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USDA Announces Initial Investment in Rural Oregon Health Care Provider, Calls for More Applications

Name
Max Sprague
City
Portland
Release Date
Apr 14, 2022

PORTLAND, Ore. April 14, 2022 – USDA Rural Development Oregon State Director Margi Hoffmann today announced a $399,300 grant awarded to Blue Mountain Hospital District in John Day, Oregon through the Emergency Rural Health Care Grant program. The 25-bed critical access hospital will use the funds to purchase much needed equipment such as an ultrasound machine, a portable chest x-ray machine, and a standalone auxiliary generator.

“Critical access hospitals like the Blue Mountain Hospital District serve as a lifeline for Oregon’s rural communities,” Hoffmann said. “Too often rural Oregonians are forced to drive hours for specialized medical care, while rural healthcare workers and providers struggle to find funding for basic operations. If an expectant mother no longer needs to travel hundreds of miles for an ultrasound or a grandfather no longer loses crucial days waiting for a cancer screening, that’s a win in our books.”

Under President Biden’s American Rescue Plan, Emergency Rural Health Care Grants will 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 $43 million and will benefit 2.2 million people who live and work in rural America. Awardees include 93 rural health care organizations and community groups across 22 states. While further grant announcements are expected in the coming weeks and months, there are still Emergency Rural Health Care Grant funds available in Oregon.

“Investing in rural healthcare goes beyond Covid,” Hoffmann said. “Better rural healthcare means lower healthcare costs for rural communities, access to better treatments and the chance for rural children to grow up healthy from day one. RD Oregon encourages public bodies, nonprofits and Federally-recognized Tribes to apply.”

To assist potential applicants, RD Oregon released an application guide for the remaining Track One: Recovery grants. The grants 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. Applicants are encouraged to contact their local USDA RD state office before the deadline of June 30, 2022.

This announcement is part of the Biden-Harris Administration’s Rural Infrastructure Tour, a multi-faceted outreach effort involving cabinet and sub-cabinet officials across federal agencies as they travel to and learn from rural communities across the country. In the coming weeks, State Director Hoffmann will also travel across Oregon to engage with rural changemakers and discuss the ways in which RD Oregon can further support rural communities.

Under the Biden-Harris Administration, 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. If you’d like to subscribe to USDA Rural Development updates, visit the GovDelivery subscriber page.

USDA touches the lives of all Americans each day in so many positive ways. Under the Biden-Harris Administration, USDA is transforming America’s food system with a greater focus on more resilient local and regional food production, fairer markets for all producers, ensuring access to safe, healthy and nutritious food in all communities, building new markets and streams of income for farmers and producers using climate-smart food and forestry practices, making historic investments in infrastructure and clean energy capabilities in rural America, and committing to equity across the Department by removing systemic barriers and building a workforce more representative of America. To learn more, visit www.usda.gov.

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