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USDA Awards $2.3 Million in Grants to Audubon County Hospital, Washington County Hospital, and Loring Hospital in Sac County

Name
Cecilia Lynch
Release Date
Oct 12, 2022

Emergency Rural Health Care Grants will Improve Health Care in Rural Communities

DES MOINES, Iowa, Oct. 12, 2022 – U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development State Director in Iowa Theresa Greenfield today announced that USDA is awarding $2,350,100 to improve health care facilities in three rural Iowa counties. These grants will help expand critical services at Audubon County Hospital, Washington County Hospital, and Loring Hospital in Sac County.

“These grants will be used to modernize health care services for rural Iowans,” Director Greenfield said. “Under the leadership of President Biden, Vice President Harris, and Secretary Vilsack, USDA is working to make sure Iowans have access to the health care they need. Through the Emergency Rural Health Care Grants that I am announcing today, USDA is leading to rebuild rural America.”

Today’s announcement is part of a larger nationwide announcement made by Agriculture Under Secretary Xochitl Torres Small. View all the investments. The details for Iowa are:

  • In Audubon County, the Audubon County Hospital is receiving a $597,000 grant to purchase telehealth equipment and improvements. This project will increase hospital telehealth capabilities by funding telemedicine equipment, software, and the cost of training to operate the new technologies. When installed and operating, the equipment will help establish essential 24-hour hospitalist services and assist medical professionals caring for seriously ill patients, including COVID-19 patients who cannot be transferred to larger facilities.
     
  • In Washington County, the Washington County Hospital is receiving a $753,100 grant to purchase medical record system technology. This project will help improve patient scheduling and patient portal function. The new system will help staff administer COVID-19 vaccines, coordinate care, and educate patients. The project will promote the health and safety of the 7,266 residents of the city of Washington and the surrounding rural counties.
  • In Sac County, Loring Hospital is receiving a $1,000,000 grant to purchase a chiller, air handling unit and generator. This project will help provide better indoor air quality and prevent cross-contamination. The upgraded ultraviolet light in the air handler will help kill germs. When installed and operating, these hospital improvements will more efficiently support current COVID-19 health care needs, mitigate challenges from future pandemics.

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. Within months after the Act’s passage, USDA responded quickly by making this funding available to ensure the long-term availability of rural health care services.

In August 2021, USDA made the Emergency Rural Health Care Grants available through the American Rescue Plan Act to help rural health care facilities, tribes and communities expand access to health care services and nutrition assistance.

Contact USDA Rural Development

USDA Rural Development has 11 offices across the state to serve the 1.7 million Iowans living in rural communities and areas. Office locations include a state office in Des Moines, along with area offices in Albia, Atlantic, Humboldt, Indianola, Iowa Falls, Le Mars, Mount Pleasant, Storm Lake, Tipton, and Waverly.

To learn more about investment resources for rural areas in Iowa, call (515) 284-4663 or visit www.rd.usda.gov/ia. If you’d like to subscribe to USDA Rural Development updates, visit our GovDelivery subscriber page.

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.

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