USDA has just awarded their “Distance Learning and Telemedicine Program” grants for $30,172,607 to 34 states and one territory. The grants administered by USDA’s Rural Utilities Services will help fund 100 distance learning and telemedicine projects to improve access to healthcare and educational services in rural areas.
The grants for rural healthcare range from $50,000 up to two awards for $500,000. For example, the Sisters of Mercy Health System received a $500,000 telemedicine grant to provide much needed access to healthcare in some of Mercy’s most rural communities in Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri, and Oklahoma,
The grant will enable Mercy to hardwire facilities in these areas with telemedicine technology so that round-the-clock emergency coverage can be provided to hundreds of Mercy medical specialists. Earlier this year, USDA awarded Mercy a $495,926 telemedicine grant for a three-year telehome project to provide medical care to 900 people in hard-to-reach rural areas.
Other examples include funding for $108,820 awarded to the Maine Sea Coast Missionary Society to buy video equipment for a ship-based medical examining room. In Sac City, Iowa Loring Hospital was awarded $262,742 to purchase video conferencing equipment to connect their emergency room, outpatient and inpatient centers with local schools and area nursing homes.
For more information and the list of grantees, go to the December 8th USDA news release at www.usda.gov.