Over 300 people were at the Legion Community Building to celebrate the good news Thursday night, Feb. 21, when Avera announced plans to raise funds for a new health center in Gettysburg to serve the north-central portion of South Dakota.
The proposed building will include an inpatient unit, a modern emergency services facility, radiology and imaging services including 3D mammography, IV infusion suites, a new physical therapy gym, and a welcoming clinic.
The new building will also get a new name: Avera Missouri River Health Center. From inpatient care and emergency services to routine checkups, the name encompasses all the services offered in the new facility.
“This future health care center may be located in Gettysburg, but it will be an asset for our entire region. With the community’s support, we hope to build a local health center that will improve the overall patient experience, enhance health care services close to home, and retain the best medical staff,” said Robert Sheckler, Administrator at Avera Gettysburg Hospital.
Avera Health has committed $9 million to the $12 million project. The Avera Gettysburg Foundation is challenging north-central South Dakota residents to raise $3 million in pledge gifts and cash by June 1 in order to begin construction this year.
The Fred and Mary Maas Foundation has donated a $500,000 lead gift to kick off the campaign and bring the communities closer to the $3 million fundraising goal.
“As a member of this community, I understand the importance of enhancing our local health care services,” said Craig Smith, fundraising committee chair. “We will need generous investments in the future of health care now in order to improve access to health care for our generation and generations to come.”
While detailed architectural plans are under development, the facility will be built with the future of health care in mind. The proposed health center will incorporate innovative design and technology that allows for flexibility in care delivery.
Every patient care room in the health center will be fully integrated and connected to Avera’s strong and robust telemedicine program, Avera eCARE®. Telemedicine brings specialized medicine to the community through advanced communication and video technologies.
Through high-definition, interactive video and sophisticated computer monitoring equipment, Avera is able to provide emergency care, critical care, specialty consultations, pharmaceutical care, senior care and more.
The new building will include a state-of-the-art inpatient unit complete with private rooms. The rooms can be converted to semi-private rooms to accommodate more patients.
The clinic will be built to accommodate up to four medical providers and offer a warm and welcoming environment for patients visiting their primary care provider or outreach physician.
The emergency services facility will include enhanced eCARE Emergency telemedicine technology, a modern trauma room, a private treatment room, a decontamination room for chemical exposure and similar needs, and an attached ambulance garage.
An attached ambulance garage allows for quick and convenient indoor access to emergency services when patients arrive and need critical care. The new emergency department will also have a dedicated entrance and an expanded waiting room.
A full hospital pharmacy will include an IV prep space, pharmacy administration rooms and infusion suites so patients can receive vital IV therapy treatment close to home.
The radiology and imaging center will be complete with an X-ray suite, 64-slice CT scanner, ultrasound, a bone density scanner, a patient preparation space and, for the first time in Potter County, an on-site 3D mammography unit – bringing the most innovative breast imaging technology to rural South Dakota.
A new physical therapy gym gives therapists and patients the space and equipment they need to best evaluate and treat orthopedic issues and stroke victims to help patients fully recover from illness or injury.
In addition, patients, their families and guests who are looking for a place of quiet solitude and reflection will be able to find it in the meditation room, a unique feature found in many Avera facilities.
“We hope area residents will see the $3 million fundraising campaign as an opportunity to benefit many neighboring communities,” said Todd Forkel, CEO of Avera St. Mary’s and Avera St. Luke’s regions. “We are counting on others to follow the generous example of the Fred and Mary Maas Foundation and invest in a future that includes excellent health care, close to home.”
The event at the Legion on Thursday night featured a pork sandwich feed and entertainment by the Dueling Duo piano group, who entertained with an all request show and a portion of the tips going to the hospital fundraising project. Watch the News as the new hospital project develops.