USDA Invests in the Expansion of Indiana Rural Education and Health Care Access

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U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) State Director Michael Dora today announced that USDA is investing $698,450 for Rural Education and Health. “These investments will connect health care professionals and extend resource access to 72,465 rural residents and their communities,” said Dora. Funding is provided through the Distance Learning and Telemedicine (DLT) grant program.

  • Indianapolis, Ind, Indiana University Health, Inc. is receiving a $240,845 grant to purchase and install telemedicine portable examination equipment to improve services at seven rural critical access hospitals in Clinton, White, Tipton, Orange, Lawrence, Blackford and Jay counties in Indiana. The project will serve 51,465 residents from a hub in Indianapolis.
  • Indiana University Health Inc is also receiving a $457,605 grant to purchase and install telemedicine equipment in six primary care offices and seven critical access hospitals in Blackford, Clinton, Jay, Lawrence, Orange, and White counties. The telemedicine system will deliver opioid treatment/substance abuse and behavioral health services in rural Indiana, helping as many as 21,000 patients.

Dora’s announcement is part of a larger statement from USDA Deputy Under Secretary for Rural Development Donald “D.J.” LaVoy where USDA is investing $42.5 million in 133 distance learning and telemedicine projects in 37 states and two U.S. territories These investments will benefit 5.4 million rural residents.

“Distance learning and telemedicine make it easier for thousands of rural residents to take advantage of economic, health care and educational opportunities without having to travel long distances,” LaVoy said. “Under the leadership of President Trump and Agriculture Secretary Perdue, USDA is committed to partnering with rural communities to help them improve their quality of life, because when rural America thrives, all of America thrives.”

USDA is announcing investments today in Alaska, Alabama, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Mississippi, Montana, North Carolina, North Dakota, Nebraska, Nevada, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Applicants eligible for Distance Learning and Telemedicine grants include most State and local governmental entities, federally-recognized tribes, nonprofits, for-profit businesses and consortia of eligible entities.

In April 2017, 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 2018, 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 facilities such as schools, public safety and health care; and high-speed internet access in rural areas. For more information, visit www.rd.usda.gov.

Last Modified: 11/21/2019