SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Every eight minutes, someone dies of an overdose. That adds up to 192 people per day. That number may seem like a far away statistic, until it hits home and affects someone you love.
That’s why Avera Health is opening the Avera Addiction Care Center in Sioux Falls.
On Wednesday, Avera took KELOLAND News on a tour of the in-patient facility. KELOLAND’s Angela Kennecke and Emily’s Hope, the charity in honor of her daughter who died from an overdose, will play a role in getting people help.
“When our patients are arriving into our program, this’ll be the door they come in.”
When you walk into the Avera Addiction Care Center, it’s clear it’s still under construction. Despite all the tools, wood, and paint; Matthew Stanley, vice president for Avera Behavioral Health, says the three main building blocks that’ll make this place are respect, hope, and confidence.
“The illness of addiction is similar to any other illness you’re going to deal with. There’s no judgment in this building. This is treating people with dignity and respect,” Stanley said.
We toured the new facility near 69th and Louise. It’ll have open spaces, exercise rooms, education spaces, detox rooms, community living spaces, and 32 bedrooms.
“We’re trying to optimize the environment, so people come in, they see a warm and attractive place so they can hopefully heal,” Stanley said.
Angela got her first look at the facility where her charity, Emily’s Hope, will be put to good use. The money it raises will help pay for treatment for people who need financial assistance. There will also be interventionists on staff. Angela was planning to have an intervention for her daughter, but says finding one wasn’t easy.
“That was the hardest thing for me as a mom. When I was trying to figure out, I knew something was wrong with my daughter. I wanted to get her into treatment. I called up to the Cities and found an interventionist cost $4,000 to come down here,” Angela said.
Avera wanted Angela to leave her mark in the building.
“So, the fireplace is kind of the heart of the home. The heart of this building. We thought maybe you’d be able to put your signature here,” Stanley said, pointing to the fireplace. Angela wrote, “May everyone who comes here seeking healing and hope, find it in Emily Groth’s memory. Love, Angela Kennecke.”
Tiles will eventually cover these words, so patients won’t see this message. Angela hopes they feel the warmth of a mother who wants to save other daughters and sons.
This facility is set to open in December, when Emily’s Hope can remain alive through the recovery of others.
“The intent is it will change many lives,” Stanley said.
Cost of treatment will depend on insurance. The Emily’s Hope fund works like a scholarship depending on need.