Gainesville, Fla., July 26, 2023 – U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development State Director for Florida and the U.S. Virgin Islands Lakeisha Hood Moise today announced that USDA is expanding access to health care for nearly 200,000 people living in Florida as part of President Biden’s Investing in America agenda.
“Access to modern and sustainable health care infrastructure in rural and Tribal communities is critical to the health and well-being for people who live in the small towns our country relies on to prosper,” State Director Hood Moise said. “USDA’s Emergency Rural Health Care Grants will address a variety of immediate health care needs and services in rural communities.”
USDA is awarding $2.7 million in Emergency Rural Health Care Grants to improve health care facilities in rural towns across Florida. These 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 Florida, these grants will help 6 rural health care and social service organizations expand critical services. Some examples include:
- America's Second Harvest of the Big Bend Inc. in Tallahassee, Florida will use $637,550 to increase food distribution in Taylor, Calhoun, Jackson, Gadsden, Madison and Franklin counties.
- Calhoun Liberty Hospital Association Inc. in Blountstown, Florida will use $253,900 to purchase of medical equipment to improve efficiency and increase capacity to serve the residents of Calhoun and Liberty counties.
- Feeding the Gulf Coast in the Florida Panhandle will use $225,000 to expand access to nutrition assistance through food banks and food distribution facilities in Jay, Florida.
- Franklin County Board of County Commissioners in Apalachicola, Florida will use $513,700 to purchase two paramedic trucks for the George E. Weems Memorial Hospital, a rural critical access hospital, to expand the paramedicine program to provide transportation disadvantaged patients with health care services and vaccinations.
- Pancare of Florida Inc. in Blounstown, Florida will use $1,000,000 to construct a primary care clinic as part of a multi-phase regional health care center.
- Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida Inc. in Central Florida will use $150,564 to expand access to nutrition assistance through food banks and food distribution facilities in the town of Pierson, Florida.
In additional to the investments USDA is announcing in Florida, it will also expand health care services in Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Delaware, 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.
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.