The USDA’s Distance Learning and Telemedicine program awarded 108 projects in 39 states and one territory $34.7 million to fund educational projects and expand access to healthcare services in rural areas. Of the grants awarded, 63 will provide distance learning and 45 will be directed towards telemedicine.
At a briefing, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack gave several examples of the projects to receive funding:
• Holzer Clinic will receive $400,83 to provide medical and healthcare training between the hospital hub and 19 outlying hospitals and clinics in 5 rural Southeastern Ohio counties
• Graham Children’s Health Services of Toe River will receive $264,000 to fund a school-based telehealth program called “My Healthe-School project so that school-aged children in two counties in Western North Carolina will receive primary health care, mental health care, and nutritional counseling
• Norton Sound Health Corporation will receive $483,705 to provide basic videoconferencing to use to deliver telemedicine services to help isolated communities in Northwest Alaska
• Schuyler County Hospital District will use funding of $170,000 to fund a portion of a digital mammography system for the Culbertson Memorial Hospital. services to help nearby hospitals in Schuyler, Cass, and Fulton counties
• Finger Lakes Migrant Health Care project will receive $488,265 in funding to expand a farm network and Telehealth network to connect eight migrant clinics and eight community child wellness centers in several areas of rural New York. The funding will also be used to connect hospitals and clinics in Syracuse, Geneva, and Cortland plus other communities to enable distant learning
• Avera Health System will receive a total of $1,107,173 in funding to increase access to telemedicine in rural parts of Iowa and the Dakotas. Telemedicine and telehealth consultations will be provided along with teleradiology, eICU, e-pharmacy, and e-emergency care
Go to www.rurdev.usda.gov/supportdocuments/chartDLTAwardsJan2011.pdf for a complete listing of the awards. For information on the Distance Learning and Telemedicine program go to www.rurdev.usda.gov/UTP_DLT.html or contact Sam Morgan at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (202) 205-3733.