Major renovations are currently underway at the newest hospital in the Avera Health system
On January 1, 2013, Avera Health welcomed a new face to the family, Avera St. Mary's in Pierre. Over the past few months the hospital has undergone quite the facelift and hopes to change health care in the capitol city.
The sign outside has changed, but there's still plenty of work going on inside the walls.
"Avera St. Mary's is at a really exciting time we are actually expanding our services here and we have several building projects going on we're adding new physicians just a lot of exciting things going on." Said Paul Ebmeier, President and CEO of Avera St. Mary's Hospital.
Avera St. Mary's is getting a makeover. It's an expansion project that will add more beds and enhance care for each and every patient. Right now, this is just a room full of electrical wires and plaster but it will soon be a state of the art intensive care unit.
"it's going to mean that our services are on par with any other hospital in the state of South Dakota we are going to have six brand-new intensive care units and we expect those to come online about the first of November." Said Ebmeier.
18 patient rooms will also be added and an outpatient treatment center will be taking over the space of the current ICU. Many of these changes stem from the hospital's community needs assessment. The public survey identified areas of improvement for the hospital to impact.
"We are going to take a very close look at the future of cancer care delivery here in the Pierre community and for this region of central South Dakota, mental health is another key focus area for us and then obesity and wellness was another key area that came out in the community needs assessment." Said Ebmeier.
This is where the new Avera affiliation is helping the hospital shine. It means that doctors can plug into resources across the state and ensure patients in Pierre can be treated locally.
"I really believe that being under the Avera umbrella really brings us the opportunity for us to be a part of a larger network where we are very integrated as an entire health system it gives us the ability to bring services whether it's eICU and a variety of services like that we're able to tap into back in Sioux Falls." Said Ebmeier.
The hospital is not only constructing a newer and stronger building, it's constructing a top notch staff as well. Four new physicians have joined Avera St. Mary's, including their first anesthesiologist.
"I think one of the most important points of that is that these are physicians that actually were born and raised in central South Dakota. Two of them are from right here in Pierre and we have one from Onida which is just north and east of Pierre and then Gettysburg which is a little bit farther up the road but certainly in our region." Said Ebmeier.
A lot has already happened, but these improvements and additions are just the first steps in a long term plan for the hospital. Plans that will help ensure they continue to meet the need of the people in central South Dakota. Avera St. Mary's becomes the sixth regional medical center in the Avera Health system and joins the more than 300 facilities serving 100 communities across the Midwest. For more information about Avera St. Mary's just call 877-AT-AVERA.