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Joseph Vasek, of Mitchell, and Veronnica Smith, administrator of Avera Brady Health and Rehab, cut the ribbon during the open house for the new wing at Avera Brady Tuesday night in Mitchell. Vasek donated $275,000 of the $13.2 million project. (Sean Ryan/The Daily Republic)

Avera Brady unveils addition 'This is their home'

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After nearly a year-and-a-half of work, Avera Brady Health and Rehab unveiled Tuesday the results of a $3.2 million project to renovate and add to the facility.

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The project added 17,000 square feet to the facility, as well as 17 new rooms, mostly singles, which allowed for a number of existing double rooms to be converted into single rooms. Also added in the project were a pub and ice cream parlor, a theater, a new therapy center and an upgraded beauty salon. Construction began in October 2012.

Avera Queen of Peace Regional President and CEO Tom Clark said the focus of the project was on improving the quality of life for the facility's residents.

"This is their home," Clark said in an interview Tuesday with The Daily Republic. "This project allowed us to make it a better home."

Clark spoke briefly at a ribbon-cutting and open house Tuesday at the new addition to Avera Brady.

"This is a great, great improvement in the quality of life that we can give to our residents," he said in his remarks. "I can't imagine the project having turned out any better than it did."

Veronnica Smith, administrator of Avera Brady, also spoke during the ribbon-cutting and, like Clark, said the intent of the project was to make life better for those people who live at Avera Brady.

"Instead of a place people dread, instead of a place that's a medical model, we want to change and try to be more home-like," Smith said.

Joe Vasek, of Mitchell, gave $275,000 to the project and, as a result, a section of the addition, known as the Vasek "Can Do" Villa, is named for him.

Vasek said he decided to contribute to the project after he spent time at Avera Brady when his wife lived at the facility in her last days.

"When my wife and I conversed for the last few times, she said 'Joe, whatever you do, I know you'll do the right thing,' " he said in an interview with The Daily Republic at the ribbon-cutting. "We never discussed what the right thing was going to be. But this is what it ended up to be."

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