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Helmsley Charitable Trust Passes $300 Million Milestone for Rural Healthcare

Jun 26, 2017 11:03AM ● By The Hood Magazine

Eight years after its beginning, The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust’s Rural Healthcare Program has surpassed a $300 million milestone in grants to improve rural healthcare across a seven-state region that stretches from Montana to Minnesota.

Based in Sioux Falls, SD, Helmsley’s Rural Healthcare Program made its first grant in 2010.

  Helmsley supports innovative technology such as ePharmacy and eEmergency telemedicine, CT scanners, CPR devices, and treatment simulators. Helmsley also funds programs for medically underserved areas in Montana, Wyoming, Iowa, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Minnesota.

"As a region, we face a serious challenge in meeting the healthcare needs of our people," said Walter Panzirer, Helmsley trustee and rural South Dakota resident. "Much of the seven-state area we fund in is sparsely populated. It’s hard to have the same access to medical services that people in populated areas take for granted. The Helmsley Charitable Trust seeks to bridge that gap.”

For instance, Helmsley’s Rural Healthcare Program is committed to ensuring that every woman in the region lives within 60 miles of a facility that provides digital mammography. After 68 grants to equip 79 sites, that goal is close to being achieved.

Another initiative seeks to increase the number of doctors who practice in rural America. Noting that 70 percent of medical professionals settle where they train, Helmsley supported the Billings Clinic Internal Medicine Residency program in Montana in 2015. This month, the first group of doctors graduates from the program. A majority of these doctors have chosen to practice in rural states. 

The Rural Healthcare Program is one of Helmsley’s worldwide initiatives that focus on improving lives by supporting exceptional efforts in health and select place-based initiatives.

Helmsley Charitable Trust Grants By State

Montana - $47,278,047

Wyoming - $25,544,634

Iowa - $24,394,449

Nebraska - $54,090,179

North Dakota - $54,432,231

South Dakota - $89,088,907

Minnesota - $24,204,515

Other - $1,642,742

Total Grants - $320,675,704