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Health Professionals Assistance Program

“I feel that I needed this to begin my sobriety and it helped me grow and be accountable for my actions. It wasn't easy being in this program but I wanted to be sober and have my career. My spiritual journey continues.”

~ Client Testimonial

Why We Are Needed

We expect a lot from our health professionals. They have demanding positions, and when making decisions that will affect the health and well-being of their patients, there is no room for error.  However, they are human, and can succumb to stress and burnout, emotional or mental illness, and behavioral issues and addictions like everyone else. The difference is, healthcare occupations are considered “safety sensitive” positions, and if health professionals are experiencing potentially impairing illnesses, it may directly impact the safety of the patients they care for.  


Who We Serve

Health professionals who are experiencing symptoms of mental health or substance use illnesses are individuals who have dedicated their lives to helping others and are now in need of care themselves. If left untreated or if under-treated, these illnesses can place even the finest clinicians and their patients at risk.   SD regulatory boards acknowledge a primary concern for public safety.  Each Health Board may conduct a HPAP in accordance with SDCL 36-2A.   


Midwest Health Management Services (MWHMS) holds agreements with the SD Boards of Nursing, Dentistry, Pharmacy, Optometry, Nursing Facility Administrators, Addiction & Prevention Professionals, Counseling & Marriage and Family Therapists, and Social Work to operate their HPAP programs.


Regulated health professionals who hold or are eligible to hold SD licensure as a health professional may be eligible to participate. Most referrals come from employers and licensing boards; however, in an effort to encourage early intervention and improved outcomes, MWHMS encourages self-referrals, referrals from families or peers, or referrals from medical or treatment agencies. If you call MWHMS about a colleague, your contact will be held in the strictest confidence. We can serve as a resource to help determine appropriate next steps.

In addition to voluntary participation, HPAP also provides a track for mandatory disciplinary participation when a health professional's mental health or substance use disorder requires recovery management and/or practice limitations.

What HPAP Provides

  • Access to early intervention, which increases the likelihood of successful treatment and decreases the likelihood of clinical skills being compromised.

  • Assistance with obtaining the appropriate level of treatment and continued care.

  • Enhanced public safety by reducing the risk associated with potentially impairing health conditions.

  • Access to qualified licensed professionals who provide case management with compassion and dignity.

  • Intervention and recovery management that can save a career, a reputation, or even a life.

  • Access to education on health and wellbeing for professionals in safety sensitive positions

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