The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust has granted $4.2 million to help rural, frontier, and urban hospitals and health centers across Nevada purchase more than 50 ultrasound imaging devices. Funds will also support robust training opportunities to increase the number of sonographers in Nevada and provide continuing education.
Ultrasound uses high-frequency sound waves to produce images of structures inside the body. The safe, cost-effective tool supports other clinical information to help providers make timely diagnoses and provide appropriate treatment.
Walter Panzirer, a trustee for the Helmsley Charitable Trust, said the grants will help improve access to exceptional medical treatment for all Nevadans, whether they live in the heart of Las Vegas or in a small frontier town.
“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 Nevada have the latest and greatest ultrasound equipment.”
The grants were announced Monday during a news conference at Martin Luther King Family Health Center in Las Vegas.
Ultrasound machines are used by diagnostic medical sonographers (DMS) or ultrasound technicians to understand the causes of pain, infection, and swelling, as well as for exams checking the development of a fetus.
Forty of the devices purchased through the grants are point-of-care ultrasound (POCUS) machines, which are small, handheld devices used by providers at the bed or tableside for immediate assessment of a patient to quickly determine a course of action. The grants will also provide eight general ultrasound systems and four cardiovascular ultrasound systems, which aid in imaging of the heart.
The initiative includes more than $1 million for Great Basin College to train new sonographers and offer continuing education to sonographers, ultrasound technologists, doctors, physician assistants, and nurse practitioners.
Dr. Amber Donnelli, dean of health science and human services at Great Basin College, said the initiative is a monumental step forward in creating a well-educated workforce that can fully embrace sonography as a diagnostic tool.
“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,” said Dr. Donnelli. “We are very grateful.”
Through the grants, Nevada Health Centers (NVHC) will provide POCUS devices for 18 health centers/clinics and 2 mobile care units across Nevada, including Austin Medical Center, Carlin Community Health Center, Carson City-Sierra Nevada Health Center, Carson City School-Based Center, Elko Family Medical and Dental Center, Jackpot Community Health Center, Virginia City Community Health Center, Wendover Community Health Center, Amargosa Valley Medical Center, Cambridge Family Health Center in Las Vegas, CP Squires School-Based Health Center in North Las Vegas, Eastern Family Medical and Dental Center in Las Vegas, Henderson Family Health Center, Las Vegas Outreach Clinic (LVOC), Martin Luther King Family Health Center in Las Vegas, North Las Vegas Family Health Center in North Las Vegas, Wellness Center at Enterprise in Las Vegas, and Wellness Center at Reno.
The Nevada Community Foundation will use grant money to provide equipment for Northeastern Nevada Regional Hospital in Elko, Desert View Hospital in Pahrump and Mesa View Regional Hospital in Mesquite. The Nevada Primary Care Association will use the funds to provide devices to Canyonlands Mesquite in Mesquite and Washoe Tribal Health Center in Gardnerville.
Hospitals receiving equipment include Carson Valley Medical Center in Gardnerville, William Bee Ririe Hospital in Ely, Battle Mountain General Hospital, Incline Village Hospital, Banner Churchill Community Hospital in Fallon, Humboldt General Hospital in Winnemucca, Boulder City Hospital, and Grover C. Dils in Caliente.