Avera Sacred Heart Hospital in Yankton is in the middle of a big transformation. Nancy Naeve Brown reports, when its done patients needing surgery will think they are in a big metropolitan area while still enjoying the comforts of home.
In May of 2011 Dave Fischer of Yankton went from being a volunteer at Avera Sacred Heart Hospital to being a patient here. Dave had a much needed total hip replacement. Before surgery, pushing patients through the hospital hallways or any movement for that matter meant agonizing pain, but not anymore.
Dave says, "Fantastic. I waited a little long to have the surgery. I probably could have should have had it sooner, but oh no afterwards has been very very good."
Having this major surgery at any other hospital never entered Dave's mind.
Dave says, "I see how things are done and how people are treated and the doctors we have are young and up on the latest and I figured this is the best place to do it."
This place also happens to be in the middle of a 3 phase, $8 million renovation project to improve, expand and update its surgery department. Phase 1 was finished at the end of June and includes brand new pre and post op rooms, and a revamped PACU. These are the recovery rooms where patients come immediately after surgery. Phase 2 is in full swing. When completed the new operating rooms will be bigger and offer the latest in technology and equipment.
Doug Ekeren is the VP of Planning and Development at Avera Sacred Heart. He says, "In designing a new state of the art OR we are increasing the footprint of our surgery unit to create a much better environment for patients and staff in the future. Patients and families will find it a much more comfortable environment as they come in for surgery and we've changed some of our processes. We know that surgery can be a high anxiety situation for patients and families and we want to do what we can to make them more comfortable."
Dave says, "Oh there is no end to the advantages because you have friends here of course and anything you need post surgery is right here. Just the fact of knowing when you get up in the morning and you're here. You aren't traveling anywhere; you're not dependent on the weather. It's a comfort factor."
Dave says they definitely have the X factor going for them at Avera Sacred Heart. Excellent medical care, surrounded by an exquisite setting that makes for an exception healing environment close to home.
The entire renovation project is expected to be complete by the end of July 2012.