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Helmsley Charitable Trust grants $11.6 million to expand advanced heart and lung care in Nevada

St. Rose Dominican Health Foundation receives $6.8 million to expand cardiac services at Siena Hospital

LAS VEGAS, April 23, 2024 — The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust recently announced grants totalling $11.6 million to three Nevada health systems to expand access to life-saving care for patients suffering from acute cardiac and pulmonary failure. Dignity Health-St. Rose Dominican will receive $6.8 million to improve cardiac services at Siena Hospital in Henderson.

The grant projects will expand the availability of ECMO (extracorporeal membrane oxygenation) devices, which provide support for patients with severe failure of the heart, lungs, or both. The state-of-the-art procedure can save lives in cases that otherwise would offer little chance of survival and can act as a bridge to those needing heart or lung transplants.

“ECMO can be a game changer for patients with severe heart and lung conditions,” said Walter Panzirer, a Trustee with the Helmsley Charitable Trust. “Without ECMO, hospitals have to transfer patients to other facilities, and those who are too unstable for transport could die before receiving needed care.”

Helmsley is granting more than $5.1 million to St. Rose Dominican Health Foundation to launch an ECMO program at Dignity Health-St. Rose Siena Hospital in Henderson. The facility will add four dedicated ICU rooms for patients suffering from acute respiratory distress, recovering from cardiac arrest, or awaiting a lung or heart transplant. An adjacent sleep room will allow an on-site provider to immediately respond to critical events. 

“This donation from the Helmsley Charitable Trust is quite literally lifesaving for our community,” said Dr. Rod Buzzas, Chief Medical Officer for Dignity Health-St. Rose Siena Hospital. “In the world of modern medicine it is not enough to have just the best surgeons, doctors, and nurses. You must have the most advanced medical technology and equipment as well. As a not-for-profit hospital, we depend on the generosity of others, and on groups like the Helmsley Charitable Trust, to maintain our position on the cutting edge of life-saving medical technology. We are grateful beyond words.”

Helmsley also provided an additional $1.7 million to renovate one of Siena Hospital’s four cardiac catheterization laboratories, upgrading vascular disease imaging services for patients with coronary artery and structural heart diseases.

The Helmsley Trust also awarded a grant of more than $3.5 million to the Renown Health Foundation to establish northern Nevada’s first ECMO program at Renown Regional Medical Center in Reno. University Medical Center of Southern Nevada received a grant of $1.2 million to accelerate the development of its extracorporeal life support services for adult and pediatric patients. 


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 about $4.5 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 $700 million to organizations and initiatives in the states of Iowa, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wyoming. For more information, visit

About Dignity Health – St. Rose Dominican

Nevada’s only not-for-profit, faith-based health system, Dignity Health-St. Rose Dominican Hospitals remain guided by the vision and values of the Adrian Dominican Sisters who founded Rose de Lima Hospital in Henderson in 1947. Dignity Health now operates three acute care hospitals in southern Nevada - the Siena, San Martin, and Rose de Lima Campuses. St. Rose Dominican Hospitals is a member of the Dignity Health network of nearly 10,000 physicians, 60,000 employees, 41 acute care hospitals, and more than 400 care centers, urgent and occupational care, imaging centers, and primary care clinics. Dignity Health is a part of CommonSpirit Health, a nonprofit health system committed to advancing health for all people and dedicated to serving the common good. More than 75 years after the arrival of the original seven Sisters in Henderson, the 4,000 employees of the St. Rose Dominican health system continue the Sisters’ mission of serving people in need, especially the most vulnerable. For more information, visit

Dignity Health hospitals in Nevada are supported by the St. Rose Dominican Health Foundation, whose mission is to improve community health and wellness through fundraising and relationship building with caring supporters who donate or pledge to fund our work. To learn more, visit or email [email protected].

Publish date: 

Tuesday, April 23, 2024