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Avera Medial Minute: New Gettysburg hospital a testament to community efforts

Published: Mar. 1, 2021 at 10:34 AM CST
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - A new source of pride has been built in Gettysburg.

Avera Missouri River Health center opened its doors in December.

The project starting with a steering committee and fundraising project. Kristin Hawkinson helped with both.

“It went really fast. People walk in the door now and they just are in awe of what the inside of this facility looks like,” said Hawkinson.

Hawkinson is the Avera Laboratory, Radiology, and central supply supervisor in Gettysburg. Along with 30 other co-workers and members of the community, they started with a dream of the new hospital and made it a reality.

“Avera then gave their blessing on moving forward with the project,” said Hawkinson.

The old hospital was built in 1952. The differences in the new hospital can be seen as soon as you walk in.

“An actual front door where you meet a person at a reception desk is something that we’ve never had before. And then just having everything within close proximity of every of each other,” said Hawkinson.

The Avera Missouri River Health Center is more than medical care.

“The therapy gym that they put in here...huge windows that’s on the north...faces the highway, and then it’s also going to duel as a Community Wellness Center,” said Hawkinson.

Steering committee chairman Craig Smith worked on the development of the new hospital to benefit the region.

“It serves not only this county but the adjacent counties. The trade area is probably 40 to 45 miles. This a 50-year pay-it-forward project. It will definitely save lives in the future,” said Smith.

The turnaround time from planning meetings to shovels in the ground is a testament to everyone who calls Gettysburg their home.

“I’m sure there’s not been a faster project and. And when you look at this, you look at the contribution of 3 million. That’s roughly $1,300 per person that’s rather amazing,” said Smith.

Caring for people close to home, but, they’re not alone.

“Avera in general just as a system has so much support, and that we feel it all the way out here, and it’s amazing,” said Hawkinson.

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