IL-USDA Rural Development Seeks Applications for Distance Learning and Telemedicine

Chris Collins
Release Date
Feb 01, 2016

Connectivity is the currency of the future – and of today. Distance Learning and Telemedicine (DLT) grants can help rural communities overcome the effects of remoteness and low population – for example, by linking teachers and medical service providers in one area to students and patients in another.                                                 

USDA is accepting applications for its Distance Learning and Telemedicine (DLT) Grant program from now until March 14, 2016.

“My Dad suffered a debilitating stroke in 1994 – but in the rural community where I grew up there were no stroke specialists and no telemedicine,” said Colleen Callahan, USDA Rural Development Director for Illinois. “This Rural Development funding not only helps provide improved medical care, but also reduces the time and travel burdens of the patient.”

DLT grants from Rural Development are currently helping to provide world-class telehealth for nearly 250,000 residents in 16 counties in the Illinois Delta Region – and Callahan would like to see those numbers expanded across the State. 

Eligible applicants include most entities that provide education or health care through telecommunications and are accepted through a competitive process.  Awards can range from $50,000 to $500,000 with a minimum 15% match from the applicant.

Complete applications for Illinois projects must be received by March 14, 2016 to compete for funding in this fiscal year. Additional information can be found at or on page 1388 of the January 12 Federal Register.  Interested applicants are encouraged to contact Chris Collins, General Field Representative at 573.445.0765 or  Illinois offices and program information can also be accessed through:

President Obama’s plan for rural America has brought about historic investment and resulted in stronger rural communities. Under the President's leadership, these investments in housing, community facilities, businesses and infrastructure have empowered rural America to continue leading the way - strengthening America's economy, small towns and rural communities.