BOISE, Idaho, Aug. 11, 2022 – U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development Director for Idaho Rudy Soto today announced that USDA is awarding over $3.5 million in grants to improve health care facilities in rural towns across Idaho. These investments will help five rural health care organizations expand critical services for Idahoans living in socially vulnerable communities.
“These Emergency Rural Health Care Grants are monumental for Idaho and the impacted communities who will now be able to build, renovate, and equip their health facilities as a result of this support,” Soto said. “These grants are going to meaningfully improve the health and well-being of rural Idahoans that have long lacked access to high-quality and reliable healthcare services.”
Idaho investments include:
- Terry Reilly Community Health Clinics Inc. will receive $1,000,000 to build a clinic in Homedale, Idaho. The new clinic will broaden the access to primary medical, dental, behavioral health care and pharmacy for the Homedale community and Owyhee County.
- The Nez Perce Tribe is receiving $1,000,000 to construct a facility in response to COVID-19. The new facility will serve as a site for testing and vaccination. It will also provide beds and acute urgent medical care to Tribal and non-Tribal patients to help alleviate severe overcrowding conditions at area medical centers which lack bed capacity due to the pandemic. The new facility will also be accompanied by an assisted living facility located adjacent to the existing Nimiipuu Health Clinic. Residents and members of Nez Perce Tribe will benefit from this essential community facility.
- Walter Knox Memorial Hospital in Emmett, Idaho, will use a $447,325 grant to recover lost revenue due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This funding is critical for the hospital to respond to costs associated with COVID-19 and maintain its ability to provide funds for staffing, equipment, supplies and overall continued healthcare to residents of Gem County Idaho.
- Adams County Health Center Inc. in Council, Idaho is receiving $1,000,000 to replace, upgrade and update the only community health center in Adams County. The center is a former hospital nursing facility constructed in 1961. Despite extensive facility repairs and renovations during the last two decades, the floorplan lacks 21st century care in a patient-centered medical home and the aging facility comes with unending repair costs. The new facility will have more examination rooms, overflow room, behavioral health rooms, and an expanded pharmacy space. It includes rooms dedicated for optometry and dental programs. This investment will streamline high quality care delivery services and reduce growing maintenance costs that impact its overall operations.
- The Shoshone-Bannock Community Health Center in Fort Hall, Idaho, will use a $112,475 grant to establish monoclonal antibody therapy. The project will include hiring medical personnel and purchasing medical testing supplies, a venous ultrasound machine, a laptop computer, and various other supplies to better treat high-risk patients in the community.
Today’s investments are included in a national release in which USDA announced $74 million in similar health care investments. 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.
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.
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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.
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