U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development State Director Bob Morgan today announced that USDA is awarding $1.8 million in grants to improve health care facilities in rural towns in Pennsylvania. These grants will help two health care organizations and one food bank.
“Emergency Rural Health Care Grants support rural communities in providing health care to the people and places that often lack access,” Morgan said.
The projects awarded in this round of funding are:
- The Elk Haven Nursing Home Association received a grant of $767,200 to reimburse lost healthcare revenue from March 13, 2020, through December 31, 2021. The lost revenues and COVID-19 expenses were brought on by the pandemic. The funds will be used towards promoting or administering vaccines to current and future residents and staff, and to increase testing. The nursing home provides skilled nursing services to the residents of Elk and Cameron counties.
- The City of Braford in McKean County received a grant of $105,100 to purchase an ambulance. The emergency services team averages 2,200 calls a year with just three ambulances. Recently, the Bradford Regional Medical Center merged with Olean General Hospital. Although Bradford Regional Medical Center has maintained an emergency room, many services have been relocated to the Olean, New York campus. The merger is creating a need for an additional ambulance.
- The Chester County Food Bank received a grant of $1 million to reimburse costs of food purchases because of the COVID-19 pandemic in Coatesville, Pa. During the pandemic the food bank reported an increased need for requests for food assistance.
In April 2022, USDA announced additional investments made through the Emergency Rural Health Care Grants program in Pennsylvania totaling $10.5 million at 18 rural health care organizations. That announcement can be read here.
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.
In addition to the projects announced in Pennsylvania today, Under Secretary Xochitl Torres Small today announced that USDA is awarding $110 million in grants to improve health care facilities in rural towns across the Nation. You can view that announcement here.
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.
USDA touches the lives of all Americans each day in so many positive ways. Under the Biden-Harris Administration, USDA is transforming America’s food system with a greater focus on more resilient local and regional food production, fairer markets for all producers, ensuring access to safe, healthy and nutritious food in all communities, building new markets and streams of income for farmers and producers using climate-smart food and forestry practices, making historic investments in infrastructure and clean energy capabilities in rural America, and committing to equity across the Department by removing systemic barriers and building a workforce more representative of America. To learn more, visit www.usda.gov.
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