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Governor Showcases Mobile Training Program for Rural Emergency Healthcare Providers; Recognizes South Dakota Company

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:  Monday, September 12, 2011
CONTACT:  Tony Venhuizen or Joe Kafka at 605-773-3212
Governor Showcases Mobile Training Program for Rural Emergency Healthcare Providers; Recognizes South Dakota Company
PIERRE, S.D. — Gov. Dennis Daugaard traveled to Lyons today to showcase a unique mobile training program that delivers hands-on emergency training to EMTs, paramedics, nurses and doctors in rural communities. Simulation in Motion - South Dakota (SIM-SD), was made possible with funding support from The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust and the technical know-how of South Dakota’s own Rosenbauer America.
“South Dakota is unique in using human patient simulators with a standardized, statewide training curriculum and is the first state to take such training directly to providers in rural areas with its fleet of mobile units,” said Governor Daugaard. “And when it came time to construct the highly technical, one-of-a-kind vehicle we needed to transport this training program, we were thrilled that a competitive bid process led us right here to the Rosenbauer plant in Lyons, South Dakota.”
The Helmsley Charitable Trust funded grants for three custom-built, 44-foot-long, mobile learning units that are fully equipped for training, along with two smaller outreach models. All five units have human patient simulators and a uniform educational curriculum to ensure a quality training experience for participants. The advanced human patient simulators realistically replicate many health problems and are able to react to provider’s actions during true-to-life training scenarios.
Since the end of June the vehicles have traveled hundreds of miles across South Dakota, bringing SIM-SD’s standardized training curriculum and the patient simulators to communities from Bison to Yankton and Sisseton to Pine Ridge.
“SIM-SD is making it easier for rural EMTs and hospital staff to get the critical-care, continuing education they need to keep their skills up, without ever having to leave their own community,” said the Governor. “But the real beneficiaries will be South Dakotans in need of emergency healthcare services, regardless of where they live.”
Partners in the SIM-SD program are the South Dakota Department of Health, Avera Health, Mobridge Regional Hospital, Regional Health, St. Mary’s Healthcare Center, and Sanford Health. The Department of Health leads the statewide effort. 
The Rural Healthcare Program of The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust began awarding grants in 2009. In the last two years, the Trust has awarded more than $104 million in grants to nonprofit organizations in the region. The Trust, established in 1999, supports a diverse range of organizations, with a major focus on health and medical research, human services, education and conservation. To date, The Trust has announced more than $108 million in the region and $462 million in grants to charitable organizations.
For more information about the SIM-SD training program, visit www.SIM.SD.gov