SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Avera broke ground on Kirby Place at the Walsh Family Village in Sioux Falls on Thursday.
Kirby Place will house 14 guest rooms, connecting two of the three existing buildings at Walsh Family Village. Once completed, there will be two facilities: Kirby Place and Ronald McDonald House Charities.
Jennifer and Joe Kirby of Sioux Falls donated a $1.3-million gift and more than 400 donors contributed to the Home for Hope Campaign and the Avera Foundation raised over $3.3-million. The donors surpassed the goal of $2.5-million and the additional 30% will provide permanent endowment support for patient and family lodging.
“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.
In 2020, more than 6,300 people were served through Avera’s existing patient and family lodging in Sioux Falls.
“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.
“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 facility is set to open in spring 2022.