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Hospital gets $285,000 to help purchase state-of-the-art ultrasound equipment

The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust has granted $285,654 to Ely-Bloomenson Community Hospital to purchase one new fixed GE ultrasound and two MindRay point-of-care portable ultrasounds as part of a $26.4 million ultrasound initiative in Minnesota.

The initiative includes nearly $18.3 million to help Minnesota hospitals and health centers purchase ultrasound imaging devices and an additional $8.1 million to boost sonography and point-of-care ultrasound (POCUS) training opportunities across the state.

“Ely-Bloomenson Community Hospital (EBCH) is extremely thankful for the opportunity to once again work with the Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust. They have provided many incredible opportunities throughout the years so that we can improve our technology here at EBCH. Their most recent ultrasound project is no exception,” said EBCH CEO Patti Banks.

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.

“With the technological advancements happening quickly in the healthcare industry, EBCH appreciates any opportunities to update our technology at minimal expense through grant funding,” said Banks.

Walter Panzirer, a trustee for the Helmsley Charitable Trust, said the grants will help improve access to exceptional medical treatment for all Minnesotans, whether they live in the heart of Minneapolis or a smaller rural or underserved 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 Minnesota have the latest and greatest ultrasound equipment and training.”

More than half of the 196 devices purchased through the grants (109) are POCUS machines used by providers at the bed or tableside for immediate patient assessment to determine a course of action quickly. The grants will also provide 69 general ultrasound systems and 18 cardiovascular ultrasound systems, which aid in imaging of the heart.

The initiative also includes more than $8.1 million to train new sonographers, offer continuing education to sonographers and ultrasound technologists, and provide comprehensive POCUS training to doctors, physician assistants, and nurse practitioners.

“These grants are a game changer for rural hospitals across the state,” said Thomas Pahl, an emergency department clinician, instructor and member of the Minnesota State Trauma Advisory Council. “Clinicians and sonographers will will be able to pursue educational opportunities to become more proficient at use of the equipment, expand the studies they can perform, and incorporate these skills into their clinical practices.”

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