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  • Avera Bulletin August 2012

Published on August 17, 2012

Avera Bulletin August 2012

Avera McKennan Ranked First by U. S. News

Avera McKennan Hospital & University Health Center has been ranked the No. 1 hospital in South Dakota by U. S. News & World Report. Rankings are based in part on patient safety, reputation and advanced technologies.

U. S. News & World Report recently released its annual Best Hospitals rankings, the 23rd edition. This year’s Best Hospitals list showcases more than 720 of the nation’s roughly 5,000 hospitals.

Avera McKennan also was ranked No. 38 nationally in gynecology and received high-performing status in nine medical specialties including cancer, diabetes and endocrinology, gastroenterology, geriatrics, nephrology, neurology and neurosurgery, orthopedics, pulmonology and urology.

The rankings were published by the magazine in collaboration with RTI International, a research organization based in Research Triangle Park, N.C. Highlights of the 2012 – 13 rankings are in the U. S. News Best Hospitals 2013 guidebook and are available at

Avera McKennan Garners Five-Star Recognition

Avera McKennan has been awarded a Community Value Leadership Award by Cleverley + Associates, based in Columbus, Ohio, with the designation Community Value Five-Star Provider.

The five-star recognition goes to hospitals that achieve a Community Value Index® (CVI) score in the top quintile (20 percent) of all hospitals in their group. Avera McKennan was one of only three hospitals recognized in South Dakota, and the only one in the Sioux Falls region. This is the fourth time Avera McKennan has received this award since 2008.

The CVI was created to provide a measure of the value that a hospital provides to its community. The CVI is composed of 10 measures that assess a hospital’s performance in four areas:

  1. Financial viability and plant reinvestment
  2. Hospital cost structure
  3. Hospital charge structure
  4. Hospital quality performance

Avera to Open Payment Center in Mitchell

Avera recently announced plans to open a payment center in Mitchell, S.D., which initially will create approximately 15 new jobs. There exists growth potential for up to 50 jobs. The payment center will be located in the Avera Medical Plaza at 2200 N. Kimball.

The payment center will process payments of Avera accounts from across the health system.  Previously this work was outsourced and is being brought back to the system.

“We are very excited to be opening this payment center in Mitchell,” said John Porter, president and CEO of Avera.  “This is an opportunity for Avera to invest in one of our key communities and better serve our patients.”

Hiring of a leadership team has begun. By fall the center should be fully staffed and operational. The Mitchell Area Development Corporation worked with Avera on this expansion project to bring the business to the Mitchell area.  Mike Rieck, president of Mitchell Development noted, “We believe this expansion by Avera, which is creating new office jobs, is a great fit for our community and will have good long-term impact on the growth of our economy.” 

Avera St. Luke’s Hospital and Avera Heart Hospital Make Becker’s Hospital Rankings

Becker’s Hospital Review recently published the 50 hospitals with the lowest 30-day readmission rates for heart attack patients. The rankings are based on data from July 2007 to June 2010 from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Hospital Compare database.

New Vice President of Supply Chain Joins Avera

Steven Wayne Huckabaa is the new vice president of Supply Chain for Avera, assuming the position vacated by Allen Caudle’s retirement. Since August 2004, Steven was chief Supply Chain officer/purchasing executive for Kettering Health Network. Kettering Health Network is an eight-hospital network with a college of medical arts, two nursing homes, two retirement communities, a homecare agency and ambulatory care centers serving the regions of Dayton and northern Cincinnati, Ohio.