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Published on March 29, 2022

heart hospital and north central heart building

Patient-Centered Approach Keeps Avera Heart Hospital Growing

For more than 20 years, Avera Heart Hospital has followed a singular promising vision: provide the best possible heart and vascular care in the nation right here at home. That idea began before the building emerged on the southwest edge of Sioux Falls — and it remains vital.

The same missionary zeal of the legacy group of physicians who founded our facility is what guides us today,” said Mick Gibbs, Avera Heart Hospital President and CEO. “Several of these physicians continue to work here, and they challenge us to continue to strive for excellence.”

New technology, including wearable devices for heart-failure patients, is among the new things unfolding every day.

“Our founders changed the way people get care, and did so striving to improve every day, with every patient. We’re doing those same things today,” Gibbs said. “We are keeping their promise, as they inspire us to get better and never accept anything but excellence.”

A typical year for the team of 24 physicians and 25 advanced practice providers includes:

  • More than 5,700 surgeries and procedures
  • More than 30,000 clinic patients
  • Almost 3,000 emergency room visits
  • More than 25,000 ambulatory vascular studies, stress tests and other exams

Shaping Health Care’s Future

In the late 1990s, the founders of Avera Heart Hospital envisioned care focused solely on the patient, which was new.

“Many said a heart hospital wouldn’t be successful,” said Tommy Reynolds, MD, FACS, a founding member of both Avera Heart Hospital and its medical group, North Central Heart. “Cardiac care was in Sioux Falls, but it wasn’t provided in the way we thought was best.”

Reynolds said things clicked when Avera leaders were supportive of the venture.

“There were no ‘health systems’ when we started,” he said. “We were lucky to get great people on our team as we started. People like Cheryl (Osmond) are why we have succeeded.”

Within their specialization, the Avera Heart Hospital team did things in new ways, like incorporating imaging services within the surgical unit. Throughout its history – to the present – Avera Heart Hospital used its zeal to ensure its quality.

“We’ve grown our medical staff, and that growth is possible because of our reputation,” Gibbs said. “We continue to inspire one another. No one on our team is more important than anyone else. We all touch the lives of each patient; we work as one.”

Taking on the Toughest Health Threat

Avera Heart Hospital earns the highest possible rating from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) in quality and patient satisfaction scores. The hospital is one of only 19 facilities – out of 6,000 – to do so. Daily, the team faces the biggest challenge in medicine, heart disease, the world’s No. 1 health threat.

“We’ve always sought to elevate cardiac and vascular services – to do that one thing very well,” said Cheryl Osmond, Avera Heart Hospital Vice President of Clinical Services. “We are proud of our work, but also proud of the collaborative cardiac care we provide.”

Osmond was among the first employees of the hospital in 2000. She said of all the leading-edge procedures, innovative technology and talented medical staff, one thing stands out.

“Our employees make us great,” she said. “In our employee surveys, we ask: ‘Would you recommend us for yourself or your family?’ – the most common response is ‘yes’.”

Learn more about Avera heart services or make an appointment with a specialist today.

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Avera is a health ministry rooted in the Gospel. Our mission is to make a positive impact in the lives and health of persons and communities by providing quality services guided by Christian values.

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