Published on June 23, 2022

Kirby Place Hospitality House Opens Near Avera McKennan Campus

Avera announces the opening of Kirby Place, an expanded hospitality house for patients and families near the campus of Avera McKennan Hospital & University Health Center.

Joe and Jennifer Kirby of Sioux Falls gave a lead gift to the Home for Hope Campaign to expand and renovate patient and family lodging.

The addition to Kirby Place includes 14 new patient rooms, more than doubling current lodging on the Walsh Family Village campus. With a 6,500 square-foot addition, this project connected two existing buildings – a welcome center and an inn. Kirby Place now offers a total of 25 rooms with a mix of double queen rooms, single queen, and rooms with a queen and a twin to accommodate families.

The hotel-like rooms also include other amenities including refrigerators, TVs, recliners, handicap-accessible bathrooms and spacious closets. Guests have access to shared kitchen and laundry space.

As part of the renovation, existing guest rooms and shared space were updated with new paint, furnishings and floor coverings. The Walsh Family Village was originally developed in 2008. It is often at full capacity, serving around 7,000 people each year.

Jennifer Kirby benefitted from a similar hospitality house as her mom, Jacquelyn Frerichs, underwent cancer treatment in another community, and she and her husband wanted to help provide similar accommodations in Sioux Falls. “I witnessed first-hand the comfort and community that housing gives out-of-town patients during a hard time in their lives. I will forever be grateful for that experience. We are thrilled to be able to give that gift to more people,” she said.

“Kirby Place is a safe and welcoming place where patients and families can take a break from the challenges of their health care journeys,” said Dzenan Berberovic, Chief Philanthropy Officer for Avera. “It’s a gift from the generous benefactors who supported this project.”

Raising a total of $3.4 million, the Home for Hope Campaign was supported by:

  • 428 individuals, couples, families and businesses from 14 states
  • 182 Avera employee supporters who generously donated more than $500,000
  • 10 gifts of $100,000 and above
  • 44 gifts of $10,000 to $99,000

“We are grateful for every act of generosity. In fact, our most common gift amount was $50. All who contributed are making a lasting difference in the lives of those we serve,” Berberovic said.

As a non-profit health system, Avera reinvests dollars back into people, technology and health care facilities. Initiatives like Kirby Place, if they are to exist, come from philanthropic support. “We must direct our dollars toward the human resources, facilities and technology we need for the actual delivery of health care. Yet these donor-supported projects help us to live out the Avera mission in ways that care for patients and families holistically, and for that we are incredibly grateful,” said Bob Sutton, President and CEO of Avera Health.

To be eligible to stay at Kirby Place, patients or families must live farther than 30 miles from Sioux Falls and be referred by a hospital social worker. Patients and families can learn more by talking with their care team at Avera McKennan.

Learn more about projects supported by the Avera Foundation at

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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.