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Published on January 21, 2016

New Home Opens for Avera Cancer Institute Aberdeen

ABERDEEN — Today, Avera Cancer Institute Aberdeen celebrated the grand opening of its new home in the newly constructed Don and Carmen Meyer Center of Excellence.

“Avera St. Luke’s Hospital has provided high-quality cancer care to this region for over 25 years. With our new home, Avera Cancer Institute Aberdeen is meeting our community’s growing need for cancer treatment and desire to receive that treatment close to home,” said Todd Forkel, Regional President and CEO of Avera St. Luke’s Hospital.

Avera also announced the donation of a $3.4 million grant from The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust to equip the new cancer center with a fully digital Elekta Infinity™ linear accelerator. This state-of-the-art cancer treatment tool offers enhanced imaging and the capability for a full range of state-of-the-art radiation treatments.

“We are extremely grateful for the Helmsley gift. The Trust has been an important partner in bringing the latest in cancer diagnostic and treatment technology to serve our area’s largely rural population. This equipment helps ensure that the majority of our patients can get the care they need, close to home,” Forkel added.

The $14.5 million project is more than double the space for the original Avera Cancer Institute Aberdeen, with 27,500 square feet.  It features chemotherapy, radiation therapy, outpatient infusion services and the practices of Richard Conklin, MD, Medical Oncologist, and Troy Adolfson, MD, Radiation Oncologist.

The expanded infusion area includes 24 stations, providing patients with choice between private, semi-private and group settings. Specially designed chairs offer recline, heat and massage.  The center offers 3-D mammography, providing greater detail and diagnosis capabilities by capturing more images from more angles.

In addition to the latest in cancer treatment technology, the center offers a wide variety of service enhancements including an in-house pharmacy and dedicated pharmacists, public education and screening programs, increased research and clinical trials, genetic counseling via telemedicine, nutritional counseling, financial counseling, a social work program, chaplain services, patient navigation, alternative medicine options and subspecialty clinics such as endocrinology, medical oncology, pediatric oncology support, radiation oncology and rheumatology. 

“Our goal is to bring hope to the fight by providing excellent, comprehensive cancer care – for the mind, body and spirit – all in one place,” said Scott Lunzman, Director of Avera Medical Group Clinic Division in Aberdeen. “This new center, along with our providers and staff, will give our community a new comfort and confidence level that they can receive world-class cancer treatment right at home.”

The building is named in honor of Don and Carmen Meyer, and their commitment to quality cancer care in Aberdeen.  The late Coach Meyer and his wife Carmen spoke extensively about the expert cancer care and access to advanced technology and state-of-the-art treatment that he received at Avera.

"Don chose Avera St. Luke's for his cancer treatment because it allowed us to stay close to home and still receive great care,” said Carmen. "Don and I loved, respected, and appreciated his doctors and nurses.  When discussions began about the new cancer institute, Don was so excited that the staff would have a larger and more efficient facility to provide their excellent care.”

About Avera Health and Avera Cancer Institute

The Avera Health system has over 16,000 employees and physicians, serving more than 330 locations and 100 communities in a five-state region. Our ministry, our people and our superior value distinguish Avera. We carry on the health care legacy of the Benedictine and Presentation Sisters, delivering care in an environment guided by our values of compassion, hospitality and stewardship. Avera Cancer Institute serves the oncology needs of the system through six major regional locations and 40 outreach sites. For more information about Avera, see our website at

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