LITTLE ROCK, Ark., Dec. 11, 2023 – U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development Arkansas State Director Jill Floyd announced today that USDA is awarding a $844,812 Delta Health Care Services Grant to the Jefferson Hospital Association.
The investment is part of President Biden’s commitment to those who have been historically underserved, marginalized and adversely affected by persistent poverty and inequality.
“We know that when we invest in local projects, we build opportunity and prosperity for the people who call rural communities home,” said Director Floyd. “This project provides an opportunity to directly impact the health of rural Arkansans in the Delta region for generations to come.”
The funds will be used to renovate the Jefferson Regional Watson Chapel Health Complex on Dusty Lake Drive in Pine Bluff, and add several new services. The project will include:
The relocation of the Jefferson Regional School of Nursing from the main hospital campus. The new, larger space will allow for expanded student capacity and further improve hiring, recruitment and retention of nurses in the Delta. It will also include improvements for the Jefferson Regional School of Nursing Telehealth Training Center.
Construction of a commercial teaching kitchen to house and operate The Good Food RX – Pine Bluff, in association with the Arkansas Rural Health Partnership (ARHP). Good Food RX is a program designed to fight food insecurity among seniors.
Provide dedicated space for a new ARHP regional office in Jefferson County.
Work on the new projects is expected to begin in early 2024.
This project is one of more than 200 projects announced today by U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development Deputy Under Secretary Farah Ahmad that will improve infrastructure, housing and economic conditions for underserved rural and Native American communities.
USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer and lender.