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Sanford Health to Benefit from Grant from Helmsley Charitable Trust

South Dakota Receives $5.5 Million Grant for Emergency Medical Care Training from The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust

PIERRE, S.D. – Gov. Mike Rounds announced today that South Dakota has received $5,580,000 in funding over three years from The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust to train emergency medical technicians and hospital personnel statewide using high-tech patient simulators.

“This grant is a fantastic opportunity for South Dakota, and we couldn’t be more grateful to The Helmsley Charitable Trust,” the Governor said. “Hospital staffs and EMTs from Sioux Falls to Oelrichs will benefit from state-of-the art training, but the real beneficiaries will be patients needing emergency care in South Dakota.”

The grant will fund three mobile units that will be fully equipped for training as emergency rooms, intensive care departments and ambulances, as well as two smaller outreach models. All five units will include adult male, pregnant female, infant and pediatric human-patient simulators along with the necessary medical equipment to provide realistic training. Each unit will take training directly to pre-hospital and hospital staffs across South Dakota.

The mobile units will include classroom space, and the smaller models will simply transport simulators, equipment and trainers.

While the grant was awarded to the state, the funding will be passed on to Avera Health, Regional Health, and Sanford Health to purchase, maintain and operate the mobile units in eastern and western regions of the state. In the central, less-populated part of the state, funding will go to St. Mary’s Healthcare Center in Pierre and Mobridge Regional Hospital in Mobridge to purchase and operate the transport models.

The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust provides funding for innovative projects that use information technologies to connect rural patients to specialty medical care, provides the latest medical therapies, and facilitates programs for underserved populations that place particular stress on existing health care facilities and local governments. The emergency medical funding to South Dakota is part of the Helmsley Rural Health Program, which over the last two years awarded a total of more than $20 million in grants to institutions and organizations in the upper Midwest.

“This funding is testament to the strong relationship between the Department of Health and its health care partners for the delivery of emergency care training across South Dakota,” Gov. Rounds added. “Avera, Sanford, Regional, St. Mary’s and Mobridge Regional all deserve congratulations for willingness to step outside their normal roles and work with us on this project to boost emergency medical training capabilities – particularly in rural areas – to ultimately improve patient care.”

The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Trust, established in 1999, is administered by five trustees selected by Leona Helmsley as a continuation of Mr. and Mrs. Helmsley’s generous giving through their lifetimes. The Trust supports a diverse range of organizations with a major focus on health and medical research, in addition to programs in human services, education and conservation. The Trust aspires to improve lives by supporting effective nonprofits. Earlier this year, the Trust announced $136 million in grants to charitable organizations across the United States and abroad.

Stacy Bauer Jones | Media Relations Coordinator
(605) 328-7056 |

Doneen Hollingsworth | SD Department of Health
(605) 773-3361