Plans for Sioux Empire Triage Center move forward

Published: Jun. 9, 2020 at 9:34 PM CDT
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The Sioux Falls City Council received an update Tuesday on the Sioux Empire Triage Center project that is on the works for downtown Sioux Falls. That information coming during Tuesday afternoon's City Council informational meeting.

The Sioux Empire Triage Center has been under development since late this past January when the organizing parties signed bylaws, officially moving the project forward.

The key part of Tuesday's presentation was to establish a joint participation agreement between all the parties involved in the community triage center. Those parties include Avera, Sanford, the City of Sioux Falls, and Minnehaha County.

This agreement outlines how each entity will work together to fund and operate the facility over the next three years.

"A lot of cities don't get along with counties, and hospitals don't get along with each other, and here you have all of those entities getting together and providing something they recognize as an important resource for our community," Minnehaha County Sheriff Mike Milstead said.

Project Director Steve Lindquist says the private and public collaboration is a groundbreaking aspect of this project that will help propel it to success.

"We have great out-patient services in our community, we have great in-patient resources in our community, but this bridges a gap between both of those in terms of more urgent needs as well as enhancing the existing detox program to serve a broader population than what it does currently," Lindquist said.

The Sioux Empire Triage Center will provide key services to those in the community dealing with mental health as well as reduce emergency room visits, and cut down on jail bookings.

"It's an alternative for police officers, for family members, to bring individuals that are struggling and to get them into the door, get them assessed by a nurse, and then triage them to whatever type of service in our community that they might need," Sheriff Milstead said.

Sioux Falls Assistant Director of Public Health Alicia Collura says the city wants to give its residents the highest level of help available.

"We want to serve people at the best place, at the best time, with the best staff, so that they can have the best outcomes," Collura said.