Groundbreaking Takes Place for $13.5 Million Home for Avera Cancer Institute Aberdeen
ABERDEEN, SD (Oct. 7, 2014) – Avera St. Luke’s Hospital has broken ground on a $13.5 million new home for Avera Cancer Institute Aberdeen – the Coach Don & Carmen Meyer Center of Excellence.
The new 27,500-square-foot building will be constructed south of the southeast wing of Avera St. Luke’s Hospital at the corner of Fifth Avenue and Penn Street in Aberdeen. The initial project will be one floor, however, the building will have a capacity to add three additional floors in the future.
The new building is designed to offer comprehensive cancer care under one roof. Service enhancements will include public education and screening programs, increased research and clinical trials, genetic counseling via telemedicine, a social work program, alternative medicine options, and several subspecialty clinics, including endocrinology, medical oncology, pediatric oncology support, radiation oncology and rheumatology. Multi-specialty clinics for breast, lung and colon cancer also are being planned. A new $3.4 million linear accelerator will be housed in the building as well.
“We know that cancer care is more than treating a disease – it’s caring for the whole person, body, mind and spirit. We have designed the Avera Cancer Institute Aberdeen as a place of faith, courage and dignity, and a place that honors the individual,” said Todd Forkel, Regional President and CEO of Avera St. Luke’s Hospital. “We’re currently seeing more than 17,000 patient visits each year for cancer care. As our population ages, we expect that number to rise significantly. This new facility will accommodate the cancer care expertise and technology of today, and for decades to come.”
The late Coach Don Meyer of Aberdeen expressed his gratitude for expert cancer care and local access to advanced technology and state-of-the-art treatment. For the past few years, Coach and his wife, Carmen, devoted a great deal of time raising awareness about the outstanding care they received throughout the Avera system. This included a commitment of time and resources to the capital campaign, “Avera Cancer Institute Aberdeen, Mission of Hope and Healing.”
It was announced on April 3, 2014, that Aberdeen’s new cancer facility would be named after the Meyers in honor of this commitment.
The local fundraising campaign has a goal of $6.1 million, with the $7.4 million remainder to be funded by Avera St. Luke’s Hospital. Numerous individuals, families and businesses have already invested in order to raise two-thirds of the fundraising goal.
“Don wanted to leave a lasting legacy in the community of Aberdeen. He did so in the lives of everyone he knew – his players, his family and his friends. We also are proud to be part of the lasting legacy of quality health care and cancer care in our community,” Carmen Meyer said.
For more information or to donate to the Avera Cancer Institute Aberdeen, visit AveraStLukes.org