SD DOH Expands Rural Healthcare Facility Recruitment Assistance Program to Include Dental Hygienists

June 16, 2023

PIERRE, S.D. – The South Dakota Department of Health is pleased to announce the expansion of the Rural Healthcare Facility Recruitment Assistance Program (RHFRAP) to now include Dental Hygienists as eligible participants. In addition, dental offices will be added as eligible facilities under this program. The decision to include dental hygienists and dental offices is aimed at addressing the growing need for oral health services in rural communities across the state.

RHFRAP offers a $10,000 payment to eligible health professionals who complete a three-year, full-time service commitment and have become new employees within the last 9 months. Health professionals must contract with the employing facility and the state to qualify for the program. Furthermore, eligible facilities must be situated in communities with a population of 10,000 or less.

“The inclusion of Dental Hygienists and dental offices in the Rural Healthcare Facility Recruitment Assistance Program is a significant step forward in expanding access to oral health services in rural areas of South Dakota,” said Secretary Melissa Magstadt. “Dental care for South Dakotans is foundational to health care and we are excited to support the critical dentist hygienist profession in our state.”

Applications for dental hygienists interested in participating in RHFRAP can be submitted starting from July 5, 2023. Employing facilities are required to submit the applications on behalf of the participants, with a limit of 3 participants per facility. To access the application and learn more about the program, interested parties are encouraged to visit the South Dakota Office of Rural Health website at

Applications are open for all other eligible professions under the program right now through December 31st, 2023.