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News & Notes

Mar 29, 2018 06:00AM ● By MED Magazine


Avera plans to build an Addiction Care Center as part of the new Avera on Louise Health Campus at 69th Street and Louise Avenue in Sioux Falls. This $8 million project will consist of two one-story buildings that together comprise 20,000 square feet.  This main building includes space for day treatment, group dining space, and a meditation room that is respectful of all faiths. A residential building will have 32 private rooms with separate areas for men and women. Treatment will typically be 28 days long and will follow criteria recognized by the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM). Avera is the first member of The Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation’s Patient Care Network—the first of its kind in the addiction treatment industry.  Construction is set to begin this summer, and the new Avera Addiction Care Center will open in mid-2019.

Five Avera hospitals in three states recently were included in the Top 100 Critical Access Hospitals in the United States. The Chartis Center for Rural Health evaluates hospitals nationwide and presented the top 100 facilities that met the criteria for 2018. The Avera facilities include: In South Dakota, Avera Hand County Memorial Hospital in Miller and Milbank Area Hospital in Milbank, In Iowa, Avera Holy Family Hospital in Estherville and Floyd Valley Healthcare - Avera in LeMars, and in Nebraska, Avera St. Anthony’s Hospital in O’Neill. The facilities that made the list scored in the top 100 of Critical Access Hospitals on iVantage Health Analytics’ Hospital Strength index.



Sioux Falls pediatrician Benson Hsu, MD, has been named one of 24 2018 Bush Fellows. The Bush Fellowship provides Fellows with up to $100,000 over 12 to 24 months to pursue learning experiences that help them develop leadership skills and attributes. A total of 751 people applied for the 2018 Bush Fellowship. The 24 Fellows were selected through a multi-stage process involving Bush Fellowship alumni, Bush Foundation staff and established regional leaders. Dr. Hsu also recently had an article on healthcare data use published in the prestigious Harvard Business Review.

Sanford Health’s success in helping patients control their hypertension has been recognized by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Health systems across the nation who helped at least 70 percent of their adult patients lower their blood pressure in the past year were named a Million Hearts Hypertension Control Champion. Sanford Health was one of 24 systems that received this recognition, helping 88.8 percent of patients achieve blood pressure control.

Sanford pulmonary care nurse Casey Nelson, RN, was recently recognized with a DAISY Award for extraordinary nurses. Nelson’s nomination described him as compassionate, extraordinary, respectful, empathetic, and patient.

Sanford Worthington Medical Center is one of just eight community hospitals across the nation to receive the Bernard A. Birnbaum, MD, Quality Leadership Award. The award is given annually to academic medical centers and community hospital members that demonstrate superior performance, as measured by the Vizient Quality and Accountability Study, which has been conducted annually since 2005.

The Collaborative Research Center for American Indian Health will host its annual summit April 16-18 in Sioux Falls. Speakers will focus on storytelling as a way to share information and experience as it relates to Native American communities, research and innovation. The summit, now in its sixth year, provides networking opportunities and features presentations from researchers and experts in the field of Native American and rural health. For the first time, Sanford’s Center for Health Outcomes and Population Research will also present at the event. Registration is free and open to the public.



This year’s Top 100 Great Iowa Nurses includes Chris Van Beek, a registered nurse from Mercy Home Care, who has traveled over 14,000 miles in 2017 to serve patients in Iowa, Nebraska and South Dakota in 14 counties and touched their lives over 1,600 times. Chris began her Mercy career in 1999 as a Mercy Home Care nurse.  She has been a case manager in the northern territory since that time and has been coordinating patient care in the home setting. This year, the honorees represent 42 Iowa counties and were selected from a pool of 500 individuals who were nominated by colleagues, patients, doctors, friend, and family members.

Mercy Medical Center–Sioux City has announced the appointment of Amy Scarmon as Manager of Mercy's Child Advocacy Center. Scarmon has been a member of the Mercy Child Advocacy Center team for the past 14 years.  Prior to her promotion, Scarmon served as a forensic interviewer. She also has experience as a mental health counselor and chemical dependency counselor. Scarmon holds a BS in Psychology /Alcohol and Drug Abuse Studies and an MA in Counseling with a Certificate in Nonprofit Management.



Prairie Lakes Healthcare System is among the Top 20 Rural Community Hospitals in the nation as determined by iVantage Health Analytics. The Top 20 winners were recently announced by the National Rural Health Association (NRHA). The determining factors for the top 20 rural community hospitals were based on eight indices: inpatient market share, outpatient market share, quality, outcomes, patient perspectives, costs, charge and financial stability. PLHS serves a ten county region in eastern South Dakota and western Minnesota including twenty outreach clinics.

Residents in the Ponca, Nebraska area will have a shorter trip for physical therapy starting in May. The CNOS clinic in Dakota Dunes will open a new rehab clinic there on Wednesday, May 2. The clinic will provide physical therapy services as a satellite clinic for CNOS. A long-time resident of Ponca, Christy Nelson, MSPT, will lead the rehab team, moving from her current position at CNOS’s Morningside and Northside Clinics in Sioux City, Iowa.

Maternity unit staff and physicians at Huron Regional Medical Center helped kick off the official start of a planned $3 million renovation project on the third floor of the main hospital in February. The expansion will include four new LDRP suites with amenities like whirlpool tubs and walk-in showers, a family area, larger televisions, a snack center for families, more storage, and updated decor. Renovations are expected to be finished by the end of the year.


Lizz Nedved, human resources assistant at Yankton Medical Clinic, PC, has passed her Society for Human Resource Management certification exam. The SHRM-CP credential designates the recipient as a recognized expert and leader in the HR field. Nedved is past president of the Southeast South Dakota SHRM chapter.

Edgewood Memory Care in Sioux Falls is looking for teams, hole sponsors, and door prizes for a July 14 golf tournament. The tournament will go toward the Edgewood walk team and will be donated to the South Dakota Alzheimer’s Association. Registration forms and donations will be accepted until July 1. For information, contact executive director Jenn Nesbitt.