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Brief: Avera awards grants

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. -- A total of 32 projects will receive 2008 grants from the Avera Community Service Fund.

In keeping with the Avera mission, the fund targets start-up projects that promote community health and wellness. "Avera partners with people who have developed plans for improving the health of their communities and need help getting started. Many of this year's programs address health care workforce development. We are especially pleased to be able to impact the health and vitality of rural communities," explained Sr. Mildred Mildred Busch, chair of the Avera Health Board of Directors and System Member.

Since the fund's inception in 1999, Avera has given more than $4.5 million for some 200 health and wellness initiatives throughout the region. Projects must support the Avera mission and be compatible with Avera's core values of compassion, hospitality and stewardship.

Among the project is Reinbows Inc., horse-assisted therapies for youths and elderly in Windom, which will receive $10,000. Horse-assisted therapies will give hope and happiness to at-risk youth by teaching the skills needed to deal with real life issues and stresses, and offering healing outreach to area nursing homes, schools and social service agencies.

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