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Biden-Harris Administration Invests $74 Million to Improve Health Care for People Living in 37 States, Guam and Puerto Rico

Release Date

Alexandria, La., Aug.11, 2022 - U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development Under Secretary Xochitl Torres Small today announced that USDA is awarding $74 million in grants to improve health care facilities in rural towns across the Nation. These grants will help 143 rural health care organizations 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.

“Under the leadership of President Biden, Vice President Harris and Agriculture Secretary Vilsack, USDA is committed to making sure that people, no matter where they live, have access to high-quality and reliable health care services like urgent care, primary care, and dental care,” Torres Small said. “The Emergency Rural Health Care Grants being announced today will build, renovate and equip health care provider facilities like hospitals and clinics in rural areas in 37 states. Having sustainable and accessible health care infrastructure in rural areas is critical to the health and well-being of the millions of people living in small towns across the Nation.”

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 COVID-19 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. In Louisiana:

  • Claiborne Memorial Medical Center received a grant for $794,761 to support immediate healthcare needs, increase telehealth capabilities, telehealth equipment, training needed, electronic health records and telehealth software which will provide quality health care in the surrounding rural area.
  • Desoto Hospital Association received a grant for $576,367 to increase capacity for vaccine distribution, healthcare capabilities, provide staff for COVID-19 testing, and reimburse for lost revenue due to the pandemic. Funds will assist in addressing immediate healthcare needs, prepare for future pandemics and increase access to healthcare.
  • East Carroll Parish Hospital received a grant for $307,814 to support immediate healthcare needs and increase access to quality healthcare services. The investment will also provide for purchase of needed equipment for the hospital to help the rural community receive the care they deserve.
  • HSD 2 of LaSalle Parish received a grant for $162,650 to install emergency generators in both the Family Medical Clinic and ambulance department buildings. This project will provide essential health care services, including those directly related to COVID-19 pandemic, future pandemics, to support immediate health care needs and increase access to quality health care services to improve the surrounding community’s health conditions. The generators will be used to store COVID-19 medications and other medications that need cold storage.  
  • Mercy Medical Health Center received a grant for $1,000,000 to construct a health clinic. The clinic will be 8,500 square feet with a parking area and driveway on a seven-acre site. The clinic will provide expanded COVID-19 testing, IV Monoclonal Antibodies infusion to sick patients, vaccinations, child wellness and sick visits, women's health exams, primary care exams, urgent care and pharmacy where noninsured and under insured patients can be provided affordable medications.
  • Richardson Medical Center received a grant for $1,000,000 to purchase needed equipment to improve quality of health care in the surrounding area. The equipment will be low air loss option, T-systems ambulance inground informant, Stryker wheel stretchers, nurse call/intercom system, GE Ultrasound, GE healthcare Xray radiology and fluoro room. The equipment needs will be in correlation with providing treatment for COVID-19 patients, future pandemics, increase access to quality health care services and other health care patients served by the rural hospital.      

The investments announced today will expand health care services in Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Connecticut, Georgia, Iowa, Idaho, Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Maine, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Nevada, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Guam and Puerto Rico.

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.