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HomeLatest NewsHospice/Palliative Care NewsSouth Dakota Palliative Care Grant Spotlight: The Palliative Care ECHO Project

South Dakota Palliative Care Grant Spotlight: The Palliative Care ECHO Project

The University of South Dakota School (USD) of Nursing was awarded a $208,500.00 grant, funded by the Bush Foundation to run from October 2020-April 2023. USD Nursing and the statewide Coalition From Advance Care Planning Towards Palliative Care launched a series of sessions called “Project ECHO: Palliative Care ECHO Moving Knowledge, Not Patients.” This coalition developed an interprofessional curriculum, based on the Eight Domains of Palliative care, to provide education across the state of South Dakota, especially to those areas that have limited resources for palliative care. The sessions began April 2022 and consists of eight monthly 1-hour long education events using the Extension for Community Healthcare Outcomes (ECHO) video-conferencing platform. Each session provides interprofessional, case-based learning designed to connect palliative care specialists to rural healthcare settings throughout South Dakota.

The goal of the grant is to provide education to healthcare providers across the state to provide quality palliative care to South Dakota residents. Education topics were based on the National Coalition for Hospice and Palliative Care (NCHPC) Clinical Practice Guidelines, 4th ed. and included palliative care topics such has interprofessional teamwork and palliative care systems, managing physical, psychological, and psychiatric aspects of care, and care for patients and families with severe illnesses and their caregivers.

Outcomes to date include preparing for the program by attending ECHO training, completing strategic planning; developing a workplan and forming subcommittees that included: subject matter experts; evaluation and spoke site work group. Sessions were telementoring curriculum according to ECHO principles through collaboration between hub and spoke sites.

Thus far, 7 out of 8 sessions have been held between April and November 2022 with 255 participants gaining education, with 146 of them being unique participants. Attendees were given the opportunity to win a Center to Advance Palliative Care (CAPC) membership for a month at a time, gift cards for attending all sessions and CE credits. Credentialed speakers were awarded a $200.00 honorarium.

“The grant provided a wonderful way to stay connected professionally and to meet new friends with the same passion for palliative care.” according to the USD nursing group. Thanks go out to the members of the Palliative care ECHO- an interdisciplinary team of healthcare professionals from across the state, who include:

  • Dr. Deb Kullerd, MD, MPH, CMD, Spearfish Monument Medical Center and Spearfish Monument Hospital, Spearfish, SD
  • Charlene Berke, Project Director, South Dakota Palliative Care Network, Yankton, SD
  • Becky Heisinger, MBA, PMP, CGMS, CPHQ, South Dakota Association of Healthcare Organizations, Sioux Falls, SD
  • Michelle Roy, DNP, BSN FACHE, NE, Monument Health, Rapid City, SD Respecting Choices First Steps Advance Care Planning Instructor
  • Angela Kroeze Visser, MPH, CHES, Director Kielstra Center for Research and Grants, Dordt University
  • Michele Snyders, MSW, CSW-PIP, APHSW-C, South Dakota Association of Healthcare Organizations, Sioux Falls, SD
  • Sabina Kupershmidt, Ph.D., Nursing, USD; Project Leader since 2017; Advance Care Planning Facilitator, ECHO immersion training.
  • Cheryl Fischbach, DNP, RN, Nursing, USD Respecting Choices First Steps Advance Care Planning Instructor; Clinical Director at USD since 2017; Advance Care Planning Instructor and ECHO immersion training.
  • Helene Hegge, MSN Nursing USD Respecting Choices First Steps Advance Care Planning Instructor
  • Anne Pithan, DNP, RN, NE-BC, CEN; Project Leader USD; ECHO
  • Katie Williams, RDH, MS USD Dental Hygiene

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