Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Funds for Rural Healthcare

Colorado’s Governor Bill Ritter announced that$1 million in grant funding is now available through the Colorado Rural Health Care Grant Council to support Colorado’s rural healthcare infrastructure. This is the third cycle of grants to be awarded through the Colorado Rural Health Care Grant Program that by 2012 is expected to deliver a total of $7.5 million.

The Rural Health Care Grant Council created by an Executive Order is responsible for the grant program funded by the UnitedHealth Group. Organizations located outside of the state’s urbanized areas to provide outpatient primary care services in the medical, oral, and mental health fields.

The deadline for Letters of Intent for the third grant cycle is January 22, 1010 and the grant application deadline is March 11, 2010. The maximum award amount is $50,000 per applicant. For more information contact Kent O’ Connor (303) 832-7493 or email

In addition to the grant program, UnitedHealthcare and Centura Health last fall announced their initial pilot locations for the Connected Care Telehealth program. The program will provide patients in rural areas expanded access to physicians and specialists using advanced telehealth technology

The sites include the Rio Grande Hospital in Del Norte, Buena Vista Family Practice in Buena Vista, High Plains Community Health Center in Lamar, and St Vincent General Hospital in Leadville. These sites are to be established at federally qualified community health centers, critical access hospitals, rural health clinics, or Centura Health entities, and in the future, may be implemented in retail, workplace locations, and homes.

The Connected Care sites will be installed starting during the first quarter of 2010 and the sites are expected to make 4,800 specialist visits available per year in those communities. The program will initially target medical specialties that are either not currently available at a local level or only have services available on a part time basis. Initially, these services will include cardiology, dermatology, pulmonology, diabetes management, ENT, plus additional services will be added.