Helmsley Charitable Trust Awards $8.15 Million to Good Samaritan Society

The Good Samaritan Society in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, has announced a three-year, $8.15 million grant from the Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust to deliver its sensor technology and telehealth services to seniors in rural communities.

The grant, the largest in the organization's history, will be used to establish the LivingWell@Home project, which will serve about 1,600 seniors living in forty rural cities in five states. According to the Minneapolis Star Tribune, half the sites will be in Minnesota and the rest in Iowa, Nebraska, and the Dakotas. Led by Leslie Grant, a team of researchers from the University of Minnesota will evaluate the data to determine whether telehealth technologies can help people remain healthy and reduce healthcare costs.

Sensor technology involves collecting information about a patient's movement, sleep quality, and day-to-day activities with a wireless sensor. The collected data is transmitted via a secure Internet site to a registered nurse, who compares the data with a client's usual patterns. The information also is sent electronically to a collection point, where it is analyzed by a nurse who can intervene if necessary.

"With the grant from the Helmsley Trust, the Good Samaritan Society continues to shape how senior care should be provided in this country," said GSS president and CEO David J. Horazdovsky. "Our commitment is to implement new and innovative ways in which seniors can live well at home, and at the same time offer family members peace of mind knowing that their loved one is being cared for."

Warren Wolfe. "$8 Million Project to Test Telemedicine for Elderly." Minneapolis Star Tribune 06/23/2010. "Good Samaritan Society Receives $8.15 Million Grant." Good Samaritan Society Press Release 06/23/2010.