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Biden-Harris Administration Helps Expand Access to Rural Health Care Through Investing in South Carolina

Stephanie Bittiker
Columbia, S.C.
Release Date

Over $1.2 Million in Grants Will Benefit People in Rural South Carolina

COLUMBIA, S.C. , July 25, 2023 – U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Deputy Secretary Xochitl Torres Small today announced that USDA is expanding access to health care for more than 5 million people living in 39 states and Puerto Rico as part of President Biden’s Investing in America agenda.

“The Biden-Harris Administration responded quickly to deliver immediate economic relief and to ensure people have access to quality health care during one of the most critical times in our nation’s history,” Deputy Secretary Torres Small said. “USDA’s Emergency Rural Health Care Grants program has played a key role in strengthening rural America’s health care infrastructure and building capacity for the future.”

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.

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.

“Three South Carolina health care providers will be receiving over $1.2 million in grant funding as part of this investment announcement,” said USDA Rural Development State Director Dr. Saundra Glover. “These grants will provide immediate relief to address economic conditions in rural areas and will support the long-term sustainability of rural health, which will help rural South Carolina to thrive.”

In South Carolina:

  • The Town of Lincolnville, located in Charleston County, will purchase a mini pumper and emergency medical supplies. These items will increase the town's ability to respond to medical emergencies on rural roads. Refrigerators will also be purchased for their food distribution partnership. This equipment will enable the town of Lincolnville to provide increased medical care and food distribution to the rural residents now and during future pandemics improving the health outcomes and equal access to medical and food services.
  • Edward Via College Osteopathic Medicine - Carolinas Campus will deploy a mobile medical unit in week-long medical mission experiences to deliver primary care health services, including COVID-19 prevention and support services, to targeted rural areas in both Spartanburg and Cherokee counties. This mobile medical unit will provide medical outreach initiatives and long-term health services such as the free medical clinic.
  • The Town of Mayesville will use their investment to build a multipurpose community center that will provide medical services and emergency food distribution regularly and in the event of a pandemic or natural disaster. The facility, which is located in Sumter County, would be able to distribute vaccines not just to the town of Mayesville, but to surrounding rural residents. This community center will have the necessary devices and supplies to accommodate more people with health services. In addition to providing vaccinations and medical assistance, this facility will also support residents by distributing food.

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.



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