Avera McKennan Hospital and University Health Center is embarking on a bold new approach to cancer care. Next month, the Sioux Falls based hospital will break ground on a 90 million dollar cancer treatment facility that will be 4 times larger than the current building.
The new Avera Cancer Institute will be built on the southeast corner of the Avera McKennan campus and it will be the largest single building project in Sioux Falls history.
Fred Slunecka the Regional President of Avera McKennan says , "Our vision is for a world class center and that has led us to create a facility that is unlike any other. Our vision for this facility is life's transformation through grace and technology. Cancer is a life transforming event, yet through state of the art technology and clinical excellence and the grace of God one finds Hope, Faith and Courage. "
The 5 story tall 217,000 square foot building will house everything cancer patients, their families and health care providers need in one place. From diagnostic tools like CT scans and MRI machines, 8 surgical suites with a separate public entrance, a bone marrow transplant program, 57 infusion bays and the largest holistic or integrative medicine program in the region from massage therapy to meditation gardens.
Dr. Addison Tolentino in Oncology and Hematology says, "1.4 million new cancer cases are diagnosed in 2008. They expect it to go up to 1.6 million by 2010. In South Dakota alone there were 4, 080 new cancer case estimated to be diagnosed in 2008. 1,620 die a year from cancer that breaks down to 4 a day in this state. All of us in this department are excited about this new facility."
Construction is already under way across from the Orthopedic Institute. They are clearing away 23 houses to make room for much needed parking. When construction begins on the new Avera Cancer Institute next month, it will be Eco-friendly and patient friendly. For one, all the construction materials will be recycled.
Dick Molseed the Senior Vice President of Environmental Services says, "This is also the 1st building in the state of South Dakota and we are the first organization to work with Xcel energy as it comes out of the ground. We believe those efforts will reduce our energy consumption by over 30%.
Despite technology, cancer is still a formidable enemy. The # 2 killer in this country and Avera says they will be even more prepared to fight it.
The new Avera Cancer Institute is expected to open in the fall of 2010.