SDSU partnering with three hospitals to expand respiratory therapy workforce

August 26, 2022

BROOKINGS, S.D. — SDSU is partnering with hospitals in Brookings, Huron and Madison to expand the public health and respiratory therapy workforce.

The Community Practice Innovation Center within the College of Pharmacy and Allied Health Professions at SDSU has received a three-year, $1.545 million federal grant from the Health Resources and Services Administration.

The project aims to increase workforce awareness and provide educational opportunities through recruitment, training and job placement for respiratory therapists in rural South Dakota communities. Sharrel Pinto, an SDSU faculty member, is director of BREATHE-SD — “Bringing Resources, Education, Awareness, Training, Holistic care, and Empowerment to South Dakota.”

Pinto said the BREATHE-SD team plans to set up clinical rotations for SDSU respiratory care students in Huron, Madison and Brookings, increase the student capacity of SDSU’s respiratory care program, hire additional SDSU respiratory care program staff, implement scholarships for students seeking respiratory care and public health degrees, and launch an awareness campaign.