Health Occupations (HOTT)
Health Occupations for Today and Tomorrow
By Halley Lee, South Dakota Department of HealthDid you know that by the year 2012, nearly 11,000 additional healthcare workers,
including dentists, dental assistants, and dental hygienists, will be needed in
South Dakota? Did you know that there will be a 21% decrease in the number of
high school graduates by the school year 2012/2013? Did you know that by the
year 2025, South Dakota will have the 9th highest proportion of elderly
nationally? Scary statistics, aren't they? So...are you ready? Do you know what
these stats actually mean? Simply speaking, they mean that as our baby boomers
retire and leave the healthcare workforce they are subsequently aging, requiring
additional healthcare services. At the same time, there are fewer and fewer high
school graduates available to replace them in the workforce.
To address this looming crisis, the SD Departments of Education, Health, and
Labor along with the Board of Regents, have created a new program to address the
critical need for healthcare workers in the state. Health Occupations for Today
and Tomorrow (HOTT) focuses on health career education for elementary, middle
and secondary students. HOTT offers students opportunities to learn about and
experience healthcare career pathways such as medicine, dentistry, nursing, and
So...do you know what you can do to be sure you have an adequate dental
workforce to meet the crisis head-on? For starters, watch for an exciting new
educational opportunity created just for the dental workforce. The Office of
Rural Health, in conjunction with the South Dakota Dental Association, has
created a fun activity for dental professionals to use in making presentations
to schools and youth groups. Students will sharpen up on their dental care facts
and learn about dental careers when you introduce them to the interactive game
Dental Jeopardy! Dental Jeopardy provides a presenter with an innovative
approach to educating students on preventive dental care, as well as the careers
associated with oral care. The first version of this activity is available on
the HOTT website (see below) under the "Lesson Plans" area.
For more information on Dental Jeopardy or on the HOTT initiative in general,
contact Halley Lee, South Dakota Department of Health at 605-773-6320 or visit
the website at www.sdjobs.org/sdhott.
District Meetings Scheduled
Southern District - Saturday, March 28, 10:00 a.m.
Mitchell – Queen of Peace Hospital
Southeastern District - Monday, April 13, 5:30
Sioux Falls - Westward Ho Country Club
Northern District – Tuesday, April 14, 6:30 p.m.
Webster – Galley Restaurant
Black Hills District – Thursday, April 23, 6:00 p.m.
Rapid City – Arrowhead Country Club
District meetings provide an opportunity for members to discuss proposed resolutions and other issues affecting dentistry in South Dakota. The SDDA House of Delegates will meet on Thursday, May 14th at 6:00 p.m. and Saturday, May 16th at 3:30 p.m. Both meetings will be at the Sioux Falls Convention Center. The first draft of resolution and other House agenda items are available here: http://www.sddental.org/house_of_delegates.htm.