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How to Help During COVID-19 Pandemic

Homemade Face Mask Tutorial

During this time of uncertainty, many of us are looking for ways to lend a helping hand to health care workers during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Our health care teams have put their fears for the unknown aside, so they can keep the communities and patients we serve as their top priority. To protect our employees, patients, and visitors, we have enacted new safety precautions at Horizon clinics.

We are grateful to the individuals and organizations who have already stepped up to help, here’s how we continue to need your assistance.

3 Ways to Support Health Care Workers

1. Make homemade facemasks.

We are seeking homemade masks to prepare and offset the limited supplies available to healthcare workers. We are specifically looking for masks that have a built-in pocket for a filter to be placed.

Watch this tutorial video from EasytoSew on how to create face masks. See further information and approved patterns details here.

DIY Approved Materials for One Facemask:

  • 15” Long x 7.5” Wide Cotton or Cotton/Poly Woven Fabric (1)
  • 36” Long Bias Tape or 2” Width Fabric Strips (2)
  • 6.5” Long Plastic Twist Tie or Pipe Cleaner (1)

You may also download the Great Falls Clinic instructions for a complete guide.

2. Donate new and unused personal protective equipment (PPE), antibacterial hand sanitizer, and liquid hand soap.

At this time, Horizon has a supply of the necessary and protective equipment. However, as this pandemic continues to disrupt supply chains, it will be a challenge to obtain more PPE, antibacterial hand sanitizer and liquid hand soap.

If you are able, please consider donating the following (new and unused):

  • N-95 respirator masks
  • Eye shields/goggles
  • Isolation gowns
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Liquid hand soap

3. Give a gift to the Coronavirus Relief/Employee Emergency Funds.

Our Horizon Health Foundation has launched a Coronavirus Relief Fund. Tax-deductible donations to this fund will be used to enable our clinical staff to sustain their resilience while continuing to provide safe, high-quality care to our patients and community.

We are also seeking support for our Employee Emergency Fund to provide financial assistance to our employees experiencing a hardship during this time. For more information, visit:

Call Before Donating to Your Health Clinic

If you can donate masks or any other equipment listed, please contact the Horizon Health Foundation at 605-772-4553 to arrange the drop-off. We appreciate your continued encouragement and support for your health care teams!

Learn more about COVID-19 to stay safe.

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New Clinic Safety Precautions & Restrictions Regarding COVID-19

Coronavirus in South Dakota

During these uncertain times, Horizon Health Care clinics are taking necessary safety precautions by applying new restrictions for visitors. With these new guidelines, we’re taking every step to protect our patients from being exposed to coronavirus in South Dakota.

Get COVID-19 safety resources here to help keep yourself, your family, and your community healthy.

Precautionary Measures at Horizon Health Care

Effective immediately, Horizon Health Care has implemented the following precautionary measures at our clinics as a result of COVID-19 until further notice:

  • Walk-in appointments are no longer being accepted.
  • All patients are being screened for symptoms of COVID-19 in addition to their travel history prior to being scheduled and again when being seen for an appointment.
  • Once patients arrive at the clinic for an appointment, there will be a sign on the door with the clinic’s phone number – you MUST call the clinic prior to entering and a staff member will come outside to conduct screening.
  • Temperatures will be taken of all patients and employees prior to entering the clinic.
  • Extra visitors with patients at appointments will not be allowed, unless the patient is a minor or needs assistance. In these cases, patients will be allowed only one visitor who will also go through the required screening.
  • Waiting rooms and other public spaces are being disinfected frequently throughout the day. Magazines, toys, and other items have been removed from the waiting room to discourage virus transmission.

We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause, but need to take necessary action to protect our employees and patients as much as possible. We appreciate your patience and continued trust in Horizon Health Care and our clinic teams during this difficult time.

Dental Clinics Open for Emergency Care Only

Our medical clinics are open for their normally scheduled hours. However, our dental clinics are only open for emergency care for the next three weeks.
A dental emergency is considered pain, swelling, bleeding, or an urgent dental need that requires immediate attention.

Please Call First Before Visiting a Clinic

Walk-in appointments are no longer being accepted during this time. Please call your local Horizon clinic to book an appointment in advance. If you have symptoms of COVID-19, please tell us over the phone and our clinic staff will work to review your symptoms and recommend next steps.

If you have a planned appointment with Horizon Health Care and you don’t feel comfortable coming in, please call us and we will accommodate.

Find your nearest Horizon Health Care location.

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A Journey to Wellness for Say Wah

Healthy Woman in Front of Sunset

Say Wah admits she had a lot to be depressed about. Her health problems were numerous. She wasn’t working, had no insurance and was living with her daughter in Huron, who helped provide care.

Having come to the United States and briefly living in Arkansas, Say knew she was now in a safer, smaller town. But new challenges would arrive. On top of her many medical difficulties, she also discovered blood in her stool.

Say knew that was a serious problem, but like many, she faced a difficult choice. Get the colonoscopy that she could not afford or go untreated and hope for the best.

At-Home Colorectal Cancer Screening Saves Life

Horizon Health Care recommended an at-home colorectal cancer screening, which they provided for free during their Colorectal Cancer Awareness promotion last March. Her test kit was free of cost due to the generous donors to the Horizon Health Foundation.

Say met the risk factors, such as age, and the test, unfortunately, came back positive. She didn’t have coverage for a colonoscopy and that’s where the Horizon Health Foundation donors came in again for support.

Horizon Health Foundation Cancer Care Fund

The Horizon Health Foundation provides funding for accessible and affordable health care in the 22 rural communities Horizon Health Care serves. They not only support the medical, dental and mental health services of the clinics, they have special programs in place to help people like Say.

When established in 2016, the Horizon Health Foundation started a cancer care fund to assist with cancer education, care, and support for Horizon Health Care patients. Thanks to the generous donors of the Foundation, they are able to help with patient care.

Horizon Health Care teams identify patients who are a candidate for FIT screening, and the Horizon Health Foundation assists with the kit purchase and mailing expenses. In February, Horizon mailed over 300 FIT kits to patients who were not screened for colorectal cancer. To learn more about our partnership, read our Colorectal Screening Partnership news story.

Say received funding for her colonoscopy from the Foundation. But she received so much more than that. She received peace of mind.

“If I hadn’t done the colonoscopy, I wouldn’t have known my problems,” says Say, speaking with the aid of an interpreter. “I am happy and very grateful the Foundation did this.”

Ruth Lim, MD attended to Say’s care and says, ”The concept of preventative medicine in developing countries is close to being unheard of simply because most people can’t pay for it. The ability to help our patients, one story at a time, is truly wonderful and I am glad that we have the opportunity to pay it forward, thanks to Horizon Health Foundation. The gratitude in our patients’ faces is palpable.”

“I felt like family at Horizon,” says Say. “They cared for me, encouraged me and welcomed me throughout lots of illnesses.”

Say gets regular wellness exams and other services from Horizon Health Care. She adds, “Since coming to the clinic, I am getting better and feeling better with medication. I am not hopeless like before.”

And perhaps that’s the greatest Foundation gift of all – hope.

Take Your Journey to Health with a Wellness Exam

From the very first wellness exam to screenings, and every step along the way, we provide a wide range of personalized health services for supporting every individual health journey.

Don’t wait to attend a yearly wellness exam. A wellness exam protects you and is covered by most insurance plans. Schedule your routine wellness exam today! Find a Horizon Health Care clinic location near you, and reach out to book an appointment.

Give the gift of health during Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month. Donate to the Horizon Health Foundation.


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Colorectal Screening Partnership

Horizon Health Care Colorectal Screening Team

To beat colorectal cancer, it requires a team effort.

That’s why Horizon Health Care is partnering with the Horizon Health Foundation during Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month in March for the second year in a row.

To raise public awareness, we’re taking part in Wear Blue Day on March 6th! We’re honored to show our support as well as spread the word for the need of treating colorectal cancer.

High Need for Treating Colorectal Cancer in South Dakota

Colorectal cancer is the third most common cancer found in men and women. In fact, in South Dakota alone there are more than 430 new cases diagnosed each year.

With the high need for treatment, growing awareness and funding for colorectal cancer health services are required. That’s why the partnership between Horizon Health Care and the Horizon Health Foundation includes three key initiatives to support an increased need for preventive screenings for patients.

Our 3 Partnership Initiatives

1. Mailed FIT Kits

Horizon Health Care teams identify patients who are a candidate for FIT screening, and the Horizon Health Foundation assists with the kit purchase and mailing expenses. In February, Horizon mailed over 300 FIT kits to patients who were not screened for colorectal cancer.

2. Free FIT Testing

All patients who return their FIT kit during the month of March can do so at no cost thanks to support from the Horizon Health Foundation Cancer Care Fund. This includes patients who receive a mailed FIT kit or anyone who receives them at the clinic during an appointment.

3. Follow-Up Colonoscopies

Each year, the Horizon Health Foundation assists several patients with access to a follow-up colonoscopy. This would not be possible without the generous support from the Horizon Health Foundation donors.

In 2019, three patients received a colonoscopy with Foundation donor funds and additional patients were assisted with gas cards and hotel stays to complete their screening. In 2020, our goal is to raise funds to assist 5 patients with access to a life-saving colonoscopy.

Past patients who have benefited from Horizon’s support include Dave Hodges and Say Wah. We encourage you to learn more about their individual experiences with colonoscopy procedures and how Horizon Health Foundation donors have made an impact on their lives.

Be in the Know if You’re At Risk for Colorectal Cancer

The best way to reduce risk of colorectal cancer is to get screened.

The US Preventive Services Task Force recommends that men and women over the age of 50 should be screened for colorectal cancer.

The primary screening methods include:

  • Colonoscopy
  • Stool based FIT Test
  • Stool based FIT and DNA Test (Cologuard)

If findings from these screenings lead to a diagnosis of colorectal cancer, you have a full team of support backing you up at Horizon. Primary health providers, nurses and teams at Horizon Health Care work each day to ensure patients receive important cancer screenings.

Take Action by Wearing Blue & Booking a Wellness Exam!

We welcome you to wear blue along with our teams on Wear Blue Day and encourage your loved ones to get screened! Also, you can give the gift of health during Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month by donating to the Horizon Health Foundation.

The best way to prevent colorectal cancer is by knowing your risk. Attend a routine wellness exam to see if you are in need of a screenings. Schedule your routine wellness exam today

Find a Horizon Health Care clinic location near you, and reach out to book an appointment.

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A Journey to Wellness for Dave Hodges

Dave Hodges Patient at Horizon Health Care

In the small town of Howard, SD, it’s rare you’ll find someone who isn’t familiar with Dave and Corinne Hodges and their friendly, compassionate nature.

As the local grocery store meat man, golf course manager, retired volunteer firefighter, and daycare owners, Dave and Corinne have touched the lives of many friends and neighbors. Whether it be a local benefit, a community event, or just someone in need of some help with meals, you will often find this family at the front of the line ready to help.

Important Discovery at a Routine Wellness Exam

In Spring 2018, Dave was in for a routine wellness exam with Misty Rudebusch, PA-C, at Howard Community Health Center. Given a family history of colon cancer and other risk factors, Misty recommended that it was time for him to complete an at-home colorectal cancer screening kit.

Dave was hesitant at first, but thanks to Misty’s strong urging he went ahead. After the cancer screening kit came back positive, Misty recommended a colonoscopy, which can be a lifesaving, but costly procedure.

At-Home Cancer Screening Leads to Need for Colonoscopy

The Hodges family was faced with a difficult choice – to have the colonoscopy that was needed to protect Dave’s health and livelihood, while figuring out how to deal with the financial burden, or simply put it off and see what happened.

No stranger to the wrath of cancer, the Hodges family was all too familiar with what the outcome could be with the second option. While in his late 50s, Dave’s father was diagnosed with late-stage colorectal cancer. He had procrastinated on the appropriate screenings and went through a tough battle, needing treatment and radiation, as well as a multitude of medical bills.

Luckily, Dave didn’t have to make the difficult choice between having medical debt or skipping the colonoscopy. That’s where the Horizon Health Foundation came in.

Horizon Health Foundation Cancer Care Fund

When established in 2016, the Horizon Health Foundation started a cancer care fund to assist with cancer education, care, and support for Horizon Health Care patients. Over the past three years, funds raised through the Howard High School’s “Tigers Step Up 2 Cancer” program have been used to support this fund.

Once Horizon Health Care reached out to let them know that funds were available to cover the colonoscopy expenses, Dave and Corinne made the decision to go through with the procedure.

Horizon’s Patient Care Coordinator, Laura Neises, coordinated the appointments and care with Madison Regional Health, so he was able to go in for the colonoscopy within a few weeks of the initial screening.

“Laura took care of the phone calls and coordinated all of the details to also help with the burden, so I didn’t have to miss extra time from work.”
— Dave Hodges

The day the Hodges family found out Dave would receive the colonoscopy from the Foundation will be forever engrained in their memories. “I still have the letter from them with the details that they would help,” said Corinne.

Preventive Cancer Screening and Colonoscopy Procedure Save Dave’s Life

Through the colonoscopy, the medical team discovered polyps that were removed and tested. Fortunately for Dave, no further care was needed, and he is now scheduled to come back on a routine basis.

“I truly feel that if I wouldn’t have gone in and caught it early, I would have been in the same boat as my dad. I would have procrastinated and waited too long if I didn’t receive the call about the Foundation funds being available to assist with the colonoscopy. I would’ve said we can’t afford it and wouldn’t have had it done.”
— Dave Hodges

A father of four, Corinne is also grateful for her husband’s outcome. “Dave is the rock for our family. I will be forever thankful to Misty for encouraging him to do the screenings; he’s stubborn and wouldn’t have listened to anyone but her. Our family trusts her recommendations and thinks very highly of her.”

The neighbors-helping-neighbors mentality has come full circle for the Hodges family, now being on the receiving end of their neighbors’ generosity. This past year, their local high school students’ efforts to raise funds for “Tigers Step Up 2 Cancer” had a whole new special meaning to them.

“It is great to see all of the work that they have done,” said Corinne. “It’s impressive knowing its kids the same age as our kids that are getting together to raise that kind of money and help families like ours. We are lucky to have the small-town service at our clinic and all of these people looking out for you.”

Even if he needed extra convincing at one time, Dave is now a strong believer in the importance of early detection.

“Going through the screening and colonoscopy is a lot better than going through the possible alternative. We want to thank everyone from the clinic and Horizon Health Foundation, to the donors, and our students for helping us through what could have been an even more difficult time.”
— Dave Hodges

Take Your Journey to Wellness

From the very first wellness exam to screenings, and every step along the way, we provide a wide range of personalized health services for each chapter of life.

Schedule your routine wellness exam today! Find a Horizon Health Care clinic location near you, and reach out to book an appointment.

Support your neighbors, like Dave, during Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month with a gift. Donate to the Horizon Health Foundation.

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Our Telemedicine Services Receive Funding from SD Telecommunication Companies and USDA Grant

USDA Giving Horizon Health Care Grant for Telemedicine Services

Pictured (L to R): John Mengenhausen, Horizon CEO, Scott Weatherill, Horizon CIO, Tracy Pardy, Horizon Health Foundation Executive Director, Julie Gross, USDA State Director of Rural Development, and Patrick Hemen, USDA General Field Representative.

Recently, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development announced Horizon Health Care as a recipient of grant funding through the Distance Learning and Telemedicine (DLT) grant program.

As a USDA program recipient, Horizon Health Care received approximately $224,000 for improving and expanding telemedicine services to provide behavioral health and acute care services to rural patients in our state.

To receive these grants, the USDA requires organizations to match the donated funds. Our Foundation collaborated with South Dakota telecommunication companies to support Horizon’s proposed Emergent Medical, BehavioRal, and Acute CarE Telehealth Project (EMBRACE).

These companies made investments in communities and patient care with gifts totaling over $105,000. The following SD companies pledged their gifts:

“Horizon’s work in rural South Dakota impresses us,” says SDN Communications CEO Mark Shlanta. “They’ve been a long-time business partner with SDN and several of our member companies serving rural South Dakota. When Horizon told us how they wanted to integrate more telemedicine equipment into their care plan for rural residents, we told them that, as a business partner, we would help them achieve their goals.”

With the investments from SD telecommunications companies coupled with the USDA grant, our EMBRACE Telehealth Project total cost is over $300,000.

Introducing the EMBRACE Telehealth Project

Our EMBRACE Telehealth Project is an innovative approach to providing healthcare access to rural populations by expanding telemedicine and distance learning capabilities. Ultimately, the goal of EMBRACE is to address the needs of rural South Dakotans struggling with behavioral health disorders.

By leveraging telehealth technologies and our existing video technology infrastructure, there are two challenges EMBRACE seeks to overcome.

  • Challenge One: Integrating primary and behavioral healthcare.
  • Challenge Two: Improving the availability of acute care services for patients.

Challenge One: Primary and Behavioral Healthcare Integration

Statewide access to primary mental healthcare is a common concern for patients in rural communities. That’s mainly because primary care providers aren’t always located near where patients live.

Besides barriers to access, an underlying stigma of seeing a counselor or therapist creates yet another burden for seeking mental health treatment.

Moreover, variations to treatment make the road to recovery even harder. That’s because historically behavioral health services and substance abuse treatment have been delivered by specialty care providers — separate from primary care.

Challenge Two: Acute Care Services Availability

For rural patients, there is reduced availability of acute care services due to an increase in emergency room visits.

Limited healthcare workforce capacity has led to many rural, uninsured, or underinsured residents to rely on local hospital emergency room departments as a source of acute care needs.

Lowering the use of emergency department visits will improve access to health care for all members of the community.

Primary Care Treatment for Mental Health

Identifying and treating behavioral health illnesses for depression, anxiety, and mild to moderate substance use is proven to be an important role for primary care.

“Having immediate access to a behavioral health specialist has been a great benefit for our patients,” says Horizon Health Care provider Melissa Davis of Aurora County Community Health Center. “Providing support instantaneously for all patients and working to reduce the stigma surrounding behavioral health are the primary reasons why Horizon Health Care applied for grant funds. Our patients have benefitted by making weight loss goals, discussing their mental health concerns and discussing barriers to care, among other things. We are fortunate to have leading-edge technology that puts our patients’ needs first.”

According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, from 2011-2015, only 40% of South Dakota adolescents aged 12-17 received treatment for depression. Additionally, 43% of adults with a major depressive episode were treated.

For both types of patients, their treatment was delivered by rural primary care only 60% of the time according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.

Thankfully, the EMBRACE Telehealth Project is building up awareness in support of strengthening behavioral health for South Dakotans.

EMBRACE Telemedicine Services Map

Telehealth Effective in Rural Communities

Telehealth has been shown to be an effective tool for delivering high-quality behavioral health and acute care services. Roughly 74% of patients prefer easy access to healthcare services over in-person interactions with providers according to Horizon’s patient data from 2017.

The EMBRACE Telehealth Project will:

  • Expand services for those located a great distance from hospitals and clinics
  • Increase after-care appointments since patients won’t be required to travel long distances for short visits
  • Reduce non-urgent ER visits while eliminating transportation expenses for regular checkups
  • Provide convenience for patients in rural and remote areas with quicker access to specialists

Based on needs of each community served, Horizon Health Care will be investing telehealth services to the following high-need cities in South Dakota:

Telemedicine services bring specialty healthcare directly to you to decrease expenses and stress by reducing travel time. Thanks to the EMBRACE Telehealth Program, our patients will have the opportunity to take control of mental health while maintaining the privacy of behavioral health treatment.

If you are uninsured or with limited insurance, learn more about our Sliding Fee Program to reduce the cost of treatment.

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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

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

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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

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