Mount Marty expands access to rural diabetes care with rare program

Mount Marty expands access to rural diabetes care with rare program
Published: Sep. 20, 2023 at 10:50 AM CDT
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - Mount Marty University has plans to launch a new graduate Certificate in Endocrinology for nurse practitioners, one of two in the United States and the only one offered in the Midwest.

This program, which will launch in January, will expand access to high-quality diabetes care in rural areas.

“More than 37 million Americans have diabetes and 20% don’t know they have it,” said MMU President Marc Long, Ph.D. “And residents of rural areas are more likely to die from diabetes than people in more urban and suburban environments. For years, we at Mount Marty have been focused on improving health and well-being in rural and tribal areas, and this initiative is a major step to help improve the health of our neighbors.”

According to the most recent data available, endocrinologists in South Dakota are located only in Sioux Falls and Rapid City, which means rural residents with endocrine disorders such as diabetes or thyroid disease must often travel significant distances to be seen by a specialist.

Chris Yedinak, DNP, FNP, MN, joins MMU with over 20 years of global experience in endocrinology, having provided care in the U.S., Europe, and her home country of Australia. She served as president of both the Endocrine Nurses Society in the United States and the Federation of International Nurses in Endocrinology, which she co-founded. She is also a co-editor of the only endocrinology textbook for advanced practice nurses.

“I am excited to join Mount Marty’s effort to help train advanced practice providers to care for patients throughout the country, especially in underserved areas,” Yedinak said. “We are designing this program to deliver outstanding education and great clinical components to nurse practitioners who are already practicing in their communities.”

The Certificate in Endocrinology will be an online, one-year, 10-credit program expected to draw nurse practitioners nationwide with the opportunity for clinical rotations with physicians and nurse practitioners at the Endocrinology and Diabetes Clinic at Avera Medical Group in Sioux Falls.

“Avera is thrilled to collaborate with Mount Marty University to provide this specialty certification in endocrinology. It’s an opportunity to celebrate new models in rural healthcare delivery, where medical specialists are often in high demand, yet short supply. We’re excited to begin this program in order to enhance and expand the specialty services we offer across Avera’s 72,000-square-mile footprint,” said Avera McKennan Hospital & University Health Center President and CEO, Ronald Place, MD.

For more information on the program, including cost and curriculum, visit