Derek Olson

Derek Olson

RAPID CITY – The Great Plains Tribal Leaders’ Health Board and the Great Plains Tribal Epidemiology Center are warning people in South Dakota and surrounding tribal-nations of a dangerous outbreak of syphilis.

In 2021, South Dakota saw 668 cases of syphilis, a 3081% increase over the 5-year median of 21 cases. In 2021the number of congenital syphilis cases increased in South Dakota, including an increased number of fetal and infant deaths. Many cases have been diagnosed in western South Dakota.

Congenital syphilis is a chronic infectious disease caused by a spirochete (treponema pallidum) acquired by the fetus in the uterus before birth. Symptoms of this disease may not become apparent until several weeks or months after birth and, in some cases, may take years to appear.

Syphilis can be cured with one to three shots of benzathine penicillin G, 2.4 million units IM depending on the stage of syphilis (see CDC treatment guidelines). In pregnancy, Penicillin G is the only known effective antimicrobial for preventing maternal transmission to the fetus and treating fetal infection. 

Congenital syphilis can cause serious symptoms in infected infants and even death. But it is preventable. 

Per CDC and USPSTF guidelines, because of the high rates of syphilis: 

  1. All adolescents and adults – even if asymptomatic – should be screened for syphilis.
  2. Pregnant women should be screened at least 3 times in pregnancy (at first prenatal visit, at start of third trimester and at delivery).
  3. No infant should leave the hospital without the mother’s serological status documented at delivery

Local medical care facilities should consider implementing universal screening using reminder prompts in its Electronic Health Records system.

The following people should be screened for syphilis: 

  1. All asymptomatic adolescents and adults. People who are at highest risk include:
    1. Those who live in Western South Dakota
    2. American Indians/Alaska Natives
  2. All Pregnant People
    1. At the first prenatal visit
    2. At the start of the third trimester (28 weeks)
    3. At delivery
  3. Anyone who has a stillbirth after 20 weeks

Test anyone who has been exposed to syphilis and/or has symptoms and consider presumptive treatment.

You can report cases to the South Dakota Department of Health here (https://doh.sd.gov/diseases/infectious/reporting.aspx#Instructions) or call 800-592-1861 to report anytime. 

For more detailed information on syphilis screening, testing and treatment guidelines, see https://www.cdc.gov/std/syphilis/syphilis-pocket-guide-final-508.pdf or https://www.cdc.gov/std/treatment-guidelines/syphilis.htm 

*The Great Plains Tribal Epidemiology Center (GPTEC) was founded in 2003 as a core component of the Great Plains Tribal Leaders’ Health Board (GPTLHB). GPTEC’s mission is to provide leadership, technical assistance, support, and advocacy for the 18 tribal nations and communities serviced by the Great Plains Area IHS in order to achieve our vision of eliminating the disparities in health that currently exist for tribal peoples within the four-state region of South Dakota, North Dakota, Nebraska and Iowa.

*Established in 1986, the GPTLHB represents tribal communities in South Dakota, North Dakota, Nebraska, and Iowa. The organization is overseen by the elected tribal leaders of 17- tribal entities in the area. Through public health practices and the formation of tribal partnerships, it works to improve the health of the American Indian peoples through health support, health care advocacy, and direct-patient care at the Oyate Health Center.

Friday, 22 October 2021 09:02

Fill Out a Survey To Win a $500 Bugout Bag

Part of the mission of the We Are Warriors Emergency Operation Center is to help improve disaster readiness in tribal-nations across the Great Plains region. To help advance that goal, the Great Plains Tribal Leaders’ Health Board and We Are Warriors are gathering information about how Covid-19 has impacted your mental health.

Everyone who fills out a survey will be entered into a drawing for 1 of 25 high end survival packs that contain $500 worth of survival gear.

The Covid-19 pandemic has taught us all that we do not know when a disaster may strike. Living on the Great Plains means our families are exposed to many weather-related emergencies in addition to unforeseen events that we cannot plan for.  

The Stealth Angel Survival 4 Person 72-Hour Emergency Survival Kit has all essential emergency items packed securely in 2 Stealth Angel Survival Backpacks featuring the Stealth Angel 8-in-1 Everyday Kit.

After an earthquake, hurricane, or other natural disasters you may be in a situation where you and your loved ones need to survive on your own for several days.  Being prepared means having food, water, and other supplies to last for at least 72 hours.  The Stealth Angel Survival 4 Person 72-Hour Emergency Survival Kit is the perfect collection of basic items your household may need in the event of an emergency

The We Are Warriors Emergency Operations and Training Center established by the GPTCHB, with the assistance of Team Rubicon, serves as an EOC for 18 tribal nations across a four-state region, and provides training on disaster mitigation to individuals from these areas. The EOC also develops and implements culturally responsive public health emergency management plans and procedures in support of Great Plains Area tribal communities.

Established in 1986, the Great Plains Tribal Leaders Health Board represents tribal communities in South Dakota, North Dakota, Nebraska, and Iowa. The organization is overseen by the elected tribal leaders of 17- tribal entities in the area. Through public health practices and the formation of tribal partnerships, it works to improve the health of the American Indian peoples through health support, health care advocacy, and direct-patient care at the Oyate Health Center.

Fill Out Survey Here:

Pandemic Mental Health Impact Survey (alchemer.com)

The kit includes the following:

Food and Water:

The food and water in this kit are meant to provide nutrition for 4 people for 72-hours until help arrives. These products have a 5-year shelf life.

  • 24 – 4oz. Water Pouches
  • 24 – 400 Calorie Food Bar’s (9600 Calories)
  • 40 Water Purification Tablet’s – each tablet purifies 1 liter of water

Light and Communication:

These products come in handy during a home power outage, car trouble, or other emergency requiring you to leave your home.

  • Stealth Angel Survival Q5  Flashlight
  • Keychain LED Flashlight
  • Dynamo 4-in-1 Radio Flashlight Charger
  • 12 Hour Emergency Bright Stick
  • Survival Whistle

Shelter and Warmth:

These supplies will provide protection from outside weather forces. They will protect you from wind, sun, rain, and other harsh conditions you may encounter.

  • 4 Emergency Body Warmers
  • 4 Emergency Blankets
  • 4 Emergency Ponchos with Hood
  • Emergency Tube Tent with Rope

Tools:

These items are designed to be useful in disaster situations. They will be a valuable resource when you find yourself faced with navigation, transport, personal protection, or shelter troubles.

  • Stealth Angel Survival 8-in-1 Everyday Kit consisting of:
  • Q5 Flashlight
  • Stealth Angel Pen
  • 11-in-1 Pocket Card Multitool
  • Compass
  • Ferrocerium Rod 5-in-1
  • Safety Goggles
  • Pair of Durable Work Gloves
  • Paracord Bracelet

Hygiene and Sanitation:

When in a disaster situation it is useful to have access to hygiene products. Staying clean can protect against infection, disease, and depression.

  • Hygiene Kit (including shampoo/conditioner, shaving cream, razor, sanitary napkins)
  • 4 Toothbrushes
  • Tooth Paste
  • Soap
  • Facial Tissues
  • Moist Towelettes

First Aid:

These first aid items can assist with minor injuries and protect against serious health concerns in disaster circumstance

Thursday, 21 October 2021 16:33

Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women Campaign

Violence against American Indian and Alaska Native women in the United States and Canada is a crisis. The Great Plains Tribal Leaders Health Board is committed to taking action and raising awareness about this epidemic that impacts so many of our relatives.

Learn More

Thursday, 14 October 2021 17:38

COVID-19

The Great Plains Tribal Leaders Health Board is dedicated to providing up to date and accurate information to help keep our communities safe. 

Learn More

Thursday, 14 October 2021 17:37

Epidemology

The Great Plains Tribal Epidemiology Center provides support to tribal nations across the Great Plains to help diagnose health disparities and the presence of diseases and disorders in our communities. 

Learn More

Thursday, 14 October 2021 17:37

Oyate Health Center

In July of 2019, the Oyate Health Center opened its doors to patients. The Oyate Health Center is a tribally-owned and operated walk-in primary care clinic located in Rapid City, South Dakota. The facility is under the management of the Great Plains Tribal Leaders Health Board. 

Learn More

Check out the latest episode from our Opioid and Methamphetamine prevention series...SkyHawk: Battle of the Ancestors

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SkyHawk: Battle of the Ancestors. Presented by Great Plains Tribal Opioid Response

Check out the latest episode from our Opioid and Methamphetamine prevention series...SkyHawk: Battle of the Ancestors

SkyHawk: Battle of the Ancestors. Presented by Great Plains Tribal Opioid Response

Serving 18 Tribes and Tribal Communities in the Great Plains Area

Serving 18 Tribes and Tribal Communities in the Great Plains Area
  • Oyate Health Center

    Oyate Health Center

    In July of 2019, the Oyate Health Center opened its doors to patients. The Oyate Health Center is a tribally-owned and operated walk-in primary care clinic located in Rapid City, South Dakota. The facility is under the management of the Great Plains Tribal Leaders Health Board. 

    Learn More

  • Epidemology

    Epidemology

    The Great Plains Tribal Epidemiology Center provides support to tribal nations across the Great Plains to help diagnose health disparities and the presence of diseases and disorders in our communities. 

    Learn More

  • COVID-19

    COVID-19

    The Great Plains Tribal Leaders Health Board is dedicated to providing up to date and accurate information to help keep our communities safe. 

    Learn More

Protect Yourself

The rates of sexually transmitted diseases have been increasing across Indian County and the United States. The Great Plains Tribal Leaders Health Board is committed to taking action and raising awareness about this epidemic that impacts so many of our relatives.

Learn More

Protect Yourself

Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women Campaign

Violence against American Indian and Alaska Native women in the United States and Canada is a crisis. The Great Plains Tribal Leaders Health Board is committed to taking action and raising awareness about this epidemic that impacts so many of our relatives.

Learn More

Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women Campaign

Latest News

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  • Community Round Dance Planned
    January 12, 2023
    RAPID CITY– The Great Plains Tribal Leaders Health Board, in partnership with multiple Native American organizations from around the Black Hills Area, has organized a unique community event to celebrate the lives of loved ones lost in recent years. For…
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