About

Over the past decade, Helmsley has been dedicated to making sure that the vibrant, tightly-knit communities of the rural, upper Midwest – many of which help feed the United States and the world – have access to the highest quality healthcare.

We invest in telemedicine, fund programs that increase access to behavioral health services, and support hospitals and first responders to make sure they have the best equipment to treat their patients. We do this by working hand-in-hand with a range of partners across the region – including but not limited to non-profits, health systems, law enforcement agencies, universities, first responders, and public health services.

To date, we have worked closely with partners across eight states – North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Wyoming, Minnesota, Iowa, Montana, and Nevada. The models that are proving to be successful in this region hold the promise to transform care in other rural communities across the country.

Investing in Telemedicine

Telemedicine is an essential solution for addressing our country’s healthcare crisis, especially for rural America. We partner with organizations to make it more accessible for patients, healthcare professionals, and providers.

Our grants have helped develop the first-ever national telehealth certificate program to make sure telehealth care is high quality and consistent.

We bring specialized care to emergency rooms and enable virtual training for healthcare workers on the frontlines of COVID-19 care.

Expanding Access to Behavioral Health Services

Our investments have helped build a 24/7 telemedicine behavioral health team. We fund training fellowships as well as telehealth.

We support a pilot initiative that uses video conferencing to help law enforcement connect people with mental health professionals during an emergency.

We’ve pledged $13M to help create an adolescent behavioral health center that will serve four states and include a first-of-its-kind behavioral health urgent care.

Ensuring Availability of Modern Equipment and Technology Wherever It Is Needed

Show law enforcement officer with AED

Our grants aim to provide connected-device Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) to every first responder, as well as state-of-the-art diagnostic tools to hospitals across the upper Midwest. We’ve also helped deliver nearly 400 LUCAS mechanical CPR devices to rural hospitals to help respond to cardiac events during COVID-19 as well as in the future.

We brought the first-ever Mobile Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation (ECMO) with a game-changing, super ambulance-mobile ER to the region.

News & Insights

AP Highlights Expansion of Helmsley’s Rural Healthcare Grantmaking

The Associated Press covered Helmsley’s recent announcement that our Rural Healthcare Program will add Nevada as the eighth state in its...
AP Highlights Expansion of Helmsley’s Rural Healthcare Grantmaking

Helmsley Charitable Trust adds Nevada to Rural Healthcare Program, grants more than $11.3M to hospitals for advanced equipment

LAS VEGAS — The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust has added Nevada as the eighth state in its Rural Healthcare Program, announcing...
Helmsley Charitable Trust adds Nevada to Rural Healthcare Program, grants more than $11.3M to hospitals for advanced equipment

Latest Helmsley-Funded PSA Urges Vaccination to Honor Healthcare Heroes

The latest in a series of Helmsley Charitable Trust public education partnership (PEP) announcements urging upper Midwesterners to get...
Latest Helmsley-Funded PSA Urges Vaccination to Honor Healthcare Heroes

Survey Confirms Effectiveness of Telehealth in Rural America and Beyond

In a new blog post in Health Affairs, Walter Panzirer, a Helmsley trustee, discusses the findings from a Helmsley-funded study that examined the...
Survey Confirms Effectiveness of Telehealth in Rural America and Beyond

KEVN Interviews Walter Panzirer about New Grant to Badlands National Park

Helmsley’s new $3.3 million grant will support the creation of a new visitor center at Badlands National Park at a time when the open space and...
KEVN Interviews Walter Panzirer about New Grant to Badlands National Park
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Published Thu Sep 23, 2021

Walter Panzirer Joins “Rural Matters” Podcast

Top podcast about all things rural, "Rural Matters," spoke with Walter Panzirer, a Helmsley Trustee, ...
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Published Fri Aug 6, 2021

Walter Panzirer Discusses Telehealth Survey

Walter Panzirer, a Helmsley Trustee, joined a Bipartisan Policy Center (BPC) panel in August 2021 to ...
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Published Fri Aug 27, 2021

New EmPATH Unit Provides Supportive Space for Patients in Crisis

CentraCare St. Cloud, MN Hospital anticipates better serving the nearly 4,000 patients who will present to ...
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Published Mon May 17, 2021

State Receives $6.4 Million from Helmsley Charitable Trust for Automatic Defibrillator Devices

LINCOLN – The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust has awarded the Nebraska Department ...
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Published Wed May 12, 2021

Mobile ECMO Improving Care for Cardiac Arrest Patients

Supported by $18.5 million in Helmsley funding, the University of Minnesota is increasing timely access to ...

Enhancing Experiences at Wyoming State Parks

Helmsley has granted $1.7M to Wyoming State Parks to support construction of a spacious addition to the visitor center at Fort Phil Kearny...
Enhancing Experiences at Wyoming State Parks

Helmsley Funds Updates at Fort Owen State Park

Through a $500,000 grant, we're helping update Fort Owen State Park. “The Helmsley Charitable Trust is excited to fund the important work...

Helmsley Funds Updates at Fort Owen State Park

Walter Panzirer Discusses Helmsley’s COVID Response in GIH

Since the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, Helmsley has allocated funding towards emergency grants to fight the spread of COVID and protect the communities that need it most.


Our funding decisions were based on what we learned from conversations with many of our grantees about where grant dollars would be most helpful.


Learn more about our COVID response in a blog post by Trustee Walter Panzirer, published in Grantmakers in Health’s blog here.


Walter Panzirer Discusses Helmsley’s COVID Response in GIH

$4.5M to Fund New Visitor Center at Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument

A Helmsley grant of $4.5 million will allow the National Park Service to be able to build a new visitor center at the Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument. 


“This is a significant site in American history with an amazing story to tell.” said trustee Walter Panzirer.


Read more: https://bit.ly/2IlEaXv


$4.5M to Fund New Visitor Center at Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument

New Grant to Support Community Triage Center in Sioux Falls

Mental illness is not always visible to others, but the pain it causes is very real. KELOLAND highlights how our recent grant will help our neighbors in Sioux Falls here


New Grant to Support Community Triage Center in Sioux Falls

Next-Gen AEDs for WY First Responders

AEDs save lives. Getting life-saving tools into the hands of those who get there first improves the chance of survival.


Learn more about our recent $4 million grant to make this a reality in Wyoming.


Next-Gen AEDs for WY First Responders

Virtual Crisis Care Program Gives South Dakota Law Enforcement 24/7 Access to Mental Health Expertise

PIERRE, S.D. (July, 30, 2020) – Technology will provide South Dakota law enforcement and court services officers with access to mental health expertise in the midst of a crisis...

Virtual Crisis Care Program Gives South Dakota Law Enforcement 24/7 Access to Mental Health Expertise

Mechanical CPR Devices Confront Cardiac Threat from COVID-19

At Helmsley, we pride ourselves on being nimble, listening to grantees, and responding to the needs of our communities of focus. Within two weeks, we went from concept to...

Mechanical CPR Devices Confront Cardiac Threat from COVID-19

Helmsley Grant Helps Healthcare Providers Gain Up-to-Date Training on Ventilator Use During COVID-19

Not every healthcare worker caring for patients during the surge of COVID-19 will have recent experience using ventilators to help their patients...
Helmsley Grant Helps Healthcare Providers Gain Up-to-Date Training on Ventilator Use During COVID-19

Telemedicine Skyrockets During Pandemic


To address the threat of COVID-19, lawmakers in March relaxed regulations preventing medical providers and ...
Recent Grants

Lincoln County Hospital District

Amount: $666,782
Term of Grant: 12 Months
Date of Award: 09.21.2021

Franciscan Care Services Inc

Amount: $174,454
Term of Grant: 36 Months
Date of Award: 09.08.2021

Monroe County Hospital

Amount: $181,367
Term of Grant: 36 Months
Date of Award: 07.13.2021

Billings Clinic Foundation

Amount: $2,000,000
Term of Grant: 24 Months
Date of Award: 07.13.2021

Lucas County Health Center

Amount: $181,722
Term of Grant: 36 Months
Date of Award: 07.13.2021

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Our Team

Mitch Krebs is the Program Director of Helmsley’s Rural Healthcare Program which seeks to improve access to and quality of care in the upper Midwest.


Prior to joining Helmsley, Mitc...
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Mitchell Krebs

Program Director

Kristen  Bunt
Kristen Bunt is a Program Officer for the Helmsley Charitable Trust’s Rural Healthcare Program. Kristen brings more than 25 years of healthcare experience to her role as Program Officer. In this rol...
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Kristen Bunt

Program Officer

Wayne Booze is a Program Officer for the Helmsley Charitable Trust's Rural Healthcare Program. Currently, he is focusing on the expansion of access to the best standard of diagnostic care for women...
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Wayne Booze

Program Officer

Scott Johnson

Scott Johnson is a Program Officer for the Helmsley Charitable Trust’s Rural Healthcare Program. In this role, Scott assists with Helmsley’s efforts in rural behavioral healthcare.


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Scott Johnson

Program Officer

Elizabeth Ruen is a Program Officer for the Helmsley Charitable Trust’s Rural Healthcare Program. In this role, she oversees a growing portfolio of healthcare delivery, cancer care, and conservat...
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Elizabeth Ruen

Program Officer

April Dewey
April Dewey is an Associate Program Officer for Helmsley’s Rural Healthcare Program which is dedicated to ensuring communities of the rural upper Midwest have access to the highest quality healthcar...
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April Dewey

Associate Program Officer

Alicia Cotton is the Administrative Assistant for the Rural Healthcare Program in Helmsley’s Sioux Falls office.


Born and raised in South Dakota, Alicia has been dedicated to many l...
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Alicia Cotton

Administrative Assistant