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USDA Invests $71,000 to Improve Health Care for People Living on Sisseton Wahpeton Oyate Reservation

Michael Frye
Release Date

HURON, S.D.Sep. 9, 2022 – U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development South Dakota State Director Nikki Gronli today announced that USDA is awarding a $71,000 grant to improve health care in South Dakota rural communities. This grant, combined with more than $134,000 from the Sisseton Wahpeton Oyate tribe, will be used to purchase a mobile clinic.

This mobile clinic will travel throughout the reservation to provide private, face-to-face, personalized care to patients living in remote areas.

“This mobile clinic will help reach even more residents by traveling to some of our most remote communities to provide medical services that may otherwise not be utilized.” Gronli said. “At USDA Rural Development we support healthy communities and environments through grants to make sure South Dakotans have access to the health care they need.” [Audio: MP3, 474KB, 20 seconds]

The clinic will be fashioned with two private exam rooms, an area to collect basic medical testing, and can provide immunizations for tribal members who might otherwise have limited access to these resources.

USDA made these funds available through the Emergency Rural Health Care Grants Programs under 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 made through this program will 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 also will help regional partnerships, public bodies, nonprofits and Tribes solve regional rural health care problems and build a stronger, more sustainable rural health care system in response to the pandemic.

USDA will announce additional awardees for Emergency Rural Health Care Grants in the coming weeks and months.

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

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.

For general inquiries, please email RD.SD@usda.gov.


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