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USDA Invests in the Expansion of Rural Education and Health Care Access in Texas

Erika Archie
Release Date

TEMPLE, TX, Nov. 20, 2019 — State Director for Rural Development Edd Hargett today announced that USDA is investing $415,939 in distance learning and telemedicine projects in Texas. USDA is providing the funding through the Distance Learning and Telemedicine (DLT) grant program.

“Access to economic, health care and educational opportunities are critical to rural prosperity,” said Hargett. “The distance learning and telemedicine grants announced today help rural communities provide these vital resources for their residents.

Below are the projects announced today in Texas:

  • Glen Oaks Hospital, Inc., is receiving a $228,304 grant to implement a telemedicine project to address behavioral and mental health service issues using video teleconferencing equipment. The project will reach approximately 60,000 individuals and serve 6,000 patients in 14 northeast Texas Health Clinics in located in Canton, Clarksville, Cooper, Emory, Honey Grove, Ladonia, Leonard, Mount Vernon, Quinlan, Quitman and Winnsboro. 
  • Plainview Foundation for Rural Health Advancement will use a $112,926 grant to implement an advanced telemedicine project. Video equipment will be deployed in eight Texas counties throughout the west Texas panhandle.   This project will provide telemedicine services through partnerships with healthcare service providers and regional medical centers serving over 1,500 residents.
  • Shannon Clinic will use a $74,709 grant to implement a telemedicine project in West Central Texas to offer school-based telehealth services to rural schools.   Nursing home patients will also receive specialty care. The telehealth project will provide telecommunication equipment to connect a hub site in Tom Green County to sites located in Coke, Irion, Runnels, Crockett and Concho counties.  It will serve about 133,000 rural residents.

Applicants eligible for Distance Learning and Telemedicine grants include most State and local governmental entities, federally-recognized tribes, nonprofits, for-profit businesses and consortia of eligible entities.

In April 2017, President Donald J. Trump established the Interagency Task Force on Agriculture and Rural Prosperity to identify legislative, regulatory and policy changes that could promote agriculture and prosperity in rural communities. In January 2018, Secretary Perdue presented the Task Force’s findings to President Trump. These findings included 31 recommendations to align the federal government with state, local and tribal governments to take advantage of opportunities that exist in rural America. Supporting the rural workforce was a cornerstone recommendation of the task force.

To view the report in its entirety, please view the Report to the President of the United States from the Task Force on Agriculture and Rural Prosperity (PDF, 5.4 MB). In addition, to view the categories of the recommendations, please view the Rural Prosperity infographic (PDF, 190 KB).

USDA Rural Development provides loans and grants to help expand economic opportunities and create jobs 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 areas. For more information, visit www.rd.usda.gov.


USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer and lender.