Granite County Medical Center and Hospital District Receive $510,000 GrantApril 11, 2017
Philipsburg, MT – The Leona M. and Harry B.Helmsley Charitable Trust's Rural Healthcare Program has awarded Granite County Medical Center and Hospital District $510,000 for a new 32-slice CT scanner. CT scanners provide essential diagnostic images of structures inside the body. A new CT scanner will allow for faster scans that produce high-quality images, allowing medical staff to quickly determine health status and course of treatment while giving patients access to up-to-date healthcare technology close to home.
“For us to be able to offer CT services will greatly improve the quality of patient care we deliver to our community. With a CT scanner, we expect to reduce the number of patient transfers, allowing more patients to be cared for close to home. This project would not be possible without the Helmsley Charitable Trust and the support of our community," said Maria Stoppler, CEO, Granite County Medical Center.
Granite County Medical Center and Hospital District is one of 41 grant recipients across the region to benefit from this round of funding to purchase CT scanners. Helmsley’s Rural Healthcare Program has granted over $30 million to support the purchase of new, 32-slice or higher CT scanners at Critical Access Hospitals in a seven-state region.
“Our goal is to ensure that people who live in rural America have access to quality healthcare as close to home as possible,” said Walter Panzirer, a trustee of the Helmsley Charitable Trust. “To achieve this, rural hospitals need to be viable and they need to have up-to-date equipment, so patients can receive essential healthcare services locally. This initiative is one of many that aims to improve healthcare access and health outcomes across the upper Midwest.”
The funding initiative was the result of a survey of Critical Access Hospitals in the Rural Healthcare Program’s seven-state funding region. Capital equipment, particularly CT scanners, was identified as a top need by many hospitals. In addition, a new Medicare policy went into effect January 1, 2016, that reduced reimbursement for certain studies on CT scanners that do not meet specific radiation dose
requirements. Since 2015, the Helmsley Charitable Trust has awarded 78 grants totaling over $30 million to outfit hospitals with new, state-of-the-art CT scanners.
From the Granite County Medical Center/Hospital District -
The Granite County Medical Center/Hospital District has long wanted to provide CT scanning services to the residents and visitors of Granite County and with the assistance of The Helmsley Charitable Trust, the H& R Thrift Store and the Granite County Medical Foundation; this is now turning into a project.
Maria Stoppler, Chief Executive Officer, said a large grant from The Helmsley Charitable Trust has been awarded to GCMC/HD to purchase a new, state-of –the-art CT machine. This grant is now the driver for additional fund raising to complete the project.
Dr. Terry Jones, Medical Director for the District, said, “With the use of CT, our providers can quickly diagnose many conditions and initiate prompt treatment. In the case of stroke, where minutes count, this service is vital. Offering CT would allow care to be delivered locally, limiting the number of transfers and keeping healthcare cost down.”
Stoppler envisions the CT machine would be placed in a modular building at the south end of the Granite County Medical Center, since space is somewhat limited in the Medical Center to house the actual CT scanner. Stoppler noted that The Helmsley Charitable Trust provided some additional funding to help purchase the modular. To supplement this large grant, both the H&R Thrift Store, and the Granite County Medical Foundation have also provided additional funding.
Stoppler estimates that The Helmsley Charitable Trust grant coupled with local funds, accounts for about 60% of the needed amount to fully fund the project. GCMC/HD is actively seeking additional private funds and several requests are currently under consideration by other organizations. If the project was fully funded, the CT scanner could be operational by fall, according to Stoppler.
Jim Waldbillig, Chairman of the Hospital District Board of Trustees said, “This is a great project! Granite County Hospital District is committed to improving the diagnostic capability of the facility and giving our providers the tools they need to deliver the highest quality care.”
Stoppler is hopeful the project could be fully funded soon, and if that is the case, expects to see construction completed by early fall. Several large steps need to occur prior to construction, in addition to funding; which include issuing requests for proposals for the project. These are required for public entities such as the hospital district.
Angela Knauer, Manager of the H&R Thrift Store, stated, “I feel I speak for all of the volunteers and we are truly blessed to be able to support such an awesome facility. It makes our volunteer time so rewarding. Also we appreciate all of the community support for making it possible for us to be able to aid in purchases for the hospital and rest home, to make it a more comfortable experience for the residents and patients. We look forward to continuing our mission to help out our facility in every way possible.”
Maria Conn, Chairperson of the Granite County Medical Foundation Board, commented, "The Granite County Medical Foundation Board believes in the success of this large project. A CT Scanner will be a valuable addition to the entire community and our pledge of $ 20,000 indicates our level of support. It is our sincere expectation the entire community, residents and visitors alike will reap the benefits of a higher standard of care."
About the Helmsley Charitable Trust
The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust aspires to improve lives by supporting effective nonprofits in health, select place-based initiatives, education and human services. Since 2008, when Helmsley began its active grantmaking, it has committed more than $1.8 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 $300 million to organizations and initiatives in the upper Midwest states of North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Wyoming, Minnesota, Iowa and Montana. For more information, visit www.helmsleytrust.org.