Avera building behavioral health facility in Aberdeen

Avera plans to remove the west half of the Physician’s Plaza on Lloyd Street to make way for the new facility.
Published: May. 10, 2022 at 6:31 PM CDT
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ABERDEEN, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - Avera St. Luke’s recently announced their plans to invest more than $17 million on expansions in Aberdeen. One of those projects is a stand-alone behavioral health facility.

Avera plans to remove the west half of the Physician’s Plaza on Lloyd Street to make way for the new facility.

”The stand-alone building is great because it puts us off campus a little bit, but still has that tunnel connecting us to get right to the hospital if needed. It will also provide space for an outdoor area, natural lighting, just all the things to make sure we’re taking care of the whole person,” said Kelli Fischer, Chief Nursing Officer of Avera in Aberdeen.

The facility will also feature a behavioral health urgent care, where patients in crisis can have their needs met quickly. Sioux Falls recently opened a similar facility.

”So, say it’s somebody who is having suicidal ideation or feels like they haven’t slept in a long time, it’s really that quick, easy access point of care getting connected to providers and counselors who can then address what point of care they need to be going through,” said Fischer.

Avera currently has a behavioral health unit with 10 beds located in their hospital, but the new facility will nearly double the amount of beds available by bumping that number up to 18.

”Ten beds puts us at capacity at times. We always find a way to make sure we’re meeting the need of the community, but this also gives people that privacy and space that they need to grow and to get better, to get back as independent as possible,” said Fischer.

Avera staff say having a behavioral health center in Aberdeen was crucial to serve the northeastern region of the state.

”I think really this gives us the opportunity to provide hope, and that’s huge in this northeastern corner. To provide those services for people to be able to get back on their feet and be independent not only for our Avera community, but for our outlining regions too,” said Fischer.

Avera staff say they hope to break ground on the new facility this fall. They are aiming to open its doors in 2024.

Other projects to be completed in the $17 million investment include renovations to Avera’s Women’s Center and Orthopedic Center.

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