Spotlight – South Dakota

Jill Munger, RN, BA, CLC
State Infant Death Review Coordinator
South Dakota Department of Health
600 E. Capitol Ave
Pierre, SD 57501

East Team Coordinator
Ann Wilson, PhD
Senior Research Associate
Center for Disabilities
Sanford School of Medicine
University of South Dakota

West Team Coordinator
Deb Kuehn, RN/CNP, MSN
Black Hills Pediatrics
Rapid City, SD 57701

Program Description

South Dakota has had existing child death review committees for many years; however, these local committees were not covering all counties across the State. Additionally, there has been no State Level Advisory Group to review statewide data and develop public health recommendations. In 2011 the Governor of South Dakota appointed a Task Force on Infant Mortality that recommended that all infant deaths in South Dakota be reviewed as a strategy to reduce infant mortality.

South Dakota has two teams (East and West) that each provide child death review in specific counties in their region.  In addition, since 2012, the teams have expanded to review post hospital discharge infant deaths in their respective half of the state.  South Dakota has a State Level Infant Death Review Group.

Regional Teams:
Teams conduct retrospective/periodic reviews.

South Dakota Regional teams review all infant deaths from post-delivery hospital discharge to age one. The statewide Infant Death Review Group aggregates all data on infant deaths.  In addition, the Regional Review Teams review child deaths up to age 18 for residents of and occurrences in eleven counties in their region.

The purpose of the child mortality review in South Dakota is prevention.

Standardized data reporting forms are completed for all infant death reviews and input into the database from the National Center.

Annual Report
The East River Regional Death Review Team does produce an annual report. This report is a summary that is presented to the public via a press conference. Individual reports are sent to county commissions and area hospitals. The report is also published in the state medical journal.

Prevention Initiatives
Team findings have influenced policy changes in the state. Local communities have initiated “Back to Sleep” campaigns and neonatal MCAD screening initiatives. Team findings have motivated prevention activities such as lifesaving equipment being installed at a local river park. South Dakota will begin a State Level Advisory Group meeting annually to make statewide preventive and public health recommendations after a review of data collected by the team reviews.

South Dakota has protocols for confidentiality and CDR meetings.

No training is offered.

Last Updated: March 2018