Avera Medical Minute AMcK: New state-of-the-art 24 bed inpatient rehab center opens

Avera recently unveiled its newest addition, a brand new state-of-the-art inpatient rehabilitation center in Sioux Falls.

“It’s been a 30 year journey. Avera has been involved in rehab for 30 years. And I can tell you, for the past 20 years, a dream like this is coming true today,” said Dave Flicek, President and CEO of Avera McKennan Hospital & University Health Center.

The new 24 bed inpatient rehab center has officially opened its doors on the fifth floor of the Prairie Center, a place Flicek says is made for healing.

“Right across the hallway is a dining room, is the physical therapy area, and speech therapy. We have a car that you can get in and out of, a replica of a car -- so it really is very efficient for everybody and very convenient for patients,” said Flicek.

The rooms are located around the perimeter of the floor with a 5,200 square foot therapy gym in the center. The ‘Easton Therapy Gym’ is named after Dr. Jessie Easton, the founding physiatrist at McKennan in 1984 which was the first rehab unit in South Dakota.

“All of this equipment does nothing unless you’ve got the staff who can motivate people because nobody gets stronger from somebody else doing it,” said Dr. Easton.

Patients typically stay in this unit for 12 to 14 days, longer than anywhere else.

“From stroke patients and spinal cord trauma -- I gotta tell you, rehab can be very frustrating for the patients. One day you’re a normal human being, you have a stroke or a trauma and then you’re relearning how to retie your shoes, how to stand up and so an environment like this is just fantastic for these patients,” said Flicek.

“I’ve been in inpatient rehab since January 10 and so I’ve been working and I have several weeks to go,” said Kristin McIntire.

McIntire says the wide range of new therapy equipment is a huge plus.

“It’s going to be helping many, many people. You see all kinds of people coming in to the rehab unit and when we’re all working in the rehab area doing our therapy, there’s just a lot of people with a lot of different needs,” said McIntire.

“This matches an equivalent to an Omaha, Minneapolis – only one in the area with regards to the Avera system is right here,” said Flicek.

“There’s a lot of us needing care and I’m happy to come to a place like Avera,” said McIntire.

This project is part of $174 million in projects announced in April 2017 on the new Avera on Louise campus at 69th and Louise, as well as the main hospital campus.

For more information just call 877-AT-AVERA.