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Avera Guardian Awards

Thank you to our generous supporters and community partners for furthering the mission of Avera McKennan Hospital & University Health Center. As an extension of gratitude, the Avera McKennan Foundation hosts the annual Avera Guardian Awards to recognize key donors and celebrate all those who support the mission.

Watch our Guardian Award being made and see our past winners.

Helen McKennan Award

Miles and Lisa Beacom

Given in recognition of leadership and inspiration that extends past the mission of Avera McKennan to influence and impact the community and beyond.

Miles and Lisa are dedicated supporters of numerous Avera McKennan Foundation capital campaigns. Most notable is the Beacom Transitional Care Unit which opened in 2016 due to an overwhelming community need for patients with specialized medical conditions. Charter contributor for the Avera Addiction Care Center, another vital project that furthers the mission by addressing the overwhelming number of patients and families whose lives are torn by addiction. Provided contributions to establish a music program for Avera@Home Hospice, which includes a music therapist and Swan Songs.®

Thank you for your dedication to the mission of Avera McKennan.

Cornerstone Award

KSFY TV - Jim Berman

Recognizes a business whose demonstrated outstanding commitment to Avera McKennan. This organization has established a strong internal culture of philanthropy, an ideal characteristic of a community partner.

KSFY TV has supported Avera for over a decade and is honored to help spread Avera's mission to the local community. Sponsors of the Avera Race Against Breast Cancer and The Big Grape with generous in-kind advertising and media coverage. Exceptional access to morning show and other KSFY talent to promote events hosted by the foundation. Covers weekly media topics which air as the "Avera Medical Minute" and utilizes Avera as a location for a Skycam to better serve the local community through awareness and education of vital medical services and compelling patients stories.

Thank you for your dedication to the mission of Avera McKennan.

Compass Award

Jackie Haggar-Tuschen

Honors community members who have demonstrated exceptional leadership skills and key roles in advancing the foundation's development goals.

Jackie began volunteering for the Avera Race since its inception over 30 years ago. In 1986, she started her career with Avera as a Wellness Coordinator. Ten years later, she began working at the Avera McKennan Fitness Center where she continues to serve as director. Believes in the mission of Avera and is dedicated to the community. Has taken her role at the fitness center and used it to inspire her employees to become active in supporting the Avera Race. 

Has resided on the Avera Race Executive Committee since its inception where her leadership skills continue to offer this gift to the community. Coordinates, plans and executes race logistics which includes the location in which it is held and leads the participants in the infamous "Warm-Up with Jackie" to kick-off the morning's events. 

Thank you for your dedication to the mission of Avera McKennan.

Past Winners

Avera Spirit Award
  • Sisters of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary
  • Walter Panzirer, The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust
  • Benedictine Sisters of Sacred Heart Monastery, Yankton, SD
  • Mike Dougherty
Helen McKennan Award
  • Bill Dougherty
  • Jeremiah Murphy
  • Jim Woster
  • Tom and Kathy Walsh
  • Avera Medical Group Radiology
  • Cindy Walsh
  • Christine Hellekson
  • Pat McGreevy
  • Sandra Pay
Cornerstone Award
  • Sioux Falls Construction-Randy Knecht
  • Sodak Distributing-Mike Brzica
  • The First National Bank in Sioux Falls-Bob Baker
  • Sioux Falls Ford Lincoln-Randy Nehring
  • Holiday-Gas Stop-Tom and Melissa Howes
  • Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield of South Dakota-Phil Davis
  • Hy-Vee Food Stores-Bob Trader
  • Eide Bailly
  • Great Western Bank
Compass Award
  • Paul Connelly
  • Lisa Griffin
  • Joe Henkin
  • Judy Davis
  • Peggy Kirby
  • Susan Scott
  • Brad Grossenburg
  • Dr. Patty Peters
  • Dave Fleck
  • Ted Muenster
  • Father Ed Anderson
  • Michael and Janice O'Connor
  • Robert and Bobbette Anderson
  • Compassion in Action

Creating 'The Guardian' Award

The recognition ceremony featured a special presentation of a custom-crafted award. The award is a replica of a sculpture once located on the Avera McKennan campus. Appropriately titled "The Guardian", the one-foot bronze piece was given to individuals as a gesture of appreciation for their contributions. Watch this video featuring the casting of the bronze sculpture.

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Every gift to Avera McKennan Hospital & University Health Center furthers our mission to provide the best quality care to patients and their families while remaining dedicated to serving our local community by providing care to all, regardless of ability to pay. You can be part of our healing ministry through your gift.

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Avera McKennan Foundation

P.O. Box 5045
Sioux Falls, SD 57117-5045
Phone: 605-322-8900
Fax: 605-322-8905

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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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