Big Sandy, Chester medical centers awarded grants for X-ray equipment

Helmsley Charitable Trust awards $14.2 million to rural hospitals for advanced X-ray technology


Press release

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. — Medical centers in Big Sandy and Chester are among facilities receiving funds for X-ray equipment.

In its ongoing efforts to improve the quality of rural health care, The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust today announced new grants totaling more than $14.2 million to 50 hospitals in the rural Upper Midwest to purchase advanced X-ray technology, some of which will replace devices that are more than a half-century old.

“Our goal has always been to improve access to exceptional medical treatment for those who live in rural America,” said Walter Panzirer, a trustee for the Helmsley Charitable Trust. “To that end, rural hospitals need to remain viable and have the latest equipment to ensure their patients can receive essential, quality health care services locally. This initiative is just one of many that strives to improve healthcare outcomes throughout the Upper Midwest.”

Critical access hospitals in Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota, Nebraska, Iowa and Wyoming are hampered by outdated equipment. Over the last four years, the Helmsley Charitable Trust’s Rural Healthcare Program has awarded more than $30 million in grants to 82 hospitals in the Upper Midwest to purchase state-of-the-art computer tomography, or CT, scanners.

The Helmsley Charitable Trust’s latest initiative addresses outdated X-ray technology that underserves patients and jeopardizes the health of physicians and X-ray technicians, Panzirer said.

The $14.2 million in grants will allow replacement of a total of 87 pieces of equipment, including 32 fixed X-ray devices with an average age of 16 years; 47 portable X-ray devices with an average age of 28 years; three fixed fluoroscopy devices averaging nine years; and five portable C-arms with an average age of 16 years.

Big Sandy Medical Center Inc. is receiving funds to purchase a portable X-ray devise, and Liberty Medical Center in Chester, Montana, is receiving funds for portable X-ray and for fixed X-ray equipment.


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