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USDA Invests $1 Million to Improve Rural Health Care in Big Horn County

Name
Shelby Johnsen
City
Casper
Release Date
Oct 13, 2022

CASPER, Wyo., Oct. 13, 2022 – U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development Wyoming State Director Glenn Pauley today announced that USDA is awarding $1 million in Emergency Rural Health Care grants to improve a health care facility and expand critical services in Lovell.

“Funding provided through the American Rescue Plan Act has allowed Rural Development to further invest in rural health care improvements across the state of Wyoming,” said Pauley. “When we make improved access to health care services a priority, we set our rural communities up for success. The people who live in our rural communities, the people who work and go to school in these communities, will all benefit and have the services they need to stay healthy and safe.”

The North Big Horn Hospital District (NBHHD) received $1 million in grants to remodel and expand the emergency department, covering costs for equipment and administrative, legal, construction and architectural fee expenses associated with the project. The remodel will increase medical surge capacity and include negative air pressure capability which is crucial for infectious disease, such as COVID-19, diagnosis and treatment. A new separate pandemic entrance will help prevent the spread of contagious diseases, along with a separate decontamination area.

The Biden-Harris Administration is making this Emergency Rural Health Care Grants Program funding available through its historic legislative package, the American Rescue Plan Act. The 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 investments will be used for projects such as those to 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. They will also help regional partnerships, public bodies, nonprofits and Tribes solve regional rural health care problems, which will help build a stronger, more sustainable rural health care system in response to the pandemic.

The investments USDA is announcing today will expand health care services in Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Missouri, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wyoming and Guam.

USDA’s investments will help build, renovate and equip health care facilities like hospitals and clinics in rural areas. They also include more than $9 million for 12 rural health care organizations to help 187,000 people living in energy communities, which are areas with high concentrations of coal-dependent jobs. This funding will help communities that are vital to our country’s energy production as the nation transitions to a clean-energy economy.

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

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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