The program is a partnership between the South Dakota Department of Social Services, Village Northwest Unlimited, Ability Building Services, Avera Health and Avera Sacred Heart Hospital.
"There has been a need for this in the state for quite some time," said Deb Bowman, secretary of the South Dakota Department of Social Services. "South Dakotans have had to travel out of state to receive this type of specialized care in the past, and now we'll be able to bring some of those families closer to home.
"Avera really stepped up to the plate helping us work through several issues," Bowman continued. "When we approached them about this project, their response was, 'What can we do to help?' "
The facility will house up to eight TBI patients and could create up to 15 new jobs for the community of Irene. "This is a wonderful opportunity for the community of Irene," said Becky McManus, CEO of Sunset Manor/Avera. "This will enable patients with traumatic brain injury to live in a community setting."
Tony Erickson, executive director of Avera Sacred Heart Senior Services, said that Sunset Manor/Avera was chosen because of its location and facility. "Not only is this part of our mission, but we have very suitable space at the Manor that would work well for this type of care model."
Avera Sacred Heart Hospital President and CEO Pamela J. Rezac, Ed.D., agreed, "This project is truly the epitome of collaboration. I believe strongly in partnerships and shared efforts, and this is a shining example."
TBI patients who may benefit from this program have had acute rehabilitation and now have long-term rehabilitation and therapy needs. Motor vehicle accidents, war injuries, radiation for brain tumors, anoxic brain injury, stroke and many other scenarios can leave people with brain injuries.
- The patients will be individuals whose injury occurred after the age of 21.
- The length of stay for each individual will depend on what his or her goals are for future living.
- The program will be based on eligibility.