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Avera Rural Health Institute

Contact Us

Avera Rural Health
3900 West Avera Drive Suite 100
Sioux Falls, SD 57108

Phone: 605-322-4700

Email: Avera Rural Health

The focus of Avera Rural Health is to collaborate with community leaders and other agencies to find solutions to challenges that affect rural health care:

  • Educational programs
  • Community health planning
  • Consulting
  • Economic development
  • Leadership development
  • Grant writing
  • Resource identification

Avera Rural Health serves all facilities with an Avera affiliation and may be contacted for a variety of topics concerning funding opportunities, project development, strategic planning, community health surveys, grant writing and grant application assistance and more.

Looking for Funding?

Complete the form on the following page as thoroughly as possible.The grant department will contact you as soon as possible regarding your request.

Grant Opportunities

The following grant opportunities have fast approaching deadlines. Please apply soon.

Healthy Communities 2016 Small Grant Program

Funder: Wellmark Foundation

Purpose: To promote safe and healthy environments that encourage activity and access to/consumption of healthy food.

Eligibility: Applicant must be a 501c3 located within Iowa or South Dakota.

Amount: up to $25,000

Deadline: Feb. 22, 2016

More Details

South Dakota Good & Healthy Community Grant

Funder: South Dakota Department of Health

Purpose: The goal of the grant is to support the assessment of community health and develop health promotion and disease prevention strategies for future implementation. Grant activities will include local facilitation of a community health needs assessment and improvement planning process

Eligibility: Local governmental or non-profit community-based organization with 501(c)3 status, including schools, post-secondary institutions, civic associations, service clubs, health care organizations, faith-based organizations, parent groups, neighborhood associations and local community coalitions.

Amount: $2,500 to $10,000

Deadline: Feb. 5, 2016

More Details

Community Outreach/Education Grants

Funder: Great Plains Center for Agricultural Health

Purpose: The goal of the Community Outreach and Education Grant Program is to enhance capacity to deliver evidence-based agricultural health programs.

Priority will be given to projects addressing emerging issues, vulnerable populations and aging of the agricultural workforce.

Eligibility: Anyone wiht an interest in agricultural health or safety and appropriate knowledge, skills and resources, including for-profit, non-profit, and public or private institutions; units of local or state government and eligible federal agencies; units of local and state tribal government; and faith- or community-based organizations.

Amount: up to $15,000

Deadline: April 3, 2016

More Details

Behavioral Health and Early Childhood Health grants

Funder: Medica Foundation

Purpose: The Foundation's mission is to fund community-based initiatives and programs that support the needs of Medica’s customers and the greater community by improving their health and removing barriers to health care services. Funding will be directed toward initiatives that: are true innovations in how health care is delivered; have a high likelihood of creating systemic change which in turn will increase sustainability; address social issues which drive health care costs and reduce health care disparities; build partnerships and collaborations between Medica and other community organizations and/or that build collaborations between community organizations.

Eligibility: Non-profit organizations in Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wisconsin that are 501(c)(3) legal entities or governmental agencies.

Amount: $25,000 to $40,000

Deadlines: March 25, 2016, and April 29, 2016

More Details

What We Do

Grant Writing

Avera Rural Health grant writers can help communities identify possible grant opportunities as well as coordinate and write grant proposals. Avera Rural Health has wide experience with federal, state and private grant sources, and has secured grant funding for rural health providers in amounts ranging from $5,000 to as large as $14.5 million. Avera Rural Health can coordinate the efforts of several grant applicants if it appears that a group approach will have greater funding success. Avera Rural Health can also assist communities in program management or evaluation once a grant has been awarded.

Policy and Advocacy

Through membership in the National Rural Health Association and in cooperation with the Avera Center for Public Policy, Avera Rural Health monitors rural health policy developments and promotes legislation that will benefit rural communities and fosters relationships with national rural stakeholder organizations.

Strategic Planning

Community Assessments, Planning and Development

Farm Safety Day Camps

The Avera Rural Health Institute, in cooperation with South Dakota Cares, Inc. and the South Dakota State University Cooperative Extension Services, annually sponsors dozens of farm safety day camps in communities throughout the region. More than 25,000 children ages 5 to 15 have attended the Save Our Farm Youth (SOFY) day camps since the program began in 1995.

Customized Services

In addition to the programs and services listed here, Avera Rural Health is open to helping rural community leaders with other projects. Avera Rural Health’s vision is to remain flexible enough to respond to particular needs at a particular time and place, and the Avera Rural Health staff welcomes the opportunity to help leaders find the resources they need.

Funders We Have Experience With


    • United States Dept. of Agriculture
    • United States Dept. of Health and Human Services
    • Health Resources Services Administration
    • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
    • Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services
    • Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
    • National Institute of Health


    • Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust
    • Otto Bremer Foundation
    • Wellmark Foundation
    • Susan G. Koman for the Cure
    • Avon Foundation for Women
    • American Cancer Society
    • The Kresge Foundation
    • W.K. Kellogg Foundation
    • Cardinal Health
    • Land O’Lakes Foundation
    • Verizon Foundation
    • Bush Foundation


    • State Departments of Health for South Dakota, Minnesota and Iowa and others

Who we work with/Partnerships

    • Avera facilities
    • Other healthcare providers
    • Community service or action organizations
    • Health collaborations
    • Community/public health entities
    • And others

Rural Health Conference

Rural Health Conference

Avera Rural Health offers a bi-annual fall conference that brings national leaders and speakers together with local voices in rural health care to our region. The Avera Rural Health Conference offers informational topics concerning health care, community and economic development, public policy, developing local leadership and more.


Rachael Sherard

Senior Vice President Rural Health Services
Phone: 605-322-4725
Fax: 605-322-4798

John Neth
Director of Grant Compliance and Financial Reporting
Phone: 605-322-4588
Fax: 605-322-4522

JR LaPlante
Director of Tribal Relations
Phone: 605-322-6347
Fax: 605-322-4799

Deanna (Dede) Parker
Grant Supervisor
Phone: 605-322-4654
Fax: 605-322-4522

Janna Farley
Grant Writer II
Phone: 605-322-4741
Fax: 605-322-4522

Matt Crosby
Grant Writer II
Phone: 605-322-4657
Fax: 605-322-4522

Erin Williams
Financial Analyst
Phone: 605-322-4721
Fax: 605-322-4522