Avera To Add Emergency Dept. In Western SF

Sep 8, 2015

Sioux Falls is gaining another emergency department. Avera Health is building a new family medical center west of Interstate 29, and health leaders are including a full-service emergency room. The free-standing ER will provide quick access for people experiencing a health crisis.

By this time next year, physicians, nurses, and a care team will operate an emergency department on the west side of Sioux Falls for 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.

“When something becomes emergent to us, whether it’s a florid emergency or not to a technical person, we want to be there quickly and get great care,” Dr. Dave Kapaska says.

Kapaska is the President and CEO of Avera McKennan Hospital and University Health Center. He says time factors into the decision to include a full-service emergency department at the Avera Family Medical Center at 28th and Marion. Kapaska says the western part of town is somewhat isolated from other areas, so it takes longer to travel to care.

“And second the increasing population projected over the next seven/eight/ten years would suggest that we’re going to tax all of the current sites that we have, and we wanted to prepare as best we could,” Kapaska says. “And we felt, since we were building this clinic there, that the timing was right.”

Kaspaska says western Sioux Falls includes about 45,000 people. That’s nearly 20,000 more than the state’s third-largest city.

Kapaska says this emergency department is free-standing – that is, it’s not physically connected to a hospital. Health providers at the new ER will treat all emergencies. They’ll help with ailments such as severe stomach pain and broken bones so people can receive treatment and recover at home. The care team can also stabilize patients for transfer to the hospital.

“I’ve told some people it’s just a longer hallway than we have now, and we’ll move people to the location that works best for them,” Kapaska says.

Kapaska says Avera does this now with its heart hospital ER.

The 70,000 square-foot facility at 28th and Marion includes family practice, internal medicine, pediatrics, OB/GYN, a breast center, and behavioral counseling. It also boasts a lab and radiology.

Kapaska says crews will break ground in the next 10 days. The project should be complete by late next summer.