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USDA Establishes New Program to Support Rural Health Care Providers, Invests $1.15 Million in Wyoming

Name
Shelby Johnsen
City
Casper
Release Date
Apr 15, 2022

CASPER, Wyo., April 15, 2022 – U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Tom Vilsack recently announced the establishment of a program under the 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. Two Emergency Rural Health Care grant awards were announced in Wyoming, totaling $1.15 million.

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.

“The new Emergency Rural Health Care grant program is allowing USDA to assist healthcare providers in our rural Wyoming communities with their current equipment needs. It is vital that our providers have the tools they need to offer the highest quality of care possible,” said Glenn Pauley, Wyoming State Director for USDA Rural Development.

The grants USDA is awarding 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.

The town of Fort Laramie received $150,000 to purchase a first responder vehicle equipped with oxygen, bandages, extraction tools and equipment along with other medical necessities. The new vehicle will replace the town's outdated rig and will help provide essential life-saving services for the town of Fort Laramie. The first responder rescue rig will provide support for emergency health care needs of the residents of Goshen County.  

Riverton Medical District received $1 million to purchase equipment and an electronic healthcare records system for a new acute care hospital in Riverton. The grant will provide funding to increase medical surge capacity and increase telehealth capabilities.

The Biden-Harris Administration made these funds available through its historic legislative package, the American Rescue Plan Act. 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 total, the program will use up to $475 million in grants provided by President Biden’s American Rescue Plan to expand rural hospitals and providers. Additional awards will be announced in the coming months.

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. The investments announced today will expand health care services in Florida, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, North Carolina, New Hampshire, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia and Wyoming.

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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