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DOH announces grants for Emergency Medical Services

Today, the South Dakota Department of Health announced a new grant opportunity for Emergency Medical Services (EMS) for the development and implementation of systems and solutions to support the sustainability of these critical services throughout South Dakota. This initiative is an outcome of the Regional Services Designation (RSD) analysis completed in 2023.

The initial grant application period is from Jan. 16, 2024, through March 15, 2024, with an anticipated notification of funding letter to be sent in late March. A second grant funding opportunity will open and be announced later this summer. Applicants seeking grant funding as part of this initiative must be knowledgeable in the report findings and incorporate components of the report into their grant application.

“This will be a competitive grant opportunity for our EMS providers across the state,” said EMS and Trauma Program Administrator, Marty Link. “The department will have approximately $7.5 million to distribute to these providers for a variety of activities that may include – but are not limited to – billing software solutions, supply procurement systems, workforce recruitment and retention, training programs, or the development and implementation of regional hubs.”

As part of the application, applicants must provide specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, relevant, and time-bound solutions for improving long-term sustainability of EMS in South Dakota. Funding for the grants must be obligated by the end of 2024, and grant recipients must spend the funding received by November 1, 2026.

“My team will also be providing educational seminars to address questions related to the grant application,” concluded Link. “Information and links to the seminars will be available on the DOH website.”

Grant applications must be submitted to DOHEMSgrants@state.sd.us.

The Department partnered with Healthcare Strategists to complete the assessment and report, which is the third piece of a $20 million infusion of funding into South Dakota’s emergency medical services infrastructure approved by Gov. Kristi Noem and legislators in 2022. This investment includes $11.6 million to replace current LIFEPAK 15 defibrillators and the $1.7 million Telemedicine in Motion initiative equipping ambulances with technology that connects EMS personnel to emergency room physicians and nurses during any type of service call. Governor Noem highlighted these efforts in her 2024 State of the State Address last week; you can find footage of those remarks here.

The Department of Health will be using American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding to support this initiative. Grant recipients must comply with state and federal grant guidance as outlined in the application document and within the grant award.

For more information, please visit the DOH website.