Sioux Falls Hospital Staff Struggle Under Latest Surge

16 hours ago
Jackie Hendry

In a normal year, fall is a busy season for Sioux Falls hospitals. This year, they’re struggling under the added weight of COVID-19. 

Local hospital leaders say staff are exhausted and frustrated as they watch many continue business as usual.

As of Monday, more than half of the state’s COVID-19 hospitalizations are in the Sioux Falls area.  

Chief Medical Officer Mike Elliott with Avera McKennan hospital confirms patients are two to a room in some cases.  

Avera and Sanford Respond to Capacity Concerns

Sep 28, 2020

Local health providers say individual hospital capacity is not the best metric for gauging responses to COVID-19. After reports of deferred patients spread on social media, leaders from both Avera and Sanford say their surge plans are adequate and they have enough staff. But there are ways the public can help. 

There’s a simple reason Sanford and Avera are not publicly releasing their daily hospital capacity: to reduce confusion.

Dr. David Basel is the Vice President of Clinical Quality for Avera Medical Group.

Kealey Bultena

Avera leaders say a new campus in Sioux Falls can better serve people with specialty health needs and promote economic growth. Wednesday Avera Health announced plans for building projects including new buildings and a surgical hospital.

Avera on Louise is the name of an additional campus planned for 82 acres at 69th Street and Louise Avenue in Sioux Falls.

Dr. Dave Kapaska is Avera McKennan Hospital’s President and CEO.

Dakota Midday: Images Of The Past / Mead Building

Dec 5, 2016

The current home of Yankton's Cultural Education Center opened in 1909 as the women's receiving hospital at what was known at the time as the Dakota Hospital for the Insane. The building now bears the name of the hospital superintendent who had it built, Dr. Leonard Mead. Laura Beall of Yankton joins Dakota Midday for this week's Images of the Past feature as we explore the intersection between mental health and architecture.

Kealey Bultena / SDPB

A new form of radiation therapy allows breast cancer patients to avoid weeks of trips back-and-forth to the hospital. That means some women who live far away from treatment centers don’t have to jeopardize their health if they can’t make it to radiation. A Sioux Falls hospital is one of eight in the country using what's called IORT. 

Eighteen months ago, Lu Rice was diagnosed with breast cancer. The Madison woman knew she needed surgery and radiation. She’s seen people go through treatment for five days a week.

Erin Mairose

The VA Health Care System is undertaking $20 million dollars in construction and renovations on its facility in Sioux Falls. Officials hope the additional space will help doctors provide better care to area veterans.

Darwin Goodspeed is the Director of the VA Health Care System in Sioux Falls. He says not having space for doctors to see patients is a limiting factor in providing care. 

Kealey Bultena / SDPB

Medical professionals from six small hospitals across South Dakota are learning how to handle complications during childbirth. Avera Health teams of doctors, anesthesiologists, nurses, and other care providers are working in teams in critical simulations.

Eight medical professionals crowd around a simulator that forces them to figure out how to deliver a baby when its shoulders are stuck. Trainers use a device to measure the pressure a doctor or nurse puts on a baby while trying to free the newborn.

Kealey Bultena / SDPB

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.

Nurse Fired After Racist Comments

May 11, 2015

A Rapid City Regional Hospital nurse was fired after she made racist comments in a video that was posted on social media.

The video sparked a Facebook page titled Fire Ryane Oliva, it calls for a protest in front of the hospital starting at noon Tuesday.  

In a press release hospital officials say they have zero tolerance for racism.  

Officials add that they’re joining with protest organizers to rally against racism and bigotry in front of the hospital.

Experts And Artists Say Art Heals

Sep 27, 2013

The art in the Art of Healing is the music drifting throughout a hospital while you're waiting for the results of a biopsy.  It's also a shared experience through the words of a poet.  And it's even the pictures that hang on the wall and also how the building is designed. 

Mental Health Services For Veterans

Jun 3, 2013

The Sioux Falls VA Health Care System is part of the nationwide effort to ensure veterans receive the mental health services and support they need. They are one of 15 pilot sites where the VA is working with community based mental health providers to help veterans access mental health services in a timely manner.