Humboldt County Memorial Hospital receives Tele-Emergency funding

Humboldt, IA -- In a medical emergency, a quick response from board-certified emergency physicians and critical care nurses can mean the difference between life and death. Humboldt County Memorial Hospital will soon have access to these services, thanks to a new tele-emergency program funded through a grant from The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust Rural Health Program.

The $172,813.00 grant will allow the facility to acquire equipment and training to connect with Avel in Sioux Falls, S.D., where emergency staff will be on duty 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to help local medical providers deliver the best possible care in the shortest possible time.

High-definition cameras and microphones will allow the tele-emergency virtual team at Avel to both see and hear everything that is taking place in the emergency room. They can guide rural nurses and other providers in patient care until a rural physician arrives. They can also consult with doctors on difficult cases.  

"We are committed to delivering the best possible healthcare to our community, and this technology takes a big step toward meeting that commitment," said Michelle Sleiter, CEO. “We really appreciate the assistance of the Helmsley Charitable Trust to make this possible."

The new tele-emergency service is expected to be operational by August, 2023.

This type of hub-and-spoke health delivery is also being used to bring pharmacy services and intensive care specialty access to rural hospitals and patients across the country.

The telemedicine programs are part of the Helmsley Charitable Trust Rural Healthcare Program’s ongoing efforts to improve the lives of rural residents in Minnesota, Iowa, Nebraska, South Dakota, North Dakota, Montana, Nevada and Wyoming. Programs include telehealth services, training, emergency medical care, diagnostics, cardiac care, cancer care and research into innovations that specifically address the challenges of healthcare delivery in Rural America.

“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 in our region.”


About the Helmsley Charitable Trust

The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust aspires to improve lives by supporting exceptional efforts in the U.S. and around the world in health and select place-based initiatives. Since beginning active grantmaking in 2008, Helmsley has committed more than $3.5 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 the upper Midwest states of North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Wyoming, Minnesota, Iowa, Nevada, and Montana. For more information, visit