental clinic locations in rural communities.

 

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De Smet Dental Services Welcomes Outreach Students

(DE SMET, SD) – Horizon Health Care, Inc. (Horizon) and De Smet Dental Services, in collaboration with the University of Minnesota – School of Dentistry, are pleased to introduce two dental students who are doing their clinical rotations in De Smet from September 16 – October 11. The students visiting De Smet are Sidra Zahooruddin and Kyle Novotny.

Sidra Zahooruddin was born and raised in Karachi, Pakistan. She received her dental degree in Community Dentistry from her home country in 2009 and then went on to further her dental education by attending a General Practice Residency Program in Karachi, where she practiced as a general dentist until 2011. Zahooruddin later moved to the United States to continue her passion for dentistry and earned a certificate to work as a dental assistant in expanded duties in 2017. She will be graduating from the University of Minnesota – School of Dentistry in May of 2020 and plans to practice as a general dentist. In her free time, she enjoys watching movies and reading books.

Kyle Novotny grew up in Florida, after his family moved from Minneapolis, Minnesota when he was ten years old. He completed his undergraduate studies at the University of South Florida. When he is not in a dental clinic he enjoys golfing and being outdoors, as well as watching football on the weekends. Following dental school, his future plans include practicing as a general dentist where he can treat a wide range of patients.

“It is a pleasure to welcome two dental students from the University of Minnesota – School of Dentistry to our team at De Smet Dental Services,” said Dr. Michelle Scholtz, Chief Dental Officer of Horizon. “Our partnerships with the area dental schools are a great opportunity to bring dental students back to our rural communities and introduce them to Horizon Health Care.”

For over 40 years, Horizon Health Care, Inc. has been providing personalized, affordable, high-quality medical, dental and mental health care through a rural, community-based network in South Dakota. Horizon is a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) that serves the medical, dental and mental health care needs of South Dakotans in rural, medically underserved areas through 110,000 patient visits annually in 32 community health centers in: Aberdeen, Alcester, Bison, Bryant, De Smet, Eagle Butte, Elk Point, Faith, Fort Thompson, Howard, Huron, Isabel, La Plant, Lake Preston, Martin, McIntosh, Mission, Plankinton, Wessington Springs, White River, Woonsocket, and Yankton. For more information please visit www.horizonhealthcare.org.

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Prairie Winds Dental Welcomes Outreach Students

(HOWARD, SD) – Horizon Health Care, Inc. (Horizon) and Prairie Winds Dental, in collaboration with the University of Minnesota – School of Dentistry, are pleased to introduce two dental students who are doing their clinical rotations in Howard from September 16 – October 11. The students visiting Howard are Matt Anderson and Miranda Lommen-Mielke.

Matt Anderson, a Sioux Falls native, completed his Bachelor’s Degree at Augustana University in Sioux Falls. In his spare time, he enjoys playing violin, golfing and spending time outdoors. Anderson recently married his wife, Shelby, who is currently finishing her residency program as an optometrist. Their future plans include practicing in either Sioux Falls or Rapid City.

Miranda Lommen-Mielke, a Sioux Falls native, enjoys spending time outdoors with her husband and puppy, as well as spending time with her family. After dental school she hopes to attend a Pediatric Residency program with hopes of providing dental care to children with special needs.

“It is a pleasure to welcome two dental students from the University of Minnesota – School of Dentistry to our team at Prairie Winds Dental,” said Dr. Michelle Scholtz, Chief Dental Officer of Horizon. “Our partnerships with the area dental schools are a great opportunity to bring dental students back to our rural communities and introduce them to Horizon Health Care.”

For over 40 years, Horizon Health Care, Inc. has been providing personalized, affordable, high-quality medical, dental and mental health care through a rural, community-based network in South Dakota. Horizon is a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) that serves the medical, dental and mental health care needs of South Dakotans in rural, medically underserved areas through 110,000 patient visits annually in 32 community health centers in: Aberdeen, Alcester, Bison, Bryant, De Smet, Eagle Butte, Elk Point, Faith, Fort Thompson, Howard, Huron, Isabel, La Plant, Lake Preston, Martin, McIntosh, Mission, Plankinton, Wessington Springs, White River, Woonsocket, and Yankton. For more information please visit www.horizonhealthcare.org.

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Jerauld County Dental Clinic Welcomes Outreach Students

(WESSINGTON SPRINGS, SD) – Horizon Health Care, Inc. (Horizon) and Jerauld County Dental Clinic, in collaboration with the University of Minnesota – School of Dentistry, are pleased to introduce two dental students who are doing their clinical rotations in Wessington Springs from September 16 – October 11. The students visiting are Jordan Brummond and Alexander Nguyen.

Jordan Brummond grew up in Park River, ND, where he was heavily involved in sports and 4-H. After high school, he attended North Dakota State University and graduated in 2016. He is an avid outdoorsman who enjoys waterfowl, upland game & deer hunting, along with fishing. Jordan also referees high school and youth hockey in the winter months. During school breaks he enjoys working on the Brummond family farm in Havana, ND. His plans after graduation are to return to the Dakotas as a general dentist and to continue helping out at the farm.

Alexander Nguyen, a Minneapolis, MN native, enjoys biking down different trails and also exploring new sights. He also likes to cook, workout and play with his dog, Mayze. After dental school, he hopes to work alongside his fiancé, who is also in dental school. His future plans also include owning a dental office.

“It is a pleasure to welcome two dental students from the University of Minnesota – School of Dentistry to our team at Jerauld County Dental Clinic,” said Dr. Michelle Scholtz, Chief Dental Officer of Horizon. “Our partnerships with the area dental schools are a great opportunity to bring dental students back to our rural communities and introduce them to Horizon Health Care.”

For over 40 years, Horizon Health Care, Inc. has been providing personalized, affordable, high-quality medical, dental and mental health care through a rural, community-based network in South Dakota. Horizon is a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) that serves the medical, dental and mental health care needs of South Dakotans in rural, medically underserved areas through 110,000 patient visits annually in 32 community health centers in: Aberdeen, Alcester, Bison, Bryant, De Smet, Eagle Butte, Elk Point, Faith, Fort Thompson, Howard, Huron, Isabel, La Plant, Lake Preston, Martin, McIntosh, Mission, Plankinton, Wessington Springs, White River, Woonsocket, and Yankton. For more information please visit www.horizonhealthcare.org.

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Cassandra Aesoph, CNP, Joins Aberdeen Community Health Center

(ABERDEEN, SD) – Horizon Health Care, Inc. (Horizon) is pleased to welcome Cassandra Aesoph, CNP, to Aberdeen Community Health Center. Aesoph joins providers Danny Wolfgram, MD, and Catherine Friesen, CNP, to provide primary care medical services to the Aberdeen community.

Aesoph attended Presentation College in Aberdeen, graduating in 2012 with her Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing. After graduation, she worked as an RN before receiving her Master’s Degree in Nursing from Purdue Global University in 2019.

“I aim to build successful relationships with my patients so that they can be their best selves,” stated Cassandra Aesoph, CNP. “My ultimate goal is to make a positive difference in people’s lives.” Aesoph is currently available for appointments at Aberdeen Community Health Center

Aesoph, who is originally from Milbank, South Dakota, is married to husband, Mike. They recently welcomed a baby boy to the family. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her family.

For over 40 years, Horizon Health Care, Inc. has been providing personalized, affordable, high-quality medical, dental and mental health care through a rural, community-based network in South Dakota. Horizon is a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) that serves the medical, dental and mental health care needs of South Dakotans in rural, medically underserved areas through 110,000 patient visits annually in 32 community health centers in: Aberdeen, Alcester, Bison, Bryant, De Smet, Eagle Butte, Elk Point, Faith, Fort Thompson, Howard, Huron, Isabel, La Plant, Lake Preston, Martin, McIntosh, Mission, Plankinton, Wessington Springs, White River, Woonsocket, and Yankton. For more information please visit www.horizonhealthcare.org.

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Danny Wolfgram, MD, Joins Aberdeen Community Health Center

(ABERDEEN, SD) – Horizon Health Care, Inc. (Horizon) is pleased to welcome Danny Wolfgram, MD, to Aberdeen Community Health Center. Dr. Wolfgram joins providers Catherine Friesen, CNP, and Cassandra Aesoph, CNP, to provide primary care medical services to the Aberdeen community.

Dr. Wolfgram attended St. Olaf College and earned his bachelor’s degree in 1983 before earning his master’s degree at Iowa State University in 1985. He then attended medical school at the University of Minnesota – Duluth and the University of Minnesota – School of Medicine. Dr. Wolfgram earned his degree as a Physician in 1990. He specializes in family practice and sports medicine.

“As your physician, I am your partner in facilitating your medical care. As the patient, you are in control of accepting the care and making decisions to affect your medical future,” stated Danny Wolfgram, MD.

Dr. Wolfgram, a White Bear Lake, Minnesota native, has two sons, Alec and Jonathan, and one daughter, Elizabeth. His hobbies include curling, sailing, Taekwondo and spending time with his family. Dr. Wolfgram is now available for appointments at Aberdeen Community Health Center.

For over 40 years, Horizon Health Care, Inc. has been providing personalized, affordable, high-quality medical, dental and mental health care through a rural, community-based network in South Dakota. Horizon is a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) that serves the medical, dental and mental health care needs of South Dakotans in rural, medically underserved areas through 110,000 patient visits annually in 32 community health centers in: Aberdeen, Alcester, Bison, Bryant, De Smet, Eagle Butte, Elk Point, Faith, Fort Thompson, Howard, Huron, Isabel, La Plant, Lake Preston, Martin, McIntosh, Mission, Plankinton, Wessington Springs, White River, Woonsocket, and Yankton. For more information please visit www.horizonhealthcare.org.

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Horizon Health Care Recognized as Health Center Quality Leader

(HOWARD, SD) – In a recent announcement by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Horizon Health Care, Inc. (Horizon) has been named a Health Center Quality Leader and is one of three health centers in South Dakota to receive funding dedicated to recognize their health center’s quality improvement efforts.

Locally, Horizon will receive over $115,000 in recognition of their continuous quality improvement efforts. The purpose of this award is to support health centers that displayed high levels of quality performance in 2018 to continue to strengthen quality improvement activities. Health centers receive these funds based upon high levels of performance in one or more of the following categories: Improving Quality of Care, Increasing Access to Care, Enhancing Delivery of High Value Health Care, Addressing Health Disparities, Utilizing Health Information Technology to Support Quality and Achieving Patient-Centered Medical Home (PCMH) Recognition.

“Horizon is very pleased to be recognized again for the high quality of care our patients receive,” said Lindsey Karlson, Horizon’s Director of Quality Improvement. “As community health centers, we provide care to patients from diverse backgrounds and rural communities, many of whom would not have access to healthcare otherwise. This award acknowledges that Horizon’s clinicians, nurses and support staff are leading providers of high quality health care in South Dakota and across the country among community health centers.”

For over 40 years, Horizon Health Care, Inc. has been providing personalized, affordable, high-quality medical, dental and mental health care through a rural, community-based network in South Dakota. Horizon is a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) that serves the medical, dental and mental health care needs of South Dakotans in rural, medically underserved areas through 110,000 patient visits annually in 32 community health centers in: Aberdeen, Alcester, Bison, Bryant, De Smet, Eagle Butte, Elk Point, Faith, Fort Thompson, Howard, Huron, Isabel, La Plant, Lake Preston, Martin, McIntosh, Mission, Plankinton, Wessington Springs, White River, Woonsocket, and Yankton. For more information please visit www.horizonhealthcare.org.

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Prairie Winds Dental Welcomes Outreach Students

(HOWARD, SD) – Horizon Health Care, Inc. (Horizon) and Prairie Winds Dental, in collaboration with the University of Nebraska Medical Center, are pleased to introduce two dental students who are doing their clinical rotations in Howard from July 15 – 31. The students visiting Howard are Ashton Parmley of Elkhorn, NE, and Adam Fjeldheim of Watertown, SD.

Parmley completed her Bachelor’s Degree at University of Nebraska – Lincoln. In her spare time, she enjoys the outdoors, especially spending time at the lake with her family and friends, hiking, horseback riding, hunting, and snow skiing. Her future plans after dental school including going into private practice for general dentistry in the Sioux Falls, SD area. Parmley is looking forward to providing quality comprehensive care to the population of Howard and the surrounding communities.

Fjeldheim completed his Bachelor’s Degree of Science in Biology from South Dakota State University. His hobbies include watching football games, playing golf, exercising and boating at the lake. After dental school he plans on moving back to South Dakota to begin practicing in the Sioux Falls, SD area. He is excited to work with the Horizon Health Care team.

“It is a pleasure to welcome two dental students from the University of Nebraska Medical Center to our team at Prairie Winds Dental,” said Dr. Michelle Scholtz, Chief Dental Officer of Horizon. “Our partnerships with the area dental schools are a great opportunity to bring dental students back to our rural communities and introduce them to Horizon Health Care.”

For over 40 years, Horizon Health Care, Inc. has been providing personalized, affordable, high-quality medical, dental and mental health care through a rural, community-based network in South Dakota. Horizon is a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) that serves the medical, dental and mental health care needs of South Dakotans in rural, medically underserved areas through 110,000 patient visits annually in 32 community health centers in: Aberdeen, Alcester, Bison, Bryant, De Smet, Eagle Butte, Elk Point, Faith, Fort Thompson, Howard, Huron, Isabel, La Plant, Lake Preston, Martin, McIntosh, Mission, Plankinton, Wessington Springs, White River, Woonsocket, and Yankton. For more information please visit www.horizonhealthcare.org.

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