USDA Rural Development State Director Colleen Landkamer celebrated the grand opening today of a new medical and dental healthcare facility with local, state, and Bois Forte Band of Chippewa tribal officials. The Tribe received a nearly $2.5 million Community Facility loan from USDA Rural Development to help with construction costs of the new facility.
“The ability to access quality healthcare in your hometown is essential to building strong rural communities,” said Colleen Landkamer, USDA Rural Development State Director. “Services previously unavailable will now be provided at the new facility. This will help decrease travel time necessary for essential healthcare and build ladders of opportunity for future growth within the surrounding community.”
The new facility 11,000 square feet facility will provide much more healthcare capacity, brand new equipment, an increased number of service providers, and expanded hours that the smaller clinic next door was unable to provide. The new clinic features seven private exam rooms and two special treatment rooms compared to only two exam rooms in the old clinic. Expanded lab services will offer providers faster response time for bloodwork, a new x-ray room, and a telemedicine station where patients and providers can talk face-to-face with providers at the University of Minnesota-Duluth. Additionally, the new facility also includes a pharmacy and will increase capacity for contract providers, ranging in fields such as mental and community health.
In addition to the $2,475,000 direct loan through USDA, funds for the $5.1 million project were leveraged with a $2 million grant from the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community, a $300,000 grant through the Iron Range Resources and Rehabilitation Board (IRRRB), and $322,568 from Indian Health Services. Over the past 20 years,
USDA Rural Development has invested over $15 million in Bois Forte Band of Chippewa community facilities and equipment as well as local tribal businesses.
Rural Development also invests in housing, water and wastewater treatment, businesses, renewable energy and broadband and has invested over $5.2 billion in rural communities throughout Minnesota since 2009.