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Helmsley Charitable Trust Grants CCM Health Funds for State-of-the-Art Ultrasound Equipment

Helmsley Charitable Trust Grants CCM Health Funds for State-of-the-Art Ultrasound Equipment

Helmsley Charitable Trust Grants CCM Health Funds for State-of-the-Art Ultrasound Equipment

The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust has granted $696,688.45 to CCM Health to purchase an endoscopic ultrasound (EUS) unit, three point-of-care ultrasound (POCUS) units with probes, and four hand-held POCUS units as part of a $26.4 million ultrasound initiative in Minnesota. The initiative includes nearly $18.3 million to help Minnesota hospitals and health centers purchase ultrasound imaging devices and an additional $8.1 million to boost sonography and point of care ultrasound (POCUS) training opportunities across the state.

“Offering comprehensive care locally is important for our rural hospitals across the state of Minnesota,” said Brian Lovdahl, CEO of CCM Health in Montevideo. “In addition to equipping our surgery rooms with endoscopic ultrasound tools that will expand services for the patients in our region, having the latest ultrasound technology available in our communities means we can provide efficient and accurate diagnoses in our clinics and emergency department.”

Ultrasound uses high-frequency sound waves to produce images of structures inside the body. This safe, cost-effective tool supports other clinical information to help providers make timely diagnoses and provide appropriate treatment. The state-of-the-art endoscopic ultrasound (EUS) unit will provide the ability to offer a minimally invasive procedure that can diagnose conditions of the digestive tract. EUS equipment helps diagnose cancer, inflammatory bowel disease, pancreatitis, and other abdominal pain causes. The three POCUS units and four hand-held units will be utilized in the CCM Health clinics in Montevideo, Milan and Clara City, the obstetric unit, and in the emergency department. This equipment will be utilized for the assessment and diagnosis of medical conditions at the point of contact with a patient.

Walter Panzirer, a Trustee for the Helmsley Charitable Trust, said the grants will help improve access to exceptional medical treatment for all Minnesotans, whether they live in the heart of Minneapolis or a smaller rural or underserved community.

“Our hospitals and health centers need to stay current with rapidly advancing technology so they can continue to provide top-notch healthcare close to home,” Panzirer said. “These grants help ensure that facilities across Minnesota have the latest and greatest ultrasound equipment and training.”

The grants were announced Tuesday during a news conference at Hennepin Healthcare in Minneapolis.

More than half of the 196 devices purchased through the grants (109) are POCUS machines, which are used by providers at the bed or tableside for immediate assessment of a patient to quickly determine a course of action. The grants will also provide 69 general ultrasound systems and 18 cardiovascular ultrasound systems, which aid in imaging of the heart.

The initiative also includes more than $8.1 million to train new sonographers, offer continuing education to sonographers and ultrasound technologists, and provide comprehensive POCUS training to doctors, physician assistants, and nurse practitioners. The training grants include more than $917,000 to the Minnesota Rural Health Association to support sonographer training in rural and underserved areas of the state, more than $1 million to the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities to expand St. Cloud Technical & Community College’s sonography program, and nearly $6.2 million to the Minnesota Academy of Family Physicians Foundation which will partner with High Quality Medical Education (HQMEDED) to provide POCUS training across the state.

“These grants are a game changer for rural hospitals across the state,” said Thomas Pahl, PA-C, an emergency department clinician, instructor with HQMEDED, and member of the Minnesota State Trauma Advisory Council. “Clinicians and sonographers will not only have access to the newest ultrasound equipment on the market, but they will also be able to pursue educational opportunities to become more proficient at use of the equipment, expand the studies they can perform, and incorporate these skills into their clinical practices.”

(Additional information including photos and b-roll video can be downloaded from and the news conference is being livestreamed at

About the Helmsley Charitable Trust

The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust aspires to improve lives by supporting exceptional efforts in the U.S. and around the world in health and select place-based initiatives. Since beginning active grantmaking in 2008, Helmsley has committed more than $3.5 billion for a wide range of charitable purposes. Helmsley’s Rural Healthcare Program funds innovative projects that use information technologies to connect rural patients to emergency medical care, bring the latest medical therapies to patients in remote areas, and provide state-of-the-art training for rural hospitals and EMS personnel. To date, this program has awarded more than $600 million to organizations and initiatives in the states of North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Wyoming, Minnesota, Iowa, Montana, and Nevada. For more information, visit


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