OUR VOICE: Avera continues progress

Farm Forum

It’s been 112 years since the Benedictine and Presentation Sisters opened what is now called Avera St. Luke’s Hospital. What started as a 15-bed hospital designed to meet the urgent medical demands of the diphtheria epidemic wound up, years later, being an unintended financial boon for Aberdeen and the surrounding area.

In the past 100-plus years, St. Luke’s has grown to 113 beds and is arguably one of the largest, most stable employers in the area, staffing 1,500 positions.

And while diptheria is no longer an imminent threat, Avera St. Luke’s has continued to keep pace with technology and current medical demands – it is the area’s Designated Trauma Hospital, has an addiction treatment center, Careflight and Fastcare — and soon will complete an $11 million cancer center.

We congratulate St. Luke’s on the accomplishment of 112 years of constant care and of continuous growth and improvement.

— American News editorial board