U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Dot gov

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.


Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock () or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Biden-Harris Administration Helps Expand Access to Rural Health Care by Investing $1.4 million in America Agenda

Robert Kerns
Release Date

Grants Will Benefit More Than 13 Thousand People in North Carolina

RALEIGH, N.C., July 25, 2023 – U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Deputy Secretary Xochitl Torres Small announced that USDA is expanding access to health care for more than 10 thousand people living in rural North Carolina as part of President Biden’s Investing in America agenda today.

Today’s investments will help regional partnerships, public bodies, nonprofits and Tribes solve regional rural health care challenges. These solutions will build a stronger, more sustainable rural health care system for the nation’s small towns and communities.

“During one of the most critical times in our nation’s history, the Biden-Harris Administration responded to deliver immediate economic relief and ensure rural people have access to quality health care,” Deputy Secretary Torres Small said. “USDA’s Emergency Rural Health Care Grants are helping strengthen rural America’s health care infrastructure to build for the future.”

A non-profit organization and three medical facilities in North Carolina are receiving nearly $1.4 million in Emergency Rural Healthcare Grants.

“USDA Rural Development promotes a healthy community and environment through grants to make sure people, kids and families have access to the health care they need,” said Rural Development North Carolina State Director Reginald Speight. “President Biden knows a strong community is rooted in its people. Rural towns are a gathering place where first responders put people’s safety first and hospitals care for everyone.”

  • In Buncombe County, Appalachian Mountain Community Health Centers, will use a $336 thousand Emergency Rural Healthcare Grant to purchase COVID-19 medical supplies and equipment.
  • In Jones County, Jones County Emergency Medical Services, will use a $837 thousand Emergency Rural Healthcare Grant to construct a 3,500 square foot facility. The project will include two EMS bays, bedrooms, bathrooms, and storage, plus an office, decontamination room, dayroom, and kitchen.
  • In Jones County, the Jones County Emergency Services Department, will use a $163 thousand Emergency Rural Healthcare Grant to renovate the Jones County Emergency Services Department facility. The renovated facility will provide necessary accommodations for communication center employees while allowing for future growth and expansion.
  • In Onslow County, Mount Carmel H.E.L.P.S. Inc., will use a $100 thousand Emergency Rural Healthcare Grant to purchase walk-in freezers and shelving, cargo vans for food transportation and distribution, storage containers, food purchases, hot meal packaging, small kitchen wares, and condiments.

Nationwide USDA is awarding $129 million in Emergency Rural Health Care Grants to improve health care facilities in rural towns across the nation. These grants will help 172 rural health care organizations expand critical services.

The investments USDA is announcing will also expand health care services in Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin, Wyoming and Puerto Rico. 

Torres Small announced the awards today at the University of Virginia.

USDA is providing a grant to the university’s Virginia Consortium to Advance Healthcare in Appalachia, a not-for-profit group that will use the funds to expand access to health care and telemedicine in Wise County.

The funding will also help the group expand regional networks for resource sharing, training, education and communications. This group will also develop a blueprint for addressing pandemic emergency chronic illnesses and enhancing the long-term sustainability of rural health care.

This funding is made possible by President Biden’s historic legislative package, the American Rescue Plan Act. The Act and this program are examples of the government’s ability to respond quickly to ensure every person and family has access to high-quality health care.

Background: Emergency Rural Health Care Grants

Congress passed the American Rescue Plan Act in March 2021 to deliver immediate economic relief to people impacted by the pandemic. Within months after the Act’s passage, USDA responded quickly by making this funding available to ensure the long-term availability of rural health care services.

In August 2021, USDA made the Emergency Rural Health Care Grants available through the American Rescue Plan Act to help rural health care facilities, tribes and communities expand access to health care services and nutrition assistance.

The assistance is helping provide immediate relief to support rural hospitals, health care clinics and local communities. USDA is administering the funds through Rural Development’s Community Facilities Program

Under the Biden-Harris Administration, Rural Development provides loans and grants to help expand economic opportunities, create jobs and improve the quality of life for millions of Americans in rural areas. This assistance supports infrastructure improvements; business development; housing; community facilities such as schools, public safety and health care; and high-speed internet access in rural, tribal and high-poverty areas. For more information, visit www.rd.usda.gov. If you’d like to subscribe to USDA Rural Development updates, visit the GovDelivery subscriber page.

USDA touches the lives of all Americans each day in so many positive ways. Under the Biden-Harris Administration, USDA is transforming America’s food system with a greater focus on more resilient local and regional food production, fairer markets for all producers, ensuring access to safe, healthy and nutritious food in all communities, building new markets and streams of income for farmers and producers using climate-smart food and forestry practices, making historic investments in infrastructure and clean energy capabilities in rural America, and committing to equity across the Department by removing systemic barriers and building a workforce more representative of America. To learn more, visit www.usda.gov.


USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer and lender.