View this email in your browser
The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust
January 2017
Helmsley's Rural Healthcare Program has awarded 286 grants totaling more than $298 million to improve access to and quality of care in the upper Midwest. 

In This Issue

Happy New Year from our Rural Healthcare team! In this issue, we explore:
  • Progress for personalized cancer care in rural America
  • Announcing the first annual Helmsley Scholars
  • Resources for funding telemedicine projects
  • The latest from RUPRI's Rural Health Panel

Personalized Cancer Care In Rural America

Five years ago, Helmsley set out to help bring a personalized approach to breast cancer treatment for people living in the Northern Great Plains.

The Northern Great Plains Personalized Breast Cancer Program launched as a collaborative effort between the Fred & Pamela Buffett Cancer Center in Omaha, NE, and the Avera Cancer Institute in Sioux Falls, SD, along with healthcare centers across the country.

With 63 U.S. cancer centers participating – including eight in the Northern Great Plains – the program has done whole exome sequencing on breast cancer cells from hundreds of patients. Through a software program developed by the Fred & Pamela Buffet Cancer Center, patient samples are compared against genetic variants eligible for clinical trials from the National Cancer Institute Molecular Analysis for Therapy Choice (NCI-MATCH) and patients are notified about eligibility. For people who have tried standard treatments without success, this is a helpful way to match them with other potentially beneficial treatments. 

Announcing Helmsley Scholars

The Billings Clinic Internal Medicine Residency is pleased to announce Dr. Robert Renjel and Dr. Felipe Villa Martignoni as the first annual Helmsley Scholars. The Helmsley Scholar program is a $10,000 grant opportunity for outstanding medical residents to do scholarly inquiry, and publish and present their findings at regional or national conferences.

Five residents presented proposals on rural health-specific research topics. Competitive selection was based on scientific merit, overall coherence, significance to rural healthcare, and the ability to complete the project in one year.

Congratulations to Dr. Renjel and Dr. Villa Martignoni!

Resources for Telemedicine Projects

We recently attended the Nebraska Collaborative Rural Health Funding Summit. At this informative meeting, attendees voiced their challenges in funding telemedicine projects and shared possible solutions.

Hosted by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), the USDA, Great Plains Telehealth Resource & Assistance Center (gpTRAC), and the Nebraska Office of Rural Health, discussions touched upon grantwriting and technical assistance, lack of regional funding, financial concerns related to electronic medical records, EMR needs for clinics and long-term care facilities, and IT expenses and staffing issues.

A key takeaway from the meeting? If a project needs funding, contact HRSA and/or USDA, as both agencies have more funding programs than many are aware of. Listed below is contact information for several attendees; please reach out to us for contacts in other states and regions.

  • HRSA, Region 7/Kansas City office (IA, KS, MO, NE)
    Lisa Goschen,, (816) 426-5203
  • USDA Rural Development (NE, WY)
    Roger Meeks,, (402) 416-4936
  • Telehealth Resource Centers gpTrac (ND, SD, MN, NE, IA, WI)
    Jon Neufield,, (612) 625-9938, or toll-free (888) 239-7092
  • Nebraska Broadband Initiative
    Anne Byers,, (402) 471-3805

The Latest From RUPRI's Health Panel

We are proud to support the Rural Policy Research Institute (RUPRI)'s work to research and analyze current rural healthcare issues for policymakers.

The RUPRI Health Panel has several new publications available on their website. A policy brief published this month examines Medicaid enrollment post-Affordable Care Act expansion, and finds that growth has been uneven across rural-urban geography.

A Warm Welcome to Our Most Recent Grantees

  • Beartooth Billings Clinic, eEmergency
  • Central Community Hospital, eEmergency
  • Mercy Medical Center – Dyersville, eEmergency
  • Monroe County Hospital, eEmergency
  • Project HOPE: The People-to-People Health Foundation, Health Affairs
  • University of Iowa, RUPRI Health Panel


Shelley Stingley
Program Director

Wayne Booze
Program Officer

Elizabeth Ruen
Associate Program Officer

Alicia Cotton
Administrative Assistant
Heidi Schultz
Program Officer

Sheri Goldammer 
Associate Program Officer

Barb Bruhn
Executive Assistant
Copyright © 2014. All Rights Reserved.
The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust 
3130 West 57th Street, Suite 112, Sioux Falls, SD  57108

unsubscribe from this list    update subscription preferences


This email was sent to
why did I get this?    unsubscribe from this list    update subscription preferences
Helmsley Charitable Trust · 3130 West 57th Street · Suite 112 · Sioux Falls, SD 57108 · USA

Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp