In the News

Posted on June 23, 2023

This article was originally published by MED Magazine.

Avera Health and Journey Construction have a long-standing relationship, having worked on many projects together, and the latest in that partnership is the recently completed Avera Gregory Hospital and Nursing Home.

Avera Health had a specific goal for the Gregory Community, and Journey worked with them to deliver just that. Following a three-year financial campaign spearheaded by local physicians, community members were able to raise funds to build a regional health care center that would provide care for the community and rural communities within 100 miles of Gregory.

Avera Gregory Exterior Drone Shot

The community wanted to establish a regional center with all its services under one roof, combining the long-term care facility with the hospital. A 63,000-square-foot new hospital replaced an aging facility, bringing a 24-hour emergency room, outpatient clinic, diagnostic imaging center, surgical suit with post-surgical rooms, a full OT/PT therapy gym, 17-bed inpatient waiting wing and helipad, transforming the facility into a hub of medical and emergency care.

Additionally, a new 27,000-square-foot nursing home can accommodate 30 long-term care residents and is connected to the hospital, allowing Avera to efficiently integrate all care into one location.

Brent Smith, Journey's Avera Gregory Project Manager, led the day-to-day operations, budgeting, subcontractor management, and communications with owners. "We were able to build a state-of-the-art facility with every aspect they desired, in a ver rural setting and in a short timeline," he explained.

"Successfully building the entire project within an 18-month timeframe, while considering the complexities of the supply chain, would have been difficult for a company without extensive experience. However, thanks to collaborative efforts of numerous user groups who contributed valuable insights, we successfully completed it within the given timeframe. This success was largely attributable to the strong partnership between Avera and Journey."

A unique aspect of the Avera Gregory project is that much of the existing hospital's equipment was utilized in the new hospital, and so it all needed to be moved and installed, requiring detailed and extensive coordination between the owner group, design team, and Journey.

Colin Simons, Project Engineer of the project, said, "It took a tremendous amount of coordination and was the most challenging task of the project. All operating room equipment and the MRI was transported from other locations. We physically went to various Avera locations before the project started to learn how the equipment functioned and how it would integrate with the new systems."

Journey Construction takes on projects of all sizes, from renovations and small-scale projects to multi-million dollar projects like the Avera Gregory Hospital project.

"Journey takes great pride in relationships, and there were so many different and vital ones within this project," said Smith. "Among Avera physicians, the Journey team, and subcontractors, everything was relationship-driven. We had an aggressive timeline to hit and without that built trust and accountability, it would not have been possible."

McGee says he won't soon forget how he felt upon completion of that project.

"In Gregory, a community of 1,200, we had, on average, around 50 people there working on the project the entire time, so we became part of that community; they really took us in, and that's pretty rare," he said.

"Seeing the community members' faces when we opened the doors was a great feeling. This facility is going to make a tremendous impact on the community and those around it."

You can find the original article in MED Magazine on page 13, click here!

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