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Biden-Harris Administration Helps Expand Access to Rural Health Care Through Investing in America Agenda

Daniel Blottenberger
Harrisburg, Pa.
Release Date

Grants Will Benefit More Than 52,000 People in Rural Pennsylvania

U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) State Director for Rural Development in Pennsylvania today announced that USDA is awarding $1.7 million in grants to five organizations as part of President Biden’s Investing in America agenda.

“USDA Rural Development is committed to preserving access to care in rural communities,” State Director of Pennsylvania Bob Morgan said. “Rural towns are a gathering place where first responders put people’s safety first and hospitals care for everyone. USDA promotes a healthy community and environment through grants to make sure people, kids and families have access to the health care they need.” 

The awards are part of the Emergency Rural Health Care Grants program. These projects are estimated to benefit 52,245 rural Pennsylvanians. 

For example, the Olean General Hospital received $1 million to offset the revenue lost in 2021 due to lower volume of patients resulting in lower revenues for Olean General Hospital, which is in the City of Olean, in Cattaraugus County, New York. Olean General Hospital is doing business as (DBA) Bradford Regional Medical Center, which is in the city of Bradford, in McKean County, Pennsylvania. This project will benefit an estimated 43,450 people. 

“Supporting rural health care infrastructure is crucial to the safety, well-being and prosperity of our rural communities,” NY State Director for USDA Rural Development Brian Murray said. “Under the leadership of President Biden and Vice President Harris, USDA Rural Development is dedicating resources to support and improve the long-term viability of our rural health care partners and their facilities to ensure patients have access to high-quality health care.”

The Albion Volunteer Fire Department in Erie County received $83,400 to purchase a Medix MSVII Type 1 Ambulance. The ambulance will be used to provide pre-hospital emergency medical care and transport of patients to medical facilities. This project will benefit an estimated 1,516 people.

Endless Mountain Health Systems Inc. in Susquehanna County received $32,300 to purchase a pharmaceutical dispensing cabinet. The equipment will be used in the hospital's emergency room department and store over 200 different types of medication for use in emergency and pandemic-related situations. This project will benefit an estimated 2,844 people.

The McConnellsburg Volunteer Fire Company No. 1 in Fulton County received $562,500 to purchase a 2020 Pierce Arrow Pumper. The department will use the new vehicle to replace a 1991 truck that is nearing the end of its useful life. The new vehicle will allow the company to provide more reliable service to the community. This project will benefit an estimated 1,220 people.

The New Love Center received $177,500 to purchase food supplies for a food pantry that will be distributed and stored in Jersey Shore, Pennsylvania. Funds will also be used to purchase a mobile food pantry unit to include an F350 truck and an enclosed pantry trailer, which will be upfitted with coolers, shelving, storage, and supplies. The organization primarily serves the residents of Clinton and Lycoming Counties by providing the daily and long-term needs of food, shelter and clothing. This project will benefit an estimated 3,215 people.

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.