Avera St. Luke’s announces building project

ABERDEEN, S.D.(Press Release)- Avera St. Luke’s Hospital announces a $17.25 million construction project that addresses a series of key needs in Aberdeen, including behavioral health, women’s services and orthopedics.

First is a new free-standing inpatient behavioral health facility with clinic services for mental health care and well-being.

“Avera St. Luke’s has provided inpatient behavioral health care in our hospital in the past, yet this is an opportunity to bring those services up to date with this new free-standing facility that incorporates both inpatient and clinic services. Avera has been a leader in our region in behavioral health services for six decades, and this project will build upon that strong history,” said Tom Seyer, Chair of the Avera St. Luke’s Hospital Board of Trustees.

The behavioral health facility will be constructed adjacent to the Avera St. Luke’s Physician’s Plaza and it will involve removing the west half of Physician’s Plaza, the oldest section of the building. “This allows us to keep our facilities up to date while at the same time addressing an important need that Avera excels at,” said Kelli Fischer, Chief Nursing Officer at Avera St. Luke’s.

This location will address some previously unmet needs with new services, including Behavioral Health Urgent Care similar to what was recently added in Sioux Falls. “This concept is cutting-edge and rare across the country. It’s providing that special environment for behavioral health crises and provides a front door to mental health services that’s more appropriate than the medical emergency department,” Fischer said.

This new construction will double the number of inpatient beds available for mental health treatment in the Aberdeen region.

Second in this plan is renovation of the current women’s center. Plans to remodel the women’s center have been on the table with support being raised by the Avera Foundation.

“This larger overall project is a chance to enhance these plans. Focused on the comfort of patients and families, this will be a modernized, private and peaceful environment for every stage of birthing, from admission to delivery and postpartum,” said Tess Moeller, Vice President of Operations at Avera St. Luke’s Hospital.

Third is renovation of the 8th Avenue NW clinic for orthopedics and related specialties including physical medicine and rehabilitation, pain management and therapy. Renovation will modernize the existing space plus accommodate a new MRI – an important diagnostic tool for these specialties.

Construction will begin in late summer and will take place in a phased approach over the following 18-24 months. All departments would remain fully operational throughout the project.

“Avera offers numerous important specialties in Aberdeen including orthopedics, oncology, psychiatry, surgery, women’s and children’s, sports medicine and more,” Moeller said. “In the past, Avera has undertaken projects to support these specialties and high quality care, close to home, for example, the Don and Carmen Meyer Center of Excellence constructed in 2015 to house the Avera Cancer Institute.”

“Overall this is a significant investment to modernize, improve and expand health care services in our community,” Seyer said. “It will provide our excellent health care teams in Aberdeen with the tools and facilities they need to advance the care and well-being of those we serve in the Avera St. Luke’s region.”