South Lincoln Medical Center receives grant for portable x-ray machine

Patients at South Lincoln Medical Center in Kemmerer will soon benefit from studies using the latest in x-ray technology made possible through a grant from the Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust’s Rural Healthcare Program.

The Helmsley Charitable Trust has awarded South Lincoln Medical Center $140,713 for a portable digital x-ray machine, part of a $14.2 million initiative to upgrade x-ray technology at 50 rural hospitals in the Upper Midwest.

“We would like to thank the Helmsley Charitable Trust for their generous donation once again to update our radiology department,” said Sandy Sellers, South Lincoln Medical Center Medical Imaging Supervisor. “Without their continued support, South Lincoln Medical Center would not have been able to convert to digital mammography in 2011, as well as purchase a digital portable x-ray machine through our current awarded grant funds.” 

Walter Panzirer, a Trustee for the Helmsley Charitable Trust, said the initiative represents the organization’s latest multi-site initiative to improve the quality of healthcare available to rural residents in Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota, Iowa, Nebraska and Wyoming.

“Our goal has always been to improve access to exceptional medical treatment for those who live in rural America,” said Panzirer. “To that end, rural hospitals need to remain viable and have the latest equipment to ensure their patients can receive essential, quality healthcare services locally. This initiative is just one of many that strives to improve healthcare outcomes throughout the Upper Midwest.”

Panzirer said critical access hospitals in the seven-state region are hampered by outdated equipment. Over the last four years, the Helmsley Charitable Trust’s Rural Healthcare Program has awarded more than $30 million in grants to 82 hospitals in the Upper Midwest to purchase state-of-the-art computer tomography (CT) scanners.

The $14.2 million in grants will allow replacement of a total of 87 pieces of equipment, including: 32 fixed x-ray devices with an average age of 16 years; 47 portable x-ray devices with an average age of 28 years; three fixed fluoroscopy devices averaging nine years; and five portable C-arms with an average age of 16 years.