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U.S. Department of Agriculture Establishes New Program to Support Rural Health Care Providers, Invests $1.7 Million in Indiana

Name
Nikki Gillespie
City
INDIANAPOLIS
Release Date
May 03, 2022

President Biden’s American Rescue Plan Includes $500 Million Funding to Expand Access to Health Care for Rural America

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind., May 3, 2022 – U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development State Director for Indiana Dr. Terry Goodin today announced the establishment of a program under President Biden’s American Rescue Plan to expand rural hospitals and providers’ access to COVID-19 vaccines, testing, and supplies, while helping rural health care providers stay financially solvent in the long-term. The initial awards of the Emergency Rural Health Care Grants total $1.7 million and will benefit more than 83,066 people who live and work in rural Indiana.  

“In the wake of a two-year pandemic, our nation is in need of opportunities for economic regrowth and infrastructure rehabilitation,” Dr. Goodin said. “USDA has continued to provide these opportunities through various channels, including mobilizing staff and resources to respond to improving the long-term viability of rural health care providers and services across the nation. Today’s investments through the Emergency Rural Health Care Grants program address a variety of immediate needs for rural areas, including ensuring that every person and family has access to high-quality health care.”

The grants USDA is awarding 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.

 For example:

  • Neighborhood Health Center Incorporated will use a $313,800 grant to purchase a fully equipped mobile health care clinic. The mobile clinic will help expand vaccine distribution and conduct COVID-19 and other disease testing in in the community of Liberty, Indiana. This project will also help to expand access to primary care, behavioral health and dental services, and health care screenings for all 2,133 residents.
     
  • Memorial Hospital will use a $391,400 grant to reimburse the hospital for revenue lost, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This facility provides inpatient, outpatient, emergency care and physician services to people in Logansport, Indiana.
     
  • Rush Memorial Hospital will use a $407,900 grant to purchase a fully equipped mobile health care clinic. The mobile clinic will help expand vaccine distribution and conduct COVID-19 and other disease testing in in the community of Rushville, Indiana. This project will also help to expand behavioral health services throughout the community.
     
  • Iroquois Memorial Hospital & Resident will use a $582,500 grant to reimburse the hospital for revenue lost, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Funds will also help to purchase portable pulmonary function test equipment and implement IT infrastructure. This project will also support personal protective equipment, supplies, staffing, testing and vaccine administration for the 80,033 people in parts of Vermilion, Newton County, Indiana and Kankakee County, Illinois.

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.

In August 2021, USDA made up to $500 million in Emergency Rural Health Care Grants available through the American Rescue Plan 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.

Today’s investments are part of a nationwide announcement recently made by U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack that the Department is investing $43 million to benefit 2.2 million people who live and work in rural America. Total number of nationwide awardees include 93 rural health care organizations and community groups across 22 states: Florida, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, North Carolina, New Hampshire, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia and Wyoming.

USDA will announce additional awardees for Emergency Rural Health Care Grants in the coming weeks and months.

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/in. If you’d like to subscribe to USDA Rural Development updates, visit the GovDelivery subscriber page.