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Biden-Harris Administration Invests $4.5 Million to Improve Health Care for People Living in Rural Georgia

Deborah Brumfield
Release Date

Cordele, Ga., Aug. 11, 2022 – U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Under Secretary for Rural Development Xochitl Torres Small today announced that USDA is awarding $4.5 million in grants to expand access to health care and improve health care facilities in rural Georgia.

“Every American deserves access to high-quality and reliable health care services like urgent care and primary care, and President Biden, Vice President Harris, and Agriculture Secretary Vilsack know that people in rural communities deserve that access just as much as anyone,” Torres Small said. “Thanks to the leadership of Congressman Bishop,, USDA has the resources to help rural community leaders afford to upgrade rural clinics, hospitals and health care organizations to advance the well-being of the millions of people living in small towns and communities like Cordele.”

Torres Small made the announcement in Cordele where Crisp Regional Hospital will use a $1 million grant to recover lost revenue to enable the hospital to continue with critical services in rural Georgia.

The Biden-Harris Administration made these funds available in the Emergency Rural Health Care Grants Programs through its 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.

USDA Rural Development promotes a healthy community and environment through the Emergency Rural Health Care Grants to make sure people, kids and families have access to the health care they need. The grants support the ability of rural communities to provide health care to the people and places in our country that often lack access.

The investments will help rural hospitals and health care providers implement telehealth and nutrition assistance programs, increase staffing to administer vaccines and testing, build or renovate facilities, and purchase medical supplies. They also will help regional partnerships, public bodies, nonprofits and Tribes solve regional rural health care problems and build a stronger, more sustainable rural health care system in response to the pandemic.

Additional awards announced in Georgia today are below.

 Additional awards announced in Georgia today are below:

  • Community Healthcare Systems Inc. will use a $295,000 grant to provide essential laboratory equipment and supplies for testing COVID-29 in the following rural Georgia counties: Baldwin, Glascock, Hancock, Jefferson, Johnson, Laurens, Taliaferro, Telfair, Twiggs, Warren, Washington, and Wilkinson.
  • The Hospital Authority of Ben Hill will use a $1 million grant to provide additional medical supplies, personal protective equipment and cover staffing expenses that have increased due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • The Clinch Hospital Authority will use a $498,200 grant to provide the Hospital Authority of Clinch County funds to allow Clinch Memorial Family Practice to operate 6 days a week to test, vaccinate, treat and educate on the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • The Elberton-Elbert County Hospital Authority will use a $377,400 grant to provide Elbert Memorial Hospital personal protective equipment, medical supplies, cardiac and pulmonary rehabilitation equipment and reimburse for health care-related revenue lost during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • The Washington County Hospital Authority will use a $1 million grant to recover lost revenue due to COVID-19 pandemic in rural Georgia, this will allow the hospital to continue to offer valuable services to the community during the pandemic.
  • The Family Y, YMCA/ YWCO of Central Savannah River Area (CSRA), Inc was awarded five individual grants to support food insecurity of individuals due to the COVID-19 pandemic. At each of these YMCA sites, funds will be used to purchase food, a van for transporting the food, and it will allow hiring of additional personnel. Burke County, $57,800; Jefferson County, $73,700; Lincoln County, $35,100; McDuffie County, $146,600; South Carolina Barnwell County, $44,000.

The awards being announced in Georgia today are part of a nationwide announcement of $74 million to help 143 rural health care organizations[LDRNO1]  expand critical services for 3 million people in 37 states, Guam and Puerto Rico. The investments include $32 million for 67 rural health care organizations to help more than $1 million people living in socially vulnerable communities.

USDA will announce additional awardees for Emergency Rural Health Care Grants in the coming weeks and months.

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.