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Avera Member Support

Support services provided to Avera members include management and consultation, educational programs, employee benefit programs, insurance coverages, legal services, medical record coding and consultation, managed care contract consultation, marketing and public relations assistance and risk management.

Avera Center for Public Policy

About Us

The Avera Center for Public Policy coordinates and strengthens the advocacy efforts of Avera affiliates and promotes public policies that benefit the people of our region. Deb Fischer-Clemens, a nurse and former South Dakota state legislator, is the vice president and director of the center. 

A major activity of the center has been to establish and nurture a grassroots network of Avera employees, physicians, trustees and friends who are informed of current issues, in touch with Avera’s involvement in the community, in dialogue with elected officials and in contact with Avera.

Avera Public Forum

The Avera Public Forum is hosted by the Avera Center for Public Policy.  It is designed to keep you informed about matters that affect your health care and to help you make a difference on issues like health care reform and coverage for the uninsured. 

The Avera Center for Public Policy coordinates and strengthens the advocacy efforts of Avera affiliates and promotes public policies that benefit the people of our region. Deb Fischer-Clemens, a nurse and former South Dakota state legislator, is the vice president and director of the center.

A major activity of the center has been to establish and nurture a grassroots network of Avera employees, physicians, trustees and friends who are informed of current issues, in touch with Avera’s involvement in the community, in dialogue with elected officials and in contact with Avera.

Issues

Cover the Uninsured

Every day Avera provides for the most vulnerable in our communities. As part of our mission to improve the health of those communities, we work to address the needs of those without access to health care by educating and motivating our employees, our communities and the general public about this national crisis. 

Medicare Health and Prescription Drug Plans

For more information on Medicare plans, please visit:

Join the nonpartisan coalition of local and national organizations doing something about it. If you or someone you know lacks healthcare coverage there may be help. Visit http://covertheuninsuredweek.org for information about:

  • Low-cost health care through community health centers and clinics
  • Help with prescription drug costs
  • Low-cost and free healthcare coverage through Medicaid and other programs
  • Healthcare coverage for people with a chronic illness or disability
  • Answers to legal questions about getting and keeping healthcare coverage
  • Children's health insurance programs offering uninsured children in working families low-cost or free coverage
  • Other services that may be available in your state

Speak up for an America where everyone has healthcare coverage.

Contact Your Congressional Delegates!

In the Community

At Avera, charity care and community benefits are not an obligation, but an integral part of our history, our identity and our mission. The health ministries begun by the Benedictine and Presentation Sisters more than 100 years ago have grown into the strong and branching network that shares the Avera name; the Avera mission to improve the lives and health of the persons and communities we serve; and the Avera commitment to healthcare access for everyone, regardless of ability to pay.

Avera’s nonprofit affiliates return any revenues over expenses that they receive to the people in their communities in three ways: charity care/patient assistance, unpaid costs of government and other programs and additional community benefits. Note that all three categories are obligations that would have to be assumed by governments and supported by taxpayers if nonprofit hospitals did not perform this essential role.

Elected Officials

Your members of Congress are responsible for giving you a voice in national government. Writing your Senators or Representative is one way to register your views on an issue. While Congressional offices receive large quantities of mail and dozens of phone calls daily, most offices try to track the views expressed by their constituents, and most inquiries receive a written response.

Tips for writing your Senators or Representative:

  • Fax and e-mail when possible. Heightened security measures have increased the time it takes for a letter sent by post to reach the offices of federal or state legislators. Increasingly, elected officials’ offices prefer electronic communications for constituent contact.
  • Know who to contact. Identify your Representative and Senators. Address, phone numbers, e-mail and biographical information on all members of Congress are readily available online: House of Representatives or Senate.
  • Identify yourself. Make sure to include your home address on all letters or other forms of communication. You are important to your elected official because you are a constituent and a voter who is expressing your views on issues that are important to you, not because you are a part of a national network or organization.
  • Be formal, polite and thoughtful. Letters should be addressed to “The Honorable __” on the envelope and the address line, and as “Dear Senator ___” or “Dear Representative ___” in the salutation. Avoid using inflammatory language and present your specific concern in a personal and thoughtful way.
  • Be brief and direct. Try to be concise in communicating your concerns. State your purpose for writing in the first sentence of the letter. Consider limiting yourself to two paragraphs, as short correspondences can be as effective as lengthy ones, and are often more clearly understood.
  • If your letter pertains to a specific piece of legislation, identify it and make sure that you are referencing the correct legislation and know the status of the bill.
  • Address only one issue in each correspondence.
  • Follow-up. Congressional offices receive volumes of letters, e-mails and phone calls everyday. If you do not receive a response to your first request, follow-up with a phone call or an additional letter referencing your earlier correspondence.

To contact your state legislators, please visit your state's website:

 

Contact Us

The Avera Center for Public Policy is located at:

3900 West Avera Drive
Sioux Falls, SD 57108
605-322-4700

Email: Deb.FischerClemens@Avera.org

Avera Parish Nurse Center

About Us

The Avera Parish Nurse Center was established in 1997 to promote and encourage parish nursing in eastern South Dakota and neighboring states. The Avera Parish Nurse Center helps congregations start parish nurse programs; facilitates communication among all parish nurses in the region; develops documents for use by parish nurses, hospitals and religious congregations; helps nurses and congregations find ways to fund parish nurse programs; and supports and publicizes courses and workshops that prepare nurses for parish ministry.

Life Connections Newsletter

For more information, or to receive the Avera Parish Nurse Center newsletter, contact:

Carol DeSchepper, Director
Avera Parish Nurse Center
3900 W Avera Drive
Sioux Falls, S.D. 57108
Phone: (605) 322-4706
carol.deschepper@avera.org

What is a Parish Nurse?

A Parish Nurse is a registered nurse working with members of a local congregation promoting the wellness of body, mind and spirit for individuals of all ages.

Where is Parish Nursing?

  • Christ the King Catholic Church, Sioux Falls
  • First Lutheran Church, Mitchell
  • Sacred Heart Parish, Aberdeen
  • First United Methodist Church, Mitchell
  • St. Joseph Cathedral, Sioux Falls
  • Hope Lutheran Church, Sioux Falls
  • American Luthern Church, Milbank
  • Parkview Methodist Church, Milbank

Role of the Parish Nurse

Health Counselor

  • Listener
  • Caregiver, support
  • Home, nursing home, hospital visitation

Educator - Based on Needs of Congregation

  • Focus on all age groups

Advocate

  • Professional/Community knowledge
  • Navigate health care System

Leader/Facilitator of Volunteers

  • Empower and affirms volunteer programs

T heologic Reflection

  • Ministering to health needs and the spirit
  • Supporting through prayer
  • Wholistic health focus

Helper/Liaison to the Community

  • Referral to existing services and agencies
  • Collaborate with agencies to meet specific needs

Contact Us

Carol DeSchepper, Director
Avera Parish Nurse Center
3900 W Avera Drive
Sioux Falls, S.D. 57108
Phone: (605) 322-4706
carol.deschepper@avera.org

Additional Support Services 

  • Avera eCARE Services - Avera eCARE™ is a visionary model that Provides 24-hour rural access to specialty care physicians and pharmacists and supports the rural health care workforce.
  • Avera Health Foundation - Provides assistance with all aspects of charitable giving programs and funds management.
  • Avera Health Plans - Offers an array of employer-sponsored health plans.
  • Avera Institutional Review Board (IRB)  - The Avera IRB is responsible for reviewing, approving, modifying, rejecting and monitoring research involving human subjects.  The purpose of the Avera IRB is to assure, both in advance and by periodic review, that appropriate steps are taken to protect rights and welfare of humans participating as research subjects.
  • Avera Laboratory Network   - Coordinates services provided from laboratories in Avera’s four regional South Dakota hospitals in Aberdeen, Mitchell, Sioux Falls and Yankton.
  • Avera PACE - Provides group purchasing through an affiliation with Premier, biomedical engineering services and equipment maintenance and a locum tenens physician service. Anesthesia Labels, a company providing a labeling system for operating rooms, is part of Avera PACE.
  • Avera Select - Offers Medicare supplement insurance.
  • Accounts Management Inc. - Provides collection service and consultation on developing uniform and effective policies.  Phone: (605) 322-4600.