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Grant initiative supports purchasing 50 ultrasound devices in Nevada

The Helmsley Charitable Trust has granted $4.2 million to Nevada health centers to purchase ultrasound equipment and support-related training, it announced Monday.

The national philanthropic organization largely focused on health initiatives and grants and founded by the late businesswoman Leona Helmsley awarded the grants to 18 health centers and clinics and two mobile care units across Nevada — most located in rural locations, but also eight in the Las Vegas Valley.

“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,” Walter Panzirer, a trustee and Helmsley’s grandson, said in a news release. “These grants help ensure that facilities across Nevada have the latest and greatest ultrasound equipment.”

Ultrasound use high-frequency sound waves to produce images of structures inside the body, a cost-effective way for healthcare providers to identify relevant clinical information and make diagnoses. Fifty imaging devices will be purchased through the grants, 40 of which are handheld devices for bedside or table-side care. The grants also will provide eight general ultrasound systems and four cardiovascular ultrasound systems, which aid in imaging of the heart, according to the release.

More than $1 million of the grant will also be used to train new sonographers, the technicians behind the devices, and offer continuing education to other medical professionals at Great Basin College, according to the release.

Amber Donnelli, dean of health science and human services at Great Basin College, said the college is grateful for the equipment and training support.

“The Helmsley Charitable Trust recognized our vision and has given us an exceptional opportunity through state-of-the-art equipment, tuition assistance, and more to help new students, current technologists, and medical practitioners access the learning and labs they need across Nevada’s vast rural frontier to not only improve patient care, but save lives,” Donnelli said in the release.

The trust has previously supported rural health care expansion efforts in the Silver State. It donated $11.3 million to 10 Nevada hospitals to expand diagnostic and radiologic equipment in November 2021.

Leona Helmsley was a famous hotelier that was nicknamed the “Queen of Mean” for her demeanor and a tax-evasion conviction in 1989. She began offering large charitable contributions in her twilight years. The bulk of her estate was given to the Leona and Harry Helmsley Charitable Trust after her death in 2007.

McKenna Ross is a corps member with Report for America, a national service program that places journalists into local newsrooms. Contact her at mross@reviewjournal.com. Follow @mckenna_ross_ on Twitter.

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