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Helmsley Charitable Trust Grants Nearly $13.9M to Fund 143 Ultrasound Imaging Devices Across Wyoming and Train Sonography Workforce

CHEYENNE, March 21, 2024 — The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust has granted nearly $13.9 million to help Wyoming hospitals and health centers purchase 143 ultrasound imaging devices and boost sonography and point-of-care ultrasound (POCUS) training opportunities across the state.

Walter Panzirer, a Trustee for the Helmsley Charitable Trust, said the grants will help improve access to quality medical treatment for all Wyoming residents, whether they live in the heart of Cheyenne or Casper or in a smaller rural 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 Wyoming have the latest and greatest ultrasound equipment and training.”

The grants were announced Thursday during a statewide news conference.

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.

About two-thirds (97) of the 143 devices purchased through the $12.3 million in equipment grants 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 26 general ultrasound systems and 20 cardiovascular ultrasound systems, which aid in imaging of the heart.

Mike Hunsaker, Senior Vice President at Star Valley Health in Afton, Wyoming, said the ability to offer comprehensive ultrasound imaging services in rural western Wyoming is a game changer for patients.

“Our long-standing relationship with the Helmsley Charitable Trust has blessed the lives of so many in our communities,” Hunsaker said. “We know the addition of ultrasound in our remote clinics will enhance the quality of healthcare delivered to our patients without having to travel great distances on sometimes treacherous roads. At Star Valley Health, these grant funds have provided a way to have advanced ultrasound technology at our clinics where patients can be screened and diagnosed close to home.”

The initiative also includes nearly $1.6 million for the University of Wyoming’s Wyoming Ultrasound Training Initiative, which aims to enhance patient care across the state by both broadening the scope of training in specialty ultrasound and bolstering access to quality POCUS services. The goal is to not only improve patient outcomes, but also to ensure that healthcare professionals are equipped with the necessary tools and knowledge to deliver high-quality care throughout the state, said University of Wyoming Provost and Executive Vice President Kevin Carman.

“The rural setting of Wyoming requires innovative healthcare solutions. Point-of-care ultrasound offers vital diagnostic capabilities, reducing the need for patients to travel for standard ultrasound tests,” Carman said. “By expanding access and training, our initiative aims to empower rural providers, minimizing patient burden and enhancing healthcare delivery. We are grateful for the support from the Helmsley Charitable Trust for this important initiative.”

The training initiative will be led by Jacob Warren, professor in the University of Wyoming College of Health Sciences, and supported by two full-time staff members.


(Additional information including photos and b-roll video can be downloaded from this link and the news conference is being livestreamed here.)



Dirk Lammers, (605) 254-3472, dirk@ceteraservices.com