Mitchell Krebs Named Rural Healthcare Program Director

SIOUX FALLS | The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust has named Mitchell Krebs as its new Director of the Rural Healthcare Program.

Krebs served as Press Secretary for South Dakota Gov. Mike Rounds as well as Communications Director for Rounds’ successful bid for the U.S. Senate, as Assistant Vice President of Media and Community Relations at Avera McKennan Hospital, and Public Policy Director at POET, the world’s largest biofuels producer.

“Mitch is bringing broad experience in healthcare and governmental leadership to help steer Helmsley’s Rural Healthcare Program,” said Walter Panzirer, a Trustee for the Helmsley Charitable Trust. “We are looking forward to working with him as we continue efforts to improve access to quality healthcare in the rural upper Midwest.”

Krebs, who worked as an anchor and news director at KSFY-TV in Sioux Falls from 1996 to 2007, said he was excited to be joining an organization committed to improving healthcare in rural areas of the U.S.

"I’ve watched programs funded by Helmsley’s Rural Healthcare Program save countless lives and make miracles happen through its generosity over the past decade,” said Krebs. “To become part of an organization that makes such a difference to so many people is truly a wonderful opportunity.  I’m excited to be part of the team and see what lies ahead in bringing even more cutting-edge technology and top-notch services to folks in rural areas."

In his wide-ranging career, Krebs also served as the Governor’s liaison to the Deep Underground Science and Engineering Laboratory at Lead, coordinating efforts with South Dakota’s congressional delegation, other members of Congress, the National Science Foundation and the U.S. Department of Energy.

Krebs lives in rural Lincoln County with his wife, South Dakota Secretary of State Shantel Krebs.

In his free time, Krebs enjoys being a hobby rancher and also plays saxophone with several rock bands in the Sioux Falls area.

Krebs assumes the Program Director position after the retirement of Shelley Stingley earlier this year. Eric Kurtz, who served as Interim Program Director during the candidate search, will resume his position as Program Officer.



Nyla Griffith, 605-920-0626

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