Avera Health Receives $7.8 Million

Avera Health https://www.averaecare.org based in Sioux Falls South Dakota, has received a three year grant for $7.8 million from the Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust https://www.helmsleytrust.org. The funding will be used to build a 24 hour telemedicine behavioral health team as part of Avera eCARE. The team will enable patients to have timely patient-centered care, plus cost-effective and high quality behavioral health services via telemedicine.

According to Deanna Larson, CEO for Avera eCARE, “We are extremely grateful to the Helmsley Charitable Trust for their ongoing partnership and support for innovative projects to reduce the disparities of healthcare access in rural areas.”   

The initial focus will be on helping people in crisis. Avera eCARE will provide virtual behavioral health assessments as well as treatments for patients in local emergency departments and inpatient psychiatric hospitals. In time, Avera eCARE will also provide mobile support to first responders encountering individuals in crisis.

The virtual team will support behavioral health units, hospitals, and outpatient primary care centers. The team will also provide assistance to available community services and resources to ensure that patients have access to follow-up support.

Services will be provided through proven telehealth technologies, including high-resolution two way audio and video plus software data management platforms that will interface with hospital EMRs. Mobile crisis response services will be available through portable devices that can be taken to a crisis situation and then connect to a virtual crisis response team to help the patient immediately.

Prior to launching these services, Avera eCARE will hire and train registered nurses, masters’ prepared social workers, psychiatric advanced practice providers, and psychiatrists to be part of the 24/7 team.

Video footage of Avera eCARE Behavioral Health and eCARE Emergency is available for download at https://vimeo.com/293943840,

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