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Biden-Harris Administration Invests Nearly $3 Million to Improve Health Care for People Living in Rural California

Daniel Phelps
Davis, CA
Release Date

DAVIS, Calif., Aug. 11, 2022 – USDA Rural Development State Director Maria Gallegos-Herrera today announced that USDA is awarding nearly $3 million in grants to improve health care facilities in rural towns in California.

“Access to healthcare is a critical and basic human need,” said Maria Gallegos Herrera, USDA Rural Development California state director. “The pandemic has shined a spotlight on the health disparities that have long existed in rural communities. As rural residents confront limited access to healthcare, they have also faced increased exposure to COVID-19. Today’s Emergency Rural Health Care awards will help communities hit hardest by the pandemic secure more access to COVID-19 testing and vaccines, improve healthcare services, and prepare for future public health emergencies.”

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.

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 California, the following grants are awarded:

  • Anderson Valley Health Center Inc. in Mendocino County will use $978,590 to address COVID-19-related healthcare delivery challenges. The investment will ensure the Boonville clinic is equipped to supply COVID-19 vaccines and treat patients efficiently with less risk of health concerns related to the virus.
  • Mendocino Community Health Clinic, Inc. is receiving two grants to support programs and processes in response to COVID-19. The clinic will use a $86,290 grant to hire a healthcare provider and purchase equipment to check in patients for appointments and store vaccines in the community of Ukiah. An additional $168,660 is awarded to Mendocino Community Health Clinic Inc. to hire additional staff, purchase contactless equipment, and a generator to safeguard against power outages.
  • Center for Family Health & Education, Inc.(CFFHE) in Orange Cove is receiving $110,170 to purchase an electronic healthcare records system. This system is capable of facilitating remote care with numerous telehealth options, including video visits, post-surgical follow-ups, and patient monitoring features. COVID-19 pandemic conditions heightened the need for this advanced system as it will help the organization provide services through changing and emergent conditions. 
  • Greater Hope Foundation for Children in San Bernadino County is awarded $29,600 to convert a van to meet Americans with Disabilities Act requirements for serving patients with limited mobility. The converted van is essential increase patient access to behavioral and mental health services in the remote, rural communities of San Bernardino County's north high desert.
  • Kaweah Health will use a $998,490 grant to purchase telemedicine equipment, a transport van, and staffing support for locations at the Kaweah Delta Health Centers in Exeter, Lindsay and Woodlake, California. This investment will ensure the organization is prepared for future health care challenges similar to the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • San Joaquin County Clinics is receiving $524,270 to purchase a van to increase capacity for vaccine distribution (including testing and vaccine outreach), telehealth services, and to expand their Chronic Disease Program in French Camp, California. This project will help the organization emphasize patient engagement and facilitate remote care with numerous telehealth options, including supporting video visits, monitoring features and transportation. The need for these services has significantly increased due to the conditions arising from the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • West Side Community Healthcare District in Merced County will use a $64,870 grant to recover lost revenue caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The recovery of lost funds will allow the organization to continue providing critical services for rural 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.