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Biden-Harris Administration Helps Expand Access to Rural Health Care in North Dakota

Chris Freeman
Release Date

BISMARCK, N.D., July 25, 2023 – U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development State Director Erin Oban today announced that USDA is expanding access to health care in Towner County, North Dakota as part of President Biden’s Investing in America agenda.

“In the last year, USDA Rural Development has provided over $150 million in financing to sustain and expand access to rural health in North Dakota by helping providers to build and enhance new facilities and update equipment and technologies. More than $4 million of that was in grant funds made available by the passage of the American Rescue Plan Act and through the Emergency Rural Health Care Grant program,” said Oban. “North Dakotans of all ages, from children to elders, can continue to access quality care right in the communities they call home, in part because of USDA Rural Development’s deep commitment to investing in rural people and places.”

Today’s announcement of 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.

In North Dakota:

  • Towner County Hospital Authority (TCHA) will use a $1,000,000 ERHC grant to purchase equipment for construction of an approximately 76,000-square-foot Critical Access Hospital and nursing home in Cando, North Dakota. The project will consist of a 10-bed acute care hospital; a 30-bed long term care facility; and a 5-bed basic care unit. The hospital design includes public and administrative support spaces, dietary services, infrastructure support, primary clinic space, specialty clinic space, acute care, procedural suites, emergency, x-ray, CT, mammography, ultrasounds, DEXA, EKG, laboratory, and physical therapy. This consolidated-facilities project will establish modern, code-compliant, inpatient and outpatient care areas. This includes dramatic improvements to inpatient care, emergency department, and diagnostic imaging spaces. Upgrades will also occur across multiple patient care and support areas, including physical therapy, laboratory, and ambulatory surgery. Infection control improvements such as proper space isolation and ventilation will be made throughout the facilities.

USDA Rural Development is investing $129 million for health care services nationwide 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, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin, Wyoming and Puerto Rico. 

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.

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.