A garden system for Floyd Valley Hospital/Avera Health - Park Place Estates in Le Mars is one of 20 projects to be awarded grants in 2005 from the Avera Community Service Fund.
"People have great ideas for improving the health of their communities. Avera is pleased to use the funds from this endowment to help them get started," said Sr. Mildred Busch, chair of the Avera Health Board of Directors, in announcing the grants. A total of $400,466 in funds was awarded this year.
The Garden system for Floyd Valley Hospital/Avera Health - Park Place Estates, was awarded $2,200. The StandUp Garden® means seniors will be able to stay connected to the natural world, raising produce and flowers without bending and stooping. The waist-high system incorporates irrigation, drainage and grow lights.
Sr. Mildred referred to the Avera Community Service Fund as "just one of the ways that we advance the Avera mission."
She explained, "Catholic health care answers God's call to foster healing and promote wellness by partnering with the communities we serve, not only to heal the sick, but to improve overall health and quality of life. We are especially pleased to be able to impact the health and vitality of rural communities."
Projects must be community-focused, integrate health and wellness, involve Avera or a community partner and represent a new approach. Grant recipients are asked to allow Avera to glean practical applications, disseminate information and, when possible, replicate successful programs. Grant requests must have a letter of support from an Avera facility, but the projects do not need to be in communities where an Avera hospital or clinic is located.
Since the fund's inception in 1999, Avera has awarded some $3,164,321 in start-up funding for health and wellness initiatives throughout the region. The fund entertains grant requests from facilities and communities for programs or projects that might otherwise be lost due to a lack of initial development dollars.
Among the other projects funded were: Internet service for Prairie Heart Guest House, Sioux Falls, $5,000, providing affordable housing for cardiovascular patients and their families, and uninterrupted communication with family and friends while at the hospital; a wireless nurse call system for Hegg Memorial Health Center/Avera Health, Rock Valley, $10,000; aqua therapy for Osceola Community Hospital, Sibley, $7,266; Car seat project for Worthington Specialty Clinics/Avera Health, Worthington,, Minn., $5,000; Dugouts for Colome Baseball/Softball Program, Colome, S.D., $5,000, to promote physical activity for area youth.