U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development Colorado State Director Armando Valdez announced that USDA is awarding $3,013,600 in grants to improve health care facilities in four rural towns across Colorado. “Rural health care is a priority for the Biden-Harris Administration. These projects funded today will improve the level of care for four rural medical facilities across our state and expand critical services for 23,608 people in Colorado,” said Valdez. “USDA Rural Development invests in rural America because we know a strong community is rooted in its people. A healthy community is a productive community. It is essential to fortify our rural health care systems to be resilient and prepared for any residual pandemic impact or future disease threats. Under the leadership of President Biden and Vice President Harris, USDA is committed to making sure that people, no matter where they live, have access to high-quality and reliable health care services,” Valdez emphasized.
The projects awarded in Colorado are:
- Delta County Memorial Hospital District in western Colorado will use a $384,400 grant for relief from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic This project will reimburse a portion lost revenue and ensure the 8,915 rural residents the district serves continue to have access to high-quality healthcare.
- Eben Ezer Lutheran Care Center in Brush, CO will use a $700,000 grant to provide immediate relief from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. This project will reimburse the Care Center for a portion of lost revenues, helping to ensure that the 5,463 residents of this rural community continue to have access to high-quality healthcare.
- Lutheran Hospital Association of the San Luis Valley will use a $1 million grant to perform renovations to improve patient and staff conditions at the San Luis Valley Regional Medical Center in southern Colorado. The Regional Medical Center dates back 100 years and only offers significantly overcrowded, semi-private rooms with non-American Disability Act (ADA) compliant bathrooms for inpatient care. This project will convert seven rooms, presently used for outpatient cardiopulmonary services, into flexible private suites, including two that will have negative-pressure heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems for enhanced infection control and isolation capabilities. All rooms will feature ADA-compliant bathrooms, LED lighting, air scrubbers and necessary technology updates for modern equipment and patient monitoring.
- Mineral County will use a $929,200 grant to update the heating, ventilation and air conditioning system of the Clinic and Ambulance Building in southwest Colorado. The current system is inefficient and dated which results in constant comfort complaints and high energy bills and usage. This project will replace the system with high efficiency split system heat pumps and fan coil units while using existing ducting. The project will improve the comfort in a crucial community building that has seen increased use and demand because of COVID-19.
Nationwide, USDA is awarding $110 million in grants to improve health care facilities in rural towns. These grants will help 208 rural health care organizations expand critical services for nearly 5 million people in 43 states and Guam. This funding is available through the Emergency Rural Health Care Grants Program and the 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 no matter their zip code. 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, USDA 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 in Colorado, visit www.rd.usda.gov/co.