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Published on July 01, 2020

Avera Unites all Foundations as One

Avera has aligned its central and all hospital foundations into a single Avera Foundation.

This team employs 22 people working in varied philanthropy roles. Now, instead of working for a certain facility, they unite their efforts as part of the Avera Foundation. This team will be led by Dzenan Berberovic, who was named Avera Chief Philanthropy Officer in March.

“Philanthropy support has been part of Avera’s health ministry for more than 130 years,” Berberovic said. “Even prior to opening hospitals like Avera St. Luke’s, Avera Sacred Heart or Avera McKennan, the Sisters invited community members and friends to join them in their healing ministry, whether it was a gift of dollars – or even pillows or rooms in their homes. Today, as a single Foundation, we continue to follow in their footsteps as we seek to extend, enhance and enrich the lives of those we serve.”

Last year, donors provided more than $28 million in philanthropic support to Avera. Approximately 19,000 benefactors each year support Avera programs through financial donations or by participating in fundraising events like the Avera Race. “About 6,000 of those benefactors are Avera employees who are committed and passionate about being part of advancing the Avera legacy of healing,” Berberovic said. The Foundation’s Avera Cares Employee Giving Campaign, which is on pace to exceed the $1.17 million goal, has garnered over 30% participation from Avera colleagues.

As part of its COVID-19 response, the Avera Foundation has received support of over $1.1 million to date to support Avera employees, patients, residents and communities through the Avera Heroes Fund.

Individuals, organizations and corporate partners who wish to support Avera will continue to have a wide range of choices, whether that involves supporting a local hospital – for example, a capital campaign for a new building or remodeling project – or a certain area of care, such as hospice, cancer or addiction care. Just as they always have, gifts received will continue to support the initiative directed by each donor.

In the future, Berberovic hopes that benefactors will feel an even deeper connection to the causes they support. “No matter what area, fund or facility someone cares about, we hope they’ll be able to see the elevated work we are doing in philanthropy to engage them more than ever before.”

The Avera Foundation will continue to host special events that communities have come to enjoy. “We will have a heightened focus on building meaningful relationships with our benefactors,” Berberovic said.

Gifts to Avera often begin as people experience excellent care during difficult times as well as joyful times in their lives. “Our patients, residents and their loved ones want to pay it forward. They want to see others benefit from exceptional care and beautiful facilities – just as they have. It creates a ripple effect.”

The Avera Foundation is working to create new web pages to reflect this change. In the meantime, learn more about giving to Avera by visiting Avera.org/support. Local foundations can still be reached at the same telephone numbers. Or, call 605-322-8900 for more information.

About Avera

The Avera Health system has over 19,700 employees and physicians, serving more than 300 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 was the only health system in the region to be named to the Association for Healthcare Philanthropy (AHP) High Performer List.

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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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