U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development California State Director Kim Dolbow Vann today highlighted eight awards totaling more than $1.5 million to assist with distance learning and telemedicine program enhancements across rural California.
"These projects that will improve access to both high quality medical care and advanced learning opportunities are critical to rural prosperity,” Vann said. “In particular, we are proud our programs are helping support rural communities in their ongoing effort to provide treatment and services for opioid misuse.”
California-based recipients include:
Adventist Health System/West: $183,711 grant to build a virtual health network with 13 sites that will connect to behavioral-health treatment for opioid misuse in Portland, Ore., San Francisco, Calif. and Glendale, Calif. Sites will be based in Lakeport, Lower Lake, Hidden Valley Lake, Kelseyville and Middletown (Lake County); Colusa (Colusa County); and Corning (Tehama County).
Ampla Health: $99,046 grant to establish three telemedicine sites in Arbuckle (Colusa County); Hamilton City (Glenn County) and Los Molinos (Tehama County) with telehealth services related to opioid and substance misuse disorders.
California Telehealth Network: $196,221 grant to purchase telehealth equipment for their Opioid and Chronic Pain Telemedicine Project. Services will be provided at seven rural health clinics in Placerville and Diamond Springs (El Dorado County); Portola (Plumas County); Point Arena (Mendocino County); Coleville (Mono County); Jamestown (Tuolumne County); and Fort Jones (Siskiyou County).
Imperial County: $127,500 grant to purchase telemedicine equipment for Imperial County Behavioral Services for opioid treatment to residents in Salton City, Calipatria and El Centro.
Mariposa County: $252,647 grant to help Mariposa County Human Services purchase mobile telehealth carts at seven facilities across the county to provide mental health, opioid treatment and addiction services to county residents.
Landon Pediatric Foundation: $453,280 grant to expand mobile clinics in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands and provide training on the systems for rural clinics.
State Center Community College District: $84,365 grant to create new science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) distance learning classrooms at Madera Community College Center and Oakhurst Community College Center that will connect to Reedley College.
Kern Community College District: $162,748 grant to help Cerro Coso Community College replace outdated distance learning equipment at three satellite sites located in Lake Isabella and Tehachapi (Kern County) and Mammoth Lakes (Mono County).
Funding for the projects was provided through USDA’s Distance Learning and Telemedicine (DLT) Grant Program. The DLT program is open to most entities that provide education or healthcare through telecommunications. Funds can be used to purchase equipment and related infrastructure for DLT services, instructional programming and technical assistance for equipment.
Nationwide, USDA awarded 128 DLT grants totaling $39.6 million. More than 4.5 million residents in 40 states and three territories will benefit from the funding.
USDA Rural Development provides loans and grants to help expand economic opportunities and create jobs in rural areas. This assistance supports infrastructure improvements; business development; housing; community services such as schools, public safety and health care; and high-speed internet access in rural areas. For more information, visit www.rd.usda.gov/ca and follow us on Twitter @CaliforniaRD.