M. Greg DeSautel, MD
Cabinet Secretary

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South  Dakota  Human Services  Center

Overview of Services

The South Dakota Human Services Center (HSC) is a licensed specialty hospital with a operating capacity of 295 patients.  The Center serves South Dakotans ranging from adolescents to geriatrics.  HSC is a member of the South Dakota Association of Healthcare Organizations (SDAHO) and the Western Psychiatric State Hospital Association (WPSHA).

HSC began serving patients ten years before South Dakota achieved statehood.  According to historical records, Territorial Governor William A. Howard was notified that Dakotans needing care could no longer be served in neighboring states.  The other states’ efforts were concentrated on providing adequate care for their own people settling in the region.  Governor Howard, at his own expense, purchased two vacated buildings and had them moved north of Yankton and the Center began in 1879. 

Today, the Center is located in a state of the art psychiatric and chemical dependency treatment facility, also known as the Mickelson Center for the Neurosciences (MCN), which opened in October of 1996.  It is located on the northern part of the HSC campus.  Several buildings on the southern section of the campus are still being used by both HSC and the State of South Dakota for offices, support, and other non-patient care uses. 


The Human Services Center inpatient program areas include: 

  • Adult Acute Psychiatric Program
  • Adult Psychiatric Rehabilitation & Recovery Program
  • Intensive Treatment Unit
  • Geriatric Program
  • Adolescent Program
  • Chemical Dependency Programs

Adult Acute Psychiatric Program:

The Human Services Center provides acute inpatient psychiatric treatment for adults, age 18 years and older. 

Adult Acute Program provides for initial assessment and stabilization of adult psychiatric patients.  During the 15-day average length of stay, the program initiates and develops treatment and discharge plans.  The program promotes and facilitates the patients’ independent functioning in daily activities.  Emphasis is on providing care, treatment, and stabilization services that will enable the patients to return to and function in the community at the earliest possible time.  The Acute Program currently consists of four treatment units with a total bed capacity of 60.  Patients admitted for psychiatric treatment are assigned to these units on a rotation basis.  The Acute Program is Medicare approved by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).

Adult Psychiatric Rehabilitation & Recovery Program:

The Human Services Center provides adult psychiatric rehabilitation and recovery services for adults, age 18 years and older. 

Psychiatric Rehabilitation Program
provides individualized and person centered services for adult patients who are coping with persistent mental illness and who need to remain at the hospital for medication management and/or skills building.  The goal of the program is to assist the patients through strength based treatment, while developing the skills that will help them to live in the least restrictive setting possible.  A non-linear patient centered approach to treatment is offered by professionals who empower the patient to be responsible for their education, training, and vocational experiences in preparation for community reintegration.  The Psychiatric Rehabilitation Program consists of one Community Preparedness Unit and two Neuropsychiatric Rehabilitation Units with a total bed capacity for 61 patients. 

Intensive Treatment Unit (ITU):

Intensive Treatment Unit  (ITU) is a 14-bed unit that is structurally divided into two distinct areas.  Opened in July 1998, the unit provides closer observation for patients who pose a high risk for harming themselves or others.  One area is designated for care of adolescents, the second area for care of adults.  The ITU is also approved by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).

Geriatric Program:

The Human Services Center provides inpatient diagnostic and therapeutic services for individuals who, in addition to psychiatric treatment needs, have medical and/or physical care needs that require the level of care provided by a nursing home.  The Geriatric Program provides care and treatment for patients who, because of the severity of their mental illness, cannot be served by a nursing home in the community.  A psychiatrist, registered nurse, social worker, and direct-care case manager develop a comprehensive individualized treatment plan for every patient on admission, with emphasis on providing the patient every opportunity to function as independently as possible in activities of daily living.  A treatment goal is for the patient to live in the least restrictive environment, including discharge when appropriate community support services are available.  Care, treatment, and rehabilitation provided by direct-care staff is coordinated with occupational therapy, social services, and therapeutic recreational programming.  Additional services are available on a referral basis from a registered dietitian, occupational therapist, physical therapist, psychologist, speech/hearing pathologist, and audiologist. 

The Geriatric Program is surveyed annually by the State Health Department to insure compliance with Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Standards for Long-Term-Care Facilities and to certify the Program as a Nursing Facility for Individuals with a Mental Disease.  Being licensed as a Nursing Facility for Individuals with a Mental Disease qualifies the Geriatric Program to receive Medicaid monies for patients 65 years of age or older who require long-term psychiatric and medical care and who are unable to pay for the services.  Total capacity is 69 patient beds. 

Adolescent Program:

The Human Services Center provides inpatient treatment for adolescents with mental illness or severe emotional disturbance.  The Adolescent Psychiatric Program is comprised of three units. 

Adolescent Psychiatric Program provides adolescents with inpatient psychiatric treatment. All HSC adolescent psychiatric units are Medicaid certified.  The goal of the adolescent program is to develop and initiate individualized treatment and discharge plans, provide effective treatment, and to support the patient in transition to home or another appropriate placement setting.  Length of hospitalization is based on the needs of the individual patient.  The Birch 2 adolescent unit, serves patients ages 12 through 17 years of age, which consists of 15 beds, was established in November 1999, to meet the increasing need for acute psychiatric services for adolescents in South Dakota.  The Oak 1 unit consists of 20 beds and serves patients 12 through 17 and the Oak 2 unit has 12 beds and serves patients 12 through 17 years of age. 

Chemical Dependency Program:

The Human Services Center provides inpatient chemical dependency treatment for adults. 

Gateway Adult Chemical Dependency is designed to meet the physical, mental and social needs of each individual within a safe and therapeutic environment.  As such this program accepts and will treat patients who have co-occurring disorders. Treatment for chemical dependency is based on the principles of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and Narcotics Anonymous (NA). Additionally, this program utilizes Motivational Interviewing, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Contingency Management to assist with recovery.  The treatment program is individualized thus length of stay is not determined by number of days but by progress made towards recovery. Patients must be residents of the State of South Dakota, must be 18 years of age or older, and must have a substance dependence diagnosis. Anyone seeking admission to HSC must be medically stable upon admission.  HSC may request additional information on referrals prior to granting medical clearance for admission.  All admissions are prearranged with approval by the Division of Community Behavioral Health.  Patients must be detoxified and drug-free 72 hours prior to admission. 

Non-discrimination statement regarding participation in the SD DOE Child and Adult Nutrition Program

In accordance with Federal civil rights law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, the USDA, its Agencies, offices, and employees, and institutions participating in or administering USDA programs are prohibited from discriminating based on race, color, national origin, sex, disability, age, or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity in any program or activity conducted or funded by USDA.

Persons with disabilities who require alternative means of communication for program information (e.g. Braille, large print, audiotape, American Sign Language, etc.), should contact the Agency (State or local) where they applied for benefits. Individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing or have speech disabilities may contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at 800.877.8339. Additionally, program information may be made available in languages other than English.

To file a program complaint of discrimination, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form, (AD-3027) found online at: http://www.ascr.usda.gov/complaint_filing_cust.html, and at any USDA office, or write a letter addressed to USDA and provide in the letter all of the information requested in the form. To request a copy of the complaint form, call 866.632.9992. Submit your completed form or letter to USDA by:

  1. Mail: U.S. Department of Agriculture
    Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights
    1400 Independence Avenue, SW
    Washington, D.C. 20250-9410
  2. Fax: 202.690.7442
  3. Email: program.intake@usda.gov

This institution is an equal opportunity provider. For more information, contact the Child and Adult Nutrition Services office at 605.773.3413.