Avera To Break Ground On New Replacement Facility For Avera Yankton Care Center
Officials at Avera Sacred Heart Hospital are announcing plans for a new replacement facility for Avera Yankton Care Center with plans for a separate six-bed hospice facility. The new facility will be built as two new “neighborhoods” of Avera Sister James Care Center at the Majestic Bluffs campus with the hospice facility separate, but attached.
Groundbreaking for the project at Avera Sacred Heart Majestic Bluffs, South Dakota’s premier senior living community, is planned to take place in late April. The project will bring to fruition plans that have been in the making since the Majestic Bluffs campus opened in 2001. Once constructed, the “town square” concept will become part of the central cornerstone of the complex. This will include a deli, general store, pub, theater, children’s play area, bank, post office and beauty salon. Majestic Bluffs is already home to independent and assisted living apartment, townhomes and the 113-bed Avera Sister James Care Center.
“Our original goal has always been to make this the ideal senior living community for all of our residents,” said Tony Erickson, Executive Director of Senior Services. “This is ‘home’ to our residents and we do everything in our power to make them feel at home. Adding the town square concept will add to the strong sense of community we already feel.”
With walking paths, a private pond (that is stocked for residents and their families) and a beautiful view of the Missouri River Valley, Avera Sacred Heart President and CEO Pamela J. Rezac states that the facilities are unmatched in the region.
“This has been years in the making – really going back to the dream of Sister James Souhrada,” Rezac stated. “We respect and honor our elders and want them to enjoy their golden years. This means giving them an environment in which the focus is on their needs, wants, comfort and, most importantly, their involvement. Majestic Bluffs has always been a remarkable facility, now it’s just going to get that much better.”
Physicians, staff, residents and their families and Sisters were involved in the planning of this replacements facility. Sister Mary Kay Panowicz, OSB, who was part of the original Avera Sacred Heart Majestic Bluffs facility in 2000-2001 and also served on this project was pleased to see her fellow late Sister James Souhrada’s dream come to fruition.
“Having been involved in the initial planning for Avera Majestic Bluffs, it is very exciting to see this new expansion of the campus with additional long-term care neighborhoods, hospice and other services for all who call Majestic Bluffs home,” she said. “The dream Sister James Souhrada had many years ago of a free-standing nursing home has been realized far beyond what she could have ever imagined with the wide continuum of services available. This new addition speaks of the continued commitment of the Benedictine and Presentation Sisters through Avera Health to serve our elders and the sick as Christ would serve them.”
Adding the hospice facility has also been in the long-range planning for the campus. Although Avera Sacred Heart, and now Avera@Home, has always provided in-home hospice care and two hospice rooms were recently added to the hospital’s Medical Floor, the hope has always been to have an independent hospice residential cottage – with the capacity to double in size - for those needing end-of-life care.
Avera Sacred Heart purchased the 74-bed Yankton Care Center in 2000. Future plans for the existing 45-year-old structure are still undetermined.
Cost for the project is expected to be $11.5 million.