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USDA Establish New Program to Support Rural Health Care Providers and Invests $1.1 Million in Rural Florida

Rochelle Urquhart
Release Date
Apr 15, 2022

GAINESVILLE, Fla. April 15, 2022 – Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and Florida/U.S. Virgin Islands RD State Director Lakeisha Hood announced two award recipients for the Emergency Rural Health Care Grant program for $1.1 million to benefit people in rural Florida under President Biden’s American Rescue Plan to 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. 

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. 

“Under the leadership of President Biden and Vice President Harris, USDA mobilized our staff and resources to respond in record time to improve the long-term viability of rural health care providers and services across this nation,” Vilsack said. “USDA used an all-hands-on-deck approach to create the Emergency Rural Health Care Grants program to address a variety of immediate health care needs and services in rural communities. The American Rescue Plan Act and this program are examples of the government’s ability to respond quickly to ensure every person and family has access to high-quality health care no matter their zip code.”

The grant recipients in Florida include:

  • City of Marianna in Jackson County received a $141,500 grant to purchase a nurses call station for the Marianna Nursing Home. The existing nursing call station is more than 10 years old and does not meet current guidelines. The new equipment will improve and increase the facility's capacity to serve patients during normal times as well as emergent times such as during a pandemic.
  • Madison County Hospital Health Systems Incorporated in Madison County received a $1 million grant to purchase an Electronic Health Record System and install security upgrades for Madison County Hospital. The existing system is nearing the end of its useful life. The new equipment will allow the hospital to strengthen capacity, streamline processes and improve tracking for COVID-19 and future pandemics. The project will also allow for the ability to data share more effectively for reporting purposes with the Department of Health and other healthcare partners.

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. USDA will announce additional awardees for Emergency Rural Health Care Grants in the coming weeks and months.

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.

In August 2021, USDA made the Emergency Rural Health Care Grants available through the American Rescue Plan 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.  

Background: Rural Infrastructure Tour

Under the leadership of the Biden-Harris Administration, USDA and its federal partners in the Infrastructure Implementation Task Force are working with rural communities to deliver on the promise of support for rural America. 

The Rural Infrastructure Tour is 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. These visits will highlight new federal funding and investments already underway through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, a once-in-a-generation investment that will support rural communities and their infrastructure needs.

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.


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