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  • Avera honors Jim Woster for having a HeART for Behavioral Health

Published on February 03, 2014

Avera honors Jim Woster for having a HeART for Behavioral Health

SIOUX FALLS (Feb. 3, 2014) – Jim Woster of Sioux Falls was honored Saturday evening by the Avera Behavioral Health Center at the fourth annual HeARTS in Healing benefit event.

Woster received the first ever HeART of Behavioral Health Award. For the past 20 years, Woster has volunteered his time and talents to sing and play the guitar for children staying on the Adolescent and Child Units at the Avera Behavioral Health Center.

Since the inception of HeARTS in Healing, Woster has volunteered as auctioneer for the live auction, in which original artworks created by local and regional artists are sold, along with other packages including dinners, trips and more. He’s served every year on the planning committee, and assists in collecting several packages for the live and silent auctions. Proceeds benefit urgent care services and the Arts in Healing program at the Avera Behavioral Health Center.

“Jim has been welcomed enthusiastically by our staff and patients, dating back to his first visit over 20 years ago. He has made a permanent imprint on our program. It is so heartwarming to watch the kids smile and laugh as they sing along with Jim. One little girl said it best when she said to Jim, ‘I was sad before you came – and now I’m happy,’” said Thomas Otten, Director of Behavioral Health Inpatient Services for Avera McKennan Hospital & University Health Center.

Woster has been a friend and supporter of Avera McKennan for more than three decades. He serves on the Avera McKennan Foundation Board of Directors, and has been involved in various fundraising campaigns to benefit projects including the Avera Behavioral Health Center, Avera Prince of Peace Retirement Community and Avera Cancer Institute. He was the long-time co-host of Housecalls radio program for Avera McKennan, as well as other public relations ventures.

A Lyman County native, Woster grew up on a cattle and grain farm north of Reliance. He graduated from South Dakota State University in 1962 with a degree in animal and range sciences and did two years of postgraduate work in ruminant nutrition.  He worked for 42 years at the Sioux Falls Stockyards, first as a cattle buyer and then as a reporter of the daily livestock prices on radio and television. He also has served as a master of ceremonies and story teller at numerous agricultural events.

Woster does public relations work for the South Dakota State University Foundation, produces Corn Comments radio commentary and writes a column for the Tri-State Neighbor. He served on the board of directors for the South Dakota Hall of Fame and as co-chairman of the Sioux Falls Events Center Task Force. Woster and his wife, Penny, have three grown children and five grandchildren.

“Jim is such an asset to the state of South Dakota and the community of Sioux Falls, as well as Avera and numerous other organizations. It was our privilege to honor him for his many contributions to behavioral health services,” said Steve Lindquist, Assistant Vice President for Behavioral Health Services at Avera McKennan.