The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is investing $243 million in 50 rural community facility projects in 22 states, with $44 million of that total coming to Illinois.
“Our focus is on rural prosperity and working with rural communities so they can achieve that goal,” said Douglas Wilson, USDA Rural Development State Director for Illinois. “There is no question that access to quality healthcare is a foundational component to rural prosperity and economic development. We’re pleased to work with the Illinois Critical Access Hospital Network (ICAHN) and the Midwest Medical Foundation as they continue to improve the services they provide.”
Today’s announcement includes:
Illinois Critical Access Hospital Network, headquartered in Princeton, IL.The Rural Development investment will be used to construct an office and training facility. This investment will allow the Hospital Network to complete its project and mission, which includes sharing resources, providing training and education and improving health care services to critical access and rural hospitals throughout Illinois.The new facility will replace the current building, which no longer meets the Network's needs and is too small.The construction of a new office and training building will provide better services and directly impact the community.
Midwest Medical Foundation, located in Galena, Illinois.The Rural Development funds will be used for the acquisition of the critical access hospital, nursing home, assisted living, medical clinic and other assets and for the construction of a new turn lane into the hospital.
USDA is making the investments through the Community Facilities Direct Loan Program. The recently passed 2018 Omnibus bill increased the Fiscal Year (FY) 2018 budget for the program to $2.8 billion, up $200 million from FY 2017.
More than 100 types of projects are eligible for funding, such as schools, health care facilities, libraries and infrastructure improvements. Eligible applicants include municipalities, public bodies, nonprofit organizations and federally and state-recognized Native American tribes in rural areas with a population of 20,000 or less. There is no limit on the size of the loans. More information on USDA Rural Development programs in Illinois and office locations can be found at www.rd.usda.gov/il or by calling 217.403.6202.
In April, Anne Hazlett, Assistant to the Secretary for Rural Development, said USDA will prioritize investments to address the opioid crisis in rural communities. In the Community Facilities Grant Program rural communities, nonprofit organizations and federally recognized tribes can apply through the usual Community Facilities grant application process for grants up to $150,000 for innovative projects such as mobile treatment clinics. Community Facilities grants may fund up to 75 percent of an eligible project.
Last year, President Donald J. Trump established the Interagency Task Force on Agriculture and Rural Prosperity to identify legislative, regulatory and policy changes that could promote agriculture and prosperity in rural communities. In January, Secretary Perdue presented the Task Force’s findings to President Trump. These findings included 31 recommendations to align the federal government with state, local and tribal governments to take advantage of opportunities that exist in rural America. Increasing investments in rural infrastructure is a key recommendation of the task force.
To view the report in its entirety, please view the Report to the President of the United States from the Task Force on Agriculture and Rural Prosperity (PDF, 5.4 MB). In addition, to view the categories of the recommendations, please view the Rural Prosperity infographic (PDF, 190 KB).
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.