Helmsley’s Panzirer Receives Distinguished Service Award

SIOUX FALLS, SD | Walter Panzirer, a trustee of The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust, was among eight state residents who received Distinguished Service Awards recently from the South Dakota Association of Healthcare Organizations for exceptional contributions made to the health care field.

Panzirer, a Pierre resident who formerly lived in Spearfish, Sturgis, and Mitchell, has made delivery of health care services to patients in rural and frontier areas his top priority. His efforts earned him the Health Care Hero Award.

With Panzirer’s leadership and guidance, the Helmsley Charitable Trust has dramatically changed rural health care by awarding grants totaling more than $377 million to multiple organizations for the improvement of rural health care in North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Wyoming, Minnesota, Iowa, and Montana.

In September, the Helmsley Charitable Trust’s total giving in South Dakota surpassed $100 million.

“This honor reflects my dedication to improving rural health care in some of the most remote regions of this country,” Panzirer said. “But truly, the award goes to all of the Helmsley Charitable Trust’s Trustees, staff, and partners who are dedicated to changing the way we deliver health care in rural America. We believe we are making a difference in people’s lives, often during their most critical moments.”

The 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 $2.2 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.

Other South Dakotan’s earning Distinguished Service Awards were Vanessa Gomez, Monica Metzger, Lt. Gov. Matt Michels, John Porter, Brian Schaeffer, Sen. Deb Soholt, and Sarah Talbott. SDAHO is a not-for-profit member organization representing and serving hospitals, health care systems, nursing facilities, home health agencies, assisted living centers, and hospice organizations across South Dakota.

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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 $2.2 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 $377 million to organizations and initiatives in the upper Midwest states of North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Wyoming, Minnesota, Iowa, and Montana.  For more information, visit www.helmsleytrust.org.