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Published on November 05, 2015

Billings Clinic receives $1.7 million grant from the Helmsley Charitable Trust

Billings, MT— Billings Clinic received a $1.7 million grant from The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust. The funds will be used to establish the Helmsley Simulation Laboratory and Medical Education Center at Billings Clinic. This facility will provide education and training for the Billings Clinic Internal Medicine Residency Program, as well as many other healthcare students and professionals from the surrounding region.

The Helmsley Simulation Laboratory and Medical Education Center will enhance teaching by providing methods for assessment and documentation of skills to more accurately measure strengths and identify opportunities for enhanced learning. The center’s technology and interactive human patient simulators will provide learning experiences to test specific skills and increase confidence through practice that is guided and assessed by specially-trained faculty. Opportunities for more advanced training include multidisciplinary teams working together to practice skills, communication styles and therapeutic roles with the intent to create the highest level of efficiency and learning. Simulation laboratories have become standard resources in academic medical centers and university settings and are required as part of Internal Medicine Residency accreditation and training standards.

The Medical Education Center space will contain classrooms, debriefing rooms and individual learning spaces for staff and students of all levels to complete training modules, debrief after simulation exercises or attend educational meetings. Meeting rooms will be connected to telemedicine, enabling individuals located in rural communities to effectively participate.

“This state-of-the-art education facility will help Billings Clinic’s Internal Medicine Residency Program thrive, thereby improving access to physicians in our region’s rural communities,” said Nicholas Wolter, MD, CEO of Billings Clinic. “We are grateful to the Helmsley Charitable Trust for this gift and their ongoing support to our region. Their presence and generosity is significant to the future of healthcare for the patients we serve.”

In 2009, the Helmsley Charitable Trust created its Rural Healthcare Program to improve access to and quality of care through innovative projects that use information technologies to connect rural populations to specialty medical care, bring the latest medical therapies to patients in remote areas, provide state-of-the-art training for rural hospitals and EMS personnel and foster incentives for healthcare personnel to train and serve in rural areas.

“The Trust is excited to fund this unique opportunity for internal medicine residents to practice in Montana and see how rewarding a career in rural healthcare can be,” said Walter Panzirer, trustee of the Helmsley Charitable Trust. “The Rural Healthcare Program strives to improve access to healthcare for people who call the upper Midwest home. Supporting innovative programs such as the simulation lab and education center is one way we can assure great patient care in rural America for years to come.”

This grant from the Helmsley Charitable Trust’s Rural Healthcare Program supports Billings Clinic’s commitment to create an educational experience that is innovative and unique in addressing the challenges of rural communities that struggle with geographic isolation and shortages of healthcare providers.

About the Helmsley Charitable Trust

The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust aspires to improve lives by supporting effective nonprofits in health, place-based initiatives, and education and human services. Since 2008, when the Trust began its active grant making, it has committed more than $1.5 billion for a wide range of charitable purposes. The Trust’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 $267 million to organizations and initiatives in the upper Midwest states of North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Wyoming, Minnesota, Iowa, and Montana. For more information, please visit

About Billings Clinic

Billings Clinic is Montana’s largest healthcare organization and serves a vast geographical region covering much of Montana, northern Wyoming and the western Dakotas. Billings Clinic, a not for profit organization, is governed by a 12-member board consisting of nine community members, two physicians, and a physician CEO. At its core, Billings Clinic is a physician led, integrated multi-specialty group practice with a 285-bed hospital and Level II trauma center. Billings Clinic has nearly 4,000 employees, including more than 400 physicians and advanced practitioners offering more than 86 specialties. Billings Clinic manages 11 Critical Access Hospitals and clinics in the region and conducts nearly 100 specialty care clinics per month. Billings Clinic is the first Montana MAGNET-designated healthcare organization and member of the Mayo Clinic Care Network. Billings Clinic launched Montana’s first Internal Medicine Residency program in 2014. Billings Clinic's vision is to be a national leader in providing the best clinical quality, patient safety, service and value. More information can be found at

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