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UW Receives $1.6M Grant From Helmsley Foundation to Support Wyoming Health Care Professionals

University of Wyoming College of Health Sciences

The University of Wyoming College of Health Sciences has just received a grant of nearly $1.6 million to train Wyoming healthcare professionals on state-of-the-art ultrasound equipment as part of a statewide ultrasound initiative.

The money comes from the Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust which aspires to improve lives by supporting exceptional efforts in the U.S. and around the world in health and select place-based initiatives.

The initiative includes nearly $13.9 million to help Wyoming hospitals and health centers purchase ultrasound imaging devices and boost sonography and point-of-care ultrasound training opportunities across the state.

“The rural setting of Wyoming requires innovative health care solutions. Point-of-care ultrasound offers vital diagnostic capabilities, reducing the need for patients to travel for standard ultrasound tests,” says UW Provost and Executive Vice President Kevin Carman. “By expanding access and training, our initiative aims to empower rural providers, minimizing patient burden and enhancing health care delivery. We are grateful for the support from the Helmsley Trust for this important initiative.”

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.

UW’s Wyoming Point-of-Care Ultrasound Training Initiative (WY-POCUTI) aims to enhance patient care across the state by both broadening the scope of training in specialty ultrasound and bolstering access to and the quality of point-of-care ultrasound services.

Leona Helmsley, who died in 2007, was known as the “Queen of Mean” for running her empire of luxurious Manhattan hotels with an iron fist. She went to prison in 1989 for tax evasion, but her husband was spared from facing charges because of poor health.

Leona Helmsley was also a prolific philanthropist. Her charitable activities included a $25 million gift to New York Presbyterian Hospital, $5 million to Katrina relief and $5 million to help the families of firefighters after the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

In the late 1990s, she gave millions of dollars to help rebuild African-American churches that had been burned in the South.

Since beginning active grantmaking in 2008, the Helmsley Trust has committed about $4.5 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 $650 million to organizations and initiatives in Iowa, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming.

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