Avera

Local Organ Donors Honored on the Wall of Heroes

SIOUX FALLS, S.D.-Avera Mckennan Hospital wants folks to see how big of an impact a person can make by becoming an organ donor. Each April during national Donate a Life Month, the hospital honors donors who’ve made a difference. Six families celebrated their loved ones being added to the Avera McKennan “Wall of Heroes.” It’s a display that honors those…

Why Warning Signs of Stroke Are Critical to Know

Most often, Dr. Andrew Ridder says those he sees in acute stroke situations, only realize they may be having a stroke because someone else recognized the signs. The Avera neurologist sat down with KDLT News Today’s Carleen Wild to talk about the most common misconceptions about stroke, what puts us at risk, why getting to the hospital quickly is imperative,…

Report Identifies Top Sioux Falls Health Issues

SIOUX FALLS, S.D.-Health care industry professionals are trying to improve the quality of life in Sioux Falls. Over the past 15 months, through resident surveys and focus groups, a report was completed to come up with a clearer picture of what we can do better to improve our health. “You know everyone deserves to live a long and healthy life…

Avera Mckennan Adds New ICU Unit

SIOUX FALLS, S.D.- The intensive care unit at Avera McKennan has gotten a little bit bigger. The ICU has expanded to add six additional patient beds, now with 28 patient rooms. The new unit takes over what used to be the inpatient rehab center. Avera officials say the new space includes innovative technological enhancements that keep both patients and employees…

Local Children’s Book Addresses Mental Health

SIOUX FALLS, S.D.-Mental health can be a tough topic to talk about, especially with kids. However, it’s an important conversation to have as over 20 percent of youth experience one or more mental health conditions according to the CDC.  KDLT’s Miranda Paige found out more about a new book that was written to make that conversation a little easier for…

Avera Surgeon Gives Birth To Hospital’s First Baby Of The Year

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – What happens when the doctor becomes the patient? Doctor Tricia Merrigan is a breast surgeon at Avera in Sioux Falls. She’s at the hospital, but she isn’t performing surgery. Instead, Tricia gave birth to Avera’s first baby of 2019 at 5:44 p.m. on Tuesday. Royce Jonathon Merrigan weighs seven pounds 14 ounces. Tricia says she felt…

‘Share a Spare’ Campaign

ALEXANDRIA, S.D.-More than 300 people are in need of a kidney transplant just in South Dakota. One of them lives in Alexandria and her friends are starting a campaign to find her a donor. They are hoping a catch phrase will help not only their friend, but others as well. Molly Pearson has had to give her hands a break….

As Opioid Crisis Continues, Healthcare Professionals Talk Prevention and Intervention

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – According to the CDC, 49,000 Americans died of opioid overdoses last year. Now, experts say addiction is showing up in every corner of the medical field. Dr. Marvin Seppala, the chief medical officer of the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation, sees addiction day in and day out. He calls it “a disease of the soul.” “They don’t…

Breast Navigation: A Story of Survival and Support

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – Two years ago, Jill Schlumbohm was helping people through possibly through one of the hardest chapters of their lives. She was an imaging navigator for breast cancer pre-diagnosis at Avera. Then, the roles reversed, and she became the patient. “I’m sorry,” said Schlumbohm. “I did not think I would cry.” It’s news that Schlumbohm’s patients had…

Former NFL Quarterback Opens Up About Mental Health And Addiction Challenges

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – Health professionals are calling it a “community crisis.” Doctors are overwhelmed with opiod-addicted patients. South Dakota had a record number of suicides last year with 192 people. Now, a former NFL quarterback says fame can’t shield anyone from these two demons. Ryan Leaf is no stranger to the limelight. However, his life is different these days….

Open House Set for New Medical Complex, Cancer Center in Pierre

PIERRE, S.D. – Avera St. Mary’s in Pierre has scheduled a Sept. 30 public open house for its new $30 million medical facility. The building will house a $12 million cancer center funded in large part by the Helmsley Charitable Trust. The charitable trust was established by the late hotel and real estate baroness Leona Helmsley. Construction began last summer and…

Widespread Flu Affecting Pregnant Women

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – Sandy Lown always has cleaning wipes handy. “We are wiping down everything here at the den all the time – everything from counter tops to chairs to pens,” said Lown. Lown works at the Teddy Bear Den, where she helps parents and parents-to-be that are economically disadvantaged. The last thing she wants apart of her program is…

Family Meals Make a Comeback

The benefits are many and Millennials are taking note

We’re done eating on the run, at least that’s what a new survey that was done by Peapod indicates. Millennials and families plan eat at home more often in 2018. The move comes as Americans look to spend less on dining out, eat healthier, control portion sizes, and get back to having the family around the table. Why that is…

Avera Health President, CEO Announces Plans To Retire

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – Long-time Avera Health President and CEO, John Porter, announced his plans to retire on Friday. Porter will hold his current role until December 2018, or until Avera selects his successor. Porter has been with Avera for 44 years, seeing the health system go through a huge growth over the past four decades. “It’s been a unique…