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USDA Announces Funding to Increase Access to Educational and Health Care Services in Rural Areas

Christopher Stewart
Release Date

USDA Announces Funding to Increase Access to Educational and Health Care Services in Rural Areas


   SYRACUSE, Oct. 31, 2018 – New York’s State Director for USDA Rural Development Richard Mayfield today announced that USDA is awarding three Distance Learning and Telemedicine grants in rural New York, investments totaling $972,310 to increase access to job training, educational and health care services in rural areas.

  “Under Secretary Sonny Perdue’s leadership, USDA is committed to being a strong partner in improving quality of life and building prosperity in rural places through innovation,” Mayfield said. “Distance learning and telemedicine technology bridges the gap between rural communities and offers essential opportunities for education, workforce training and health care.”

   USDA is awarding $39.6 million through the Distance Learning and Telemedicine (DLT) Grant Program.  More than 4.5 million residents in 40 states and three territories will benefit from the funding. Many of the projects will help combat the opioid crisis and other substance misuse issues.  In New York, the following projects are receiving funding:

  • Cattaraugus-Allegany-Erie-Wyoming BOCES: This Rural Development investment of $207,205 will be used to help Cattaraugus - Allegany - Erie - Wyoming Board of Cooperative Educational Services and its Science Connected Across Networks (SCAN) Extension deliver Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) curricula via distance learning technology. This project will benefit over 6,715 students and teachers in the New York Counties of Allegany, Cattaraugus, and Wyoming.


  • Otsego Northern Catskills BOCES: This Rural Development investment of $499,926 will assist Otsego Northern Catskills Board of Cooperative Educational Services (BOCES) increase STEM opportunities and increase opioid misuse education and prevention through the purchase and installation of interactive distance learning equipment. This project will bring advanced education opportunities and expanded healthcare access to 23,261 students and residents.
  • Southern Tier Health Care Systems, Inc.: This Rural Development investment of $265,179 will be used to provide education and training to emergency police, fire and medical services in Allegany, Cattaraugus and Chautauqua Counties in southwest New York State. The grant investment will provide synchronous training opportunities to three new sites and three existing sites, all of which will enable instructor led interactive live-feed course content impacting over 15,000 residents served.

   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.