Sanford Health will host a community open house Saturday, Oct. 7, for Ava’s House in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, one of only four locations in the nation to offer inpatient pediatric hospice services.
The state-of-the-art facility at 1320 W. 17th St., which will also serve adults, will be open to the community from 10 a.m. to noon.
The 20-suite, inpatient, acute-level hospice will provide 24-hour, comprehensive care to patients and their families facing end of life together. Funds for Ava’s House were raised through the Gift of Time campaign. Its earliest champions were Ron and Joanne Moquist, whose lead gift pushed the Gift of Time campaign to nearly half its $15 million goal.
To pay tribute to the Moquists’ generosity, Ava’s House was named to honor the memory of their great-niece, Ava Holder, who passed away at age 4.
Ava Holder spent most of her young life courageously fighting stage 4 neuroblastoma, a rare form of childhood cancer. She was diagnosed at 18 months and spent the next three years in and out of clinics across the country, before eventually her fragile body began to shut down. As the end of her life drew near, Ava’s family took her to a pediatric hospice facility in Arizona where the staff embraced her and her family during her final days.
Through the heartache of Ava’s passing, her great aunt and uncle found inspiration to contribute to a facility here in South Dakota that would deliver the same inpatient pediatric care. This initial gift, along with Ava’s story, inspired the name Ava’s House.
Thanks to the Moquists and the community’s generosity, Ava’s House will help meet the growing need for end-of-life care in our region, serving patients of all ages with nursing care in a home-like environment. Located on 17th Street between Covell Avenue and Lake Avenue on the Sanford USD Medical Center campus, the facility is scheduled to open in October.