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USDA Awards Over $800,000 in Grants to Support Rural Oregon Health Care and Food Security

Max Sprague
Release Date

PORTLAND, Ore., November 17, 2022 — U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development State Director in Oregon Margi Hoffmann today announced that USDA is awarding $811,400 in grants for seven health care projects in six Oregon counties to expand access to health care and to combat food insecurity. The Biden-Harris Administration made these funds available in the Emergency Rural Health Care Grants Programs through its historic legislative package, the American Rescue Plan Act.

“As we celebrate National Rural Health Day this year, we are reminded that a strong community is rooted in its people. Nowhere is this more evident than in rural Oregon. Day in and day out, quiet heroes carry the health and happiness of our communities on their backs. They feed us when we’re hungry. They care for us when we’re sick. Without exception, they give their all for the families who depend on them,” said Hoffmann. “USDA Rural Development Oregon and the Biden-Harris administration are proud to support our selfless rural health care workers.”

National Rural Health Day is celebrated the third Thursday of November each year to recognize the efforts of rural health care providers, organizations, and stakeholders as they work to promote better care for rural residents.

The 7 Oregon grant recipients are:

-Grande Ronde Hospital in La Grande, Union County, will receive a $88,200 grant to purchase equipment that will enhance their ongoing COVID-19 response, including negative air pressure equipment for the pediatric unit and a PCR analyzer for COVID-19 testing.

-Harney County Senior and Community Services Center in Burns will receive $27,900 to purchase a refrigerated food truck, a commercial freezer, and transportable coolers for their food pantry. HCSC provides vital services to seniors, disabled residents, low-income families, and veterans across Harney County.

-Columbia Lutheran Charities in Astoria will receive a grant for $113,000 to make vital electrical and HVAC upgrades to minimize airborne containments and expand cold storage for vaccines.

-Brookings Harbor Community Helpers Inc. in Brookings-Harbor, Curry County, will receive a grant for $250,200 to expand bilingual outreach, purchase additional storage solutions, and provide emergency COVID-19 supplies and bulk food supplies. This grant will allow Brookings Harbor Community Helpers Inc to meet increased demands to programs like Senior Fresh Food and vaccine events.

-South Lane Mental Hospital in Cottage Grove will receive a grant for $10,100 to continue upgrades to air purifiers, ventilation, secure entry systems, and safe outdoor meeting spaces. These improvements will reduce the impact and spread of COVID-19 by allowing for safer meeting spaces, healthier air quality in offices, and more secure facilities.

-Harney County Health District in Burns will receive $273,400 to purchase and install a laboratory chemistry analyzer and medication dispensing system for Harney County’s critical access hospital. This lab equipment will improve the hospital’s ability to provide quick, reliable testing and increase testing capacity during a medical surge, while the medication dispensing equipment will help limit pharmacy staff exposure to infectious pathogens.

-Florence Food Share in Lane County will receive $48,600 to help fund increased staffing costs related to the COVID pandemic. This nonprofit food box pantry serves approximately 1,700 low income and needy families every month from Yachats to Gardiner and inland as far as Mapleton.

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.

The assistance is helping provide immediate relief to support rural hospitals, health care clinics and local communities. USDA is administering the funds through Rural Development’s Community Facilities Program.

Contact USDA Rural Development

USDA Rural Development has six offices in Oregon, including offices in Tangent, Redmond, Roseburg, Pendleton, and La Grande. To learn more about investment resources for rural areas in Oregon, call (503) 414-3300 or visit www.rd.usda.gov/or. If you’d like to subscribe to USDA Rural Development updates, visit our GovDelivery subscriber page and follow @RD_Oregon on Twitter.

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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