The second South Dakota Health care Workforce Summit, "Preparing for the Challenge," will be held July 24 at the Ramkota in Pierre. The summit is sponsored by the South Dakota Departments of Education, Health and Labor, together with the South Dakota Board of Regents.
� The purpose of the summit is to present state strategies for addressing health care workforce shortages and to provide participants with tools they can use for building the state's health care workforce.
"The challenges facing South Dakota's health care workforce are immense," said Sandi Durick, assistant administrator of rural health for the South Dakota Department of Health. "At the same time the health care workforce in our state is aging and nearing retirement, we're looking at a shrinking pool of potential replacements."
As of June 2006, at least 50 percent of registered nurses, LPNs, pharmacists, dentists and physicians in the state were age 46 and over. In addition, the South Dakota State Data Center projects the numbers of South Dakotans of retirement age will increase 58 percent between 2005 and 2025, which means South Dakota is projected to need an additional 13,000 health care workers between 2004 and 2014.