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USDA Invests 1.7 Million to Expand Telehealth Services in Rural Utah

Djinni Yancey
Salt Lake City
Release Date

SALT LAKE CITY, Nov. 27, 2023 – U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development Utah State Director Michele Weaver today announced an investment of more than $1.7 million in grants to improve access to telemedicine in rural Utah. This investment reduces the gap between patients and healthcare services for some of the state’s most remote areas.

“Telehealth and education are some of the most vital elements of high-speed internet in today’s society,” Weaver said. “The grants awarded on behalf of the Biden Administration will address the substance abuse and mental health crisis by lifting some of the treatment barriers associated with services in rural Utah.”

Today’s investments are funded through USDA’s Distance Learning and Telemedicine Grant (DLT) program. This program helps fund distance learning and telemedicine services in rural areas to increase access to education, training and health care resources that are otherwise limited or unavailable. The program was created to minimize burdens associated with distance between healthcare and education for people living in rural areas, which also includes saving a significant amount of time and money.

Gunnison Valley Hospital in Sanpete County will use a $719,715 grant to connect people throughout Sanpete, Sevier and Wayne Counties to telehealth services. This funding will help purchase telehealth carts and related equipment. Medical professionals at Gunnison Valley Hospital will deliver mental health care including substance and opioid use disorder treatment to 10 locations.

Utah Department of Corrections will utilize a $999,999 grant for medical professionals to treat substance abuse, mental health, and provide rehabilitation counseling through remote telehealth services. This funding will be used to equip six hub and 19 end-user sites through Salt Lake, Weber, Utah, Iron, Sanpete, Washington, Carbon, Uintah, Sevier, Beaver, Emery, Garfield, Grand, Juab, Kane, Millard, San Juan, Summit, and Wasatch counties.

USDA 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.