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USDA Announces Nearly $40 Million Nationwide for Rural Broadband Grants

Kelly K. Clark
Carson City
Release Date


Nevada approved for $603,449 to enhance healthcare access in 15 rural counties

USDA Rural Development State Director Phil Cowee today announced that residents in 15 Rural Nevada counties will gain access to healthcare through recently approved federal broadband grants.

“Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue recently awarded $40 million nationwide for 128 Distance Learning Telemedicine (DLT) projects in 40 states,” Cowee said. “Two of those projects were approved here in Nevada, and they will provide access to healthcare to medically underserved areas in some of our most remote and rural counties for 65,539 people.”

In Northern Nevada, the Governor's Office of Science and Technology assisted Renown with an application that was approved for a $439,312 grant for its Telehealth and Healthcare Education Expansion Project. As a result health care services will be expanded to 11 sites in eight frontier counties benefitting 45,000 rural Nevadans.

“This year’s Distance Learning Telemedicine Grant provided enhanced priority points for Opioid Response,” Cowee said: “I am especially glad to see that these telehealth services including primary care as well as substance abuse care, treatment and education will now be available in areas that previously had no such services.”

The Renown project will benefit rural underserved residents in White Pine, Pershing, Nye, Douglas, Lyon, Washoe, Land and Churchill Counties.

Renown Health’s Telehealth and Healthcare Education Expansion program will be provided via two metropolitan hub-only sites, and eleven medically underserved end-user sites. Each site will receive a telehealth cart/with scoping peripheral devices that enable live, interactive consults via high-definition portals.  Primary care, specialty care, acute services, behavioral health care, and substance misuse care and treatment, inclusive of opioid care, will be available. Behavioral and substance abuse care services will be delivered through integrated distance learning classroom centered around video conferencing, HD cameras and 80-inch monitors. In addition, the project will deliver professional development, health and wellness programs, and enable paramedics in these rural communities to connect to Renown Health acute care facilities to provide emergent care, under the supervision of a physician. Primary beneficiaries will be rural, underserved residents in the following counties: White Pine, Pershing, Nye, Douglas, Lyon, Washoe, Lander, and Churchill and will include Lovelock Colony and the Ely Tribe Health Clinic.

In south-central Nevada, Valley Health System (VHS) Valley Health LLC received a $164,137 grant to provide three years of tele-health services to prison patients at seven Department of Corrections conservation camps in Clark, Elko, Lincoln, Nye and White Pine counties. Valley Health System (VHS) serves as the lead applicant for a consortium of seven Nevada Department of Corrections conservation camps located in exceptionally rural areas across the state of Nevada. VHS will offer emergency, cardiac, stroke, psychiatry and opioid treatment. The project will provide portable telemedicine kits and carts.  Valley Health System (VHS) is a system of six acute care hospitals and one critical access hospital with locations in Las Vegas, Henderson and Pahrump, NV. This project will reach approximately 20,000 individuals and serve 3,000 patients in the seven conservation camps in Carlin, Ely, Indian Springs, Jean, Pioche, Tonopah and Wells, Nevada for three years.

For more information on the USDA Rural Development Distance Learning Telemedicine Grant Program visit https://www.rd.usda.gov/programs-services/distance-learning-telemedicine-grants


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