We are where you live, work and play.
Creating a Culture of Health
We are working to weave healthy living practices and opportunities into our community. From teaming up with city leaders to support more walking and biking routes, to driving initiatives that make healthier food options available in all neighborhoods, to providing our kids with more opportunities to be active in school – we are making it easier to be healthy where we live, work and play in South Dakota.
Focusing on the Need
There is no quick fix, no one way to solve complex health issues that are affecting this generation and generations to come. That’s why we’re focused on the areas within communities where there is an opportunity to make the greatest impact. Because at the center of it all, we have South Dakota at Heart.
Improving Quality of Life
Living healthy and free of disease makes a critical difference in quality of life. But in South Dakota there is a 32-year difference in life expectancy between the highest and lowest counties. That's why we are working to raise awareness about the vital effect lifestyle has on health, especially poor nutrition and inactivity, and to help children form healthy habits that will last a lifetime by removing obstacles to making healthy choices.
Ensuring Healthy Environments
Being a South Dakotan should help our health, not harm it. We're working to increase opportunities for people to incorporate physical activity into their everyday lives and to make nutritious foods more accessible and affordable for all. We’re providing targeted health education to at-risk communities, including healthy cooking demonstrations, walk audits, heart attack and stroke signs & symptoms awareness, worksite wellness programming, and grants to partnership organizations across the state for chronic disease prevention, health and wellness.
Strengthening the Economy
A community's well-being is directly related to the health of its local economy. On average, men and women spend more than half of their waking hours at work – which can have a significant impact on our health. That is why we collaborate with the local business community to help create a more physically active, health-conscious culture in the office. From blood pressure screenings to fitness days, our local work sites are starting to work for our well-being. The American Heart Association is also helping reverse the tax burden from obesity and disease-related healthcare costs by increasing taxes on items that contribute to disease, like sugar sweetened beverages.
With human ingenuity, we can prevent heart disease and stroke — and care for people who suffer from these devastating diseases. In South Dakota, we are fueling discovery, funding more than $270,000 in research at local institutions. We improved the quality of care for more than 2,000 discharged cardiac and stroke patients through our in-hospital Get With The Guidelines quality improvement program. Today, 100% of South Dakotans are covered by a Mission: Lifeline heart attack system of care.
Policy has the power to protect our health, improve communities and drive lasting change. The American Heart Association empowers citizens to take informed action on local and state policies because we can all benefit from things like smoke free laws. Thanks to our advocacy efforts, all babies born in South Dakota are now screened for critical congenital heart defects before leaving the hospital. Also, all graduating high school students will now learn Hands-Only CPR, creating hundreds of new potential lifesavers each year.