Anyone can make a referral to HPAP. Most referrals come from employers and licensing boards; however, in an effort to encourage
early intervention and improved outcomes, HPAP encourages self-referrals, referrals from families or peers, or referrals from
medical or treatment agencies. If you call HPAP about a colleague, your contact will be held in the strictest confidence. We can
serve as a resource to help determine the appropriate next steps.
Per SDCL 36-2A, HPAP is available to any individual who, at the time of application:
* holds a license as a healthcare professional from a participating board in South Dakota. Current boards include: Dentistry,
Medical & Osteopathic Examiners, Nursing, Pharmacy, and Substance Abuse Professionals;
* is eligible for and in the process of applying for licensure from a participating board in South Dakota;
* is accepted as a student in a program in South Dakota leading to licensure as a healthcare professional;
* has not diverted controlled substances for other than personal use;
* has not been accused of sexual misconduct;
* has not been terminated from a similar program in this or another state for noncompliance; or
* does not create too great a risk for the healthcare consumer through continued practice.
HPAP is a statewide program, and is confidential and is professionally staffed. Services include general outreach, crisis intervention,
forensic assessments, treatment monitoring, and support for providers who need our assistance. HPAP develops individualized
Participation Agreements. These comprehensive agreements include input from our on-staff Physician and Evaluation Committee
as well as input from treatment providers, employers and licensing boards (when appropriate), and with the HPAP participant.
These agreements support adherence to the prescribed treatment plan, and provide opportunity to document sustained recovery.
Ongoing documented recovery through HPAP can provide the basis for HPAP advocacy on behalf of participants.
In addition to voluntary referrals, HPAP provides non-disciplinary options, as well as mandated/disciplinary options for licensing
boards when regulated health professionals whose illness of a Mental Health or Substance Use Disorder requires monitoring and/or
practice limitations. The Program follows a non-punitive approach, in which the program staff works in conjunction with, or as an
alternative to, other sanctions which a health related board might impose upon the regulated health professional.
Assistance with JCAHO Standard on Physician Health JCAHO Hospital Medical Staff Standard (MS 2.6) on Physician Health requires
that medical staff (1) manage physician health matters separately from disciplinary matters, (2) establish a process for handling
potential physician impairment, and (3) train physicians and other hospital staff members to recognize physician impairment.
Nationwide, JCAHO endorses the utilization of a statewide system, which in South Dakota, is the SD Health Professionals Assistance
Since 1996, the South Dakota Health Professionals Assistance Program (HPAP) has assisted with the recovery and return to work of
hundreds of healthcare providers. HPAP believes that early intervention, and comprehensive accurate evaluations, combined with
ongoing case management and support of treatment efforts, offers the best opportunity for successful outcomes. HPAP is a
confidential program designed for regulated health professionals who hold, or are eligible to hold, licensure with the SD Board of
Nursing, SD Board of Medical and Osteopathic Examiners, SD Board of Pharmacy, SD Board of Dentistry and/or the SD Board of Addiction and Prevention Professionals.
HPAP recognizes that mental illness and substance use disorders are diseases that may negatively impact an individual’s physical,
mental, social, vocational, intellectual, emotional, and spiritual well-being. We also believe these illnesses can be successfully
managed and treated. Compassionate intervention can help save an individual’s career and possibly his or her life. HPAP recognizes
that health professionals who are experiencing these illnesses are individuals who have dedicated their lives to helping others, and
are now in need of care themselves.
HPAP acknowledges a primary concern for public safety. The program attempts to ensure public safety by providing voluntary,
confidential alternatives which support health professionals recovery efforts. We believe a vibrant assistance program will enhance
public safety by reducing risk associated with potentially impairing health conditions. Early intervention and referrals may,
over time, decrease licensing board discipline.