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USDA Invests $5.1 Million in American Rescue Plan Funds to Expand Access to Rural Health Care for People in Arizona

USDA Press
Release Date

U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development Under Secretary Xochitl Torres Small today announced that USDA is awarding $5.1 million in Emergency Rural Health Care Grants to 12 rural health care organizations and community groups in Arizona.

“No matter where you live, people deserve good health care, and the Biden-Harris Administration is committed to making that a reality throughout rural America,” Torres Small said. “Thanks to Congressman O’Halleran, and through the Emergency Rural Health Care Grants Program, USDA is improving access to the critical health care services rural people rely on every day here in rural Arizona.”

The Biden-Harris Administration made these funds available through its historic legislative package, the American Rescue Plan Act. 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.

The grants USDA is awarding will help rural hospitals and health care providers implement telehealth and nutrition assistance programs, increase staffing, build or renovate facilities, and purchase medical supplies.

Torres Small made the announcement at the Gila River Nation. Gila River Health Care Corporation is one of the 12 recipients to receive grant funds in Arizona. It will use a $1 million grant to broaden access to COVID-19 testing and lab services for Gila River Health Care patients and employees on the Gila River Reservation.
Additional awardees in Arizona include:

  • The Ajo Center for Sustainable Agriculture will use an $875,838 grant to help the community open a new food bank. The previous one closed at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Center promotes and supports a sustainable local food system in Ajo, Arizona, and on the Tohono O'odham Nation.
  • White Mountain Communities Hospital Inc. is receiving a $435,625 grant to purchase medical devices and equipment. The new materials will enable the hospital to increase COVID-19 testing and vaccinations and increase bed capacity during COVID-19 surges.
  • Black Canyon Community Health Center Inc. will use a $31,827 grant to purchase equipment and make fiber-optic upgrades for telecommunications equipment. This will enable the health center to expand telehealth services during the COVID-19 pandemic. The center serves rural patients in underserved communities in Yavapai and Maricopa counties.

Congress passed the American Rescue Plan Act in March 2021 to deliver immediate economic relief to people impacted by the pandemic.

In August 2021, USDA made up to $475 million in Emergency Rural Health Care Grants available through the American Rescue Plan 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