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Gettysburg celebrates groundbreaking for new Avera Health Center

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Gettysburg celebrates groundbreaking for new Avera Missouri River Health Center

From left: Karl Richards, vice president clinic operations Avera Medical Group; Terry Fitzke, president Avera St. Mary’s Governing Board; Craig Smith, fundraising committee chairman; Dr. Chad Carda; Kellie Yackley, director Avera St. Mary’s Foundation; Justin Cronin, member governing board Avera St. Mary’s; Bob Sutton, President and CEO of Avera; Robert Shekler, administrator Avera Gettysburg; Sister Lynn Marie Welbig, Presentation Sisters; Todd Forkel, regional president/CEO Avera St. Lukes and St. Mary’s; Dr. Mikel Holland; Tom Snyder, vice president Avera St. Lukes. (photo by Molly McRoberts / Potter County News)

A groundbreaking ceremony for the new Avera Missouri River Health Center in Gettysburg was held Sept. 9. The new facility will be located at 606 E. Garfield Ave. in Gettysburg.

Due to the rain received overnight, the groundbreaking was held at the American Legion Hall in Gettysburg. Among other dignitaries present at the ceremony was Representative John A. Lake (R-Gettysburg, District 23.) When the facility is completed, a grand opening celebration will also be held.

“I would say we had nearly 200 people in attendance — despite the rain,” said Kellie Yackley, Avera St. Mary’s Foundation/Avera Gettysburg.

In February 2019, Avera announced plans to raise funds for a new health center, Avera Missouri River Health Center, in Gettysburg to serve the north-central portion of South Dakota. The 21,800 square foot medical center will incorporate design and technology that allows for flexibility in care delivery. In addition, every patient-care room will be fully integrated and connected to Avera’s telemedicine program, Avera eCARE.

Avera Health has committed $9 million to the $12 million project along with a capital campaign fundraising project to raise the remainder.

The new building will include:

A state-of-the-art inpatient unit complete with private rooms that can be converted to semi-private rooms if needed. According to Yackley, there are four private rooms planned that can be expanded to accommodate six inpatients.

An emergency department with enhanced eCARE emergency telemedicine technology, a trauma room, a private treatment room, a decontamination room for chemical exposure and similar needs, an attached ambulance garage, a dedicated entrance and expanded waiting room.

A full hospital pharmacy complete with an IV prep space, pharmacy administration rooms and infusion suites so patients can receive vital IV therapy treatment close to home.

A radiology and imaging center that includes 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 to help patients fully recover from illness or injury.

A clinic for patients visiting their primary care provider or outreach physician. “At this time, there are no plans for additional staff to be added. The new facility will include hospital and clinic staff. We will continue the current relationships with other providers as they are now,” said Yackley.

A meditation room where patients, their families and guests can find a place of quiet solitude and reflection. It’s a unique feature found in many Avera facilities.