Avera Health Donates $1 Million to Mount Marty College for New Nursing Simulation Lab and Other Health Science Upgrades

October 12, 2017

Avera Health announced today that it will donate $1 million to Mount Marty College (MMC) to support upgrades to the Avera Science and Nursing Center on the college’s Yankton campus. The gift will help fund renovations to the center’s 9600-sq.-ft. second floor. The renovation will feature a high-fidelity simulation lab, expected to be completed by Fall 2018, to advance education for MMC’s nursing students.

 “By helping Mount Marty College build a nursing simulation lab, we can help students get hands-on clinical experience in a safe and controlled learning environment. This project benefits Avera, Mount Marty College, students and, ultimately, patients in our region,” said Doug Ekeren, Regional President and CEO of Avera Sacred Heart Hospital. “Improved training opportunities for nurses and other health care professionals will produce and maintain caregivers ready for whatever comes at them in the clinical setting.”

 Both founded by the Benedictine Sisters of Sacred Heart Monastery, MMC and Avera share a Benedictine Catholic mission rooted in faith and service to others. Adding to their long-standing partnership with MMC, Avera’s $1 million gift is their second significant gift to the college within the last 10 years. In 2009, a $750,000 gift from Avera helped fund the Avera Science Laboratories, also housed in the Avera Science & Nursing Complex.

 “Avera’s investment in Mount Marty College and our students will have far-reaching impact on healthcare in our region as we continue to train the area’s top nursing staff. We are extremely grateful for Avera’s support,” said MMC President Marc Long. “We will use this gift to improve and expand the education we provide for our nursing students and address our area’s need for caring, skilled nurses.”

 Representing a community effort, the planning for the Avera Science and Nursing Center renovation and upgrade included input from EMTs around the region, Avera, and MMC alumni, faculty and staff.

 One of the featured upgrades will be the addition of a nursing simulation lab. Providing flexibility for in-depth training, the simulators are mobile and may be moved to different settings, enabling MMC faculty to provide simulated, on-site training for scenarios such as athletic injuries or car accidents.

 In addition to the state-of-the-art simulation lab, the renovations will include the development of display cases that will showcase the history of the MMC nursing program, dating back to the Sacred Heart School of Nursing. The historical displays will honor and celebrate MMC’s and Avera’s shared mission and history.

 “I’m proud of the work our two organizations have done and will continue to do together to train and develop future caregivers that will serve our local communities and beyond,” Ekeren said. “Mount Marty College is helping to mold and train the future leaders of Avera.”

 To complete the renovations, MMC will build upon Avera’s gift with additional support from alumni and friends. For information on naming and sponsorship opportunities, or to help with the historical displays, please contact Barb Rezac, Vice President for Advancement by phone at 605-668-1292 or by email at barbara.rezac@mtmc.edu.

 MMC’s history of nurse education dates back to 1905. Accredited by the Commission of Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) through Dec. 2020, the MMC nursing program offers Bachelor of Science in nursing (BSN), Master of Science in nursing (MSN) degree, and Doctor of Nurse Anesthesia Practice (DNAP) programs.

 For more information, visit MMC at mtmc.edu and Avera at avera.org