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Avera Breaks Ground on Kirby Place Addition

May 24, 2021 09:39AM ● By Med Magazine

Avera broke ground on Kirby Place at the Walsh Family Village in Sioux Falls.

Thanks to more than 400 donors to the Home for Hope Campaign, the Avera Foundation raised over $3.3 million to expand and renovate patient and family lodging adjacent to the Avera McKennan Hospital & University Health Center campus.

Kirby Place will include 14 new guest rooms, more than doubling the current lodging. In addition to adding 6,500 square feet of space, this project will connect two of the three existing buildings at Walsh Family Village. When completed, there will be two facilities: Kirby Place and Ronald McDonald House Charities.

Jennifer and Joe Kirby of Sioux Falls provided the $1.3 million lead gift and were joined by hundreds of other generous individuals across the Avera footprint and beyond, exceeding the campaign’s $2.5 million goal by more than 30% to also provide permanent endowment support for patient and family lodging.

“I learned first-hand about the importance of patient housing in 2014 when my mom was diagnosed with cancer. Having a welcoming place to stay turned a scary time into one where we felt supported and loved. I'm thrilled that we can help make this possible for more Avera patients,” said Jennifer Kirby, who co-chaired the Home for Hope campaign with Carolyn Cutler.

“Thanks to Jennifer and Joe and countless other benefactors, Kirby Place will be a refuge – a safe and welcoming place where patients and families can take a break from the challenges of their respective health care journeys,” said Dzenan Berberovic, Avera Chief Philanthropy Officer.

Last year, more than 6,300 people were served through Avera’s existing patient and family lodging in Sioux Falls as they sought care. Thanks to generous benefactors, hundreds more stayed at area hotels because Avera lodging facilities were full. 

“This project will be impactful to those we serve. Nearly 60% of individuals served at Avera McKennan visit from beyond Sioux Falls. Avera is a leader in cancer, orthopedics, transplant, behavioral health, neurology, trauma and other sub-specialties. This draws patients from a wider region to this higher level of care,” said David Flicek, President and CEO of Avera McKennan.

The expanded and renovated facility will open in spring 2022. Visit to learn about the Home for Hope Campaign.