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Avera breaks ground on new digestive health facility

Avera Health Groundbreaking
Evan Walton
/
SDPB
Avera Health Groundbreaking
Avera Groundbreaking- Dr. Christopher Hurley
Evan Walton
/
SDPB
Avera Groundbreaking- Dr. Christopher Hurley
Avera Groundbreaking- Dr. Ronald Place
Evan Walton
/
SDPB
Avera Groundbreaking- Dr. Ronald Place

Avera on Louise Health Campus in Sioux Falls breaks ground on a new digestive health facility.

Dr. Christopher Hurley is a Gastroenterologist for Avera Medical Group. He said the new facility meets a community need due to the change in recommended screening age for colon cancer.

“The United States Preventative Task Force changed the recommendation for the screening age for colon cancer to age forty-five. So that introduced a large patient population that needed screening early than fifty years of age which was the previous guideline," said Hurley. "They did that recommendation because of colon cancer arising at younger ages, and more aggressive types of colon cancer.”

Hurley said the facility was put on hold during the pandemic, but an updated model was given the green light.

Dr. Ronald Place the Regional President and CEO of Avera McKennan Hospital and University Health Center.

“Its continuing economic development that’s for sure. It provides improved capacity for gastral intestinal services, or GI services, for wait time purposes that are getting longer and longer, it’ll make that shorter," said Place. "For access to procedures that people need to optimize their health or even preventive measure like colonoscopies to prevent colon cancer, all those things will be here because of this project.”

Place said the project will take approximately 18 months from groundbreaking to completion.

Evan Walton is an SDPB reporter based in Sioux Falls. Evan holds a Master’s in English Literature from Southern New Hampshire University and was honorably discharged from the United States Army in 2015, where he served for five years as an infantryman.