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USDA Invests to Improve Rural Health Care for Nearly 88,000 Residents in Northwestern Wisconsin

Jessica Mancel
Stevens Point
Release Date

Wisconsin Rural Development State Director Frank Frassetto announced today that USDA is investing $501 million in 60 projects to help improve health care infrastructure and services in rural communities nationwide through the Community Facilities direct loan program.  

In Wisconsin, Cumberland Memorial Hospital, Inc dba Cumberland Healthcare received almost $40 million to construct a 96,000 square foot facility. This project will enhance access and delivery of health care for an expanded regional area, providing crucial local health care options for patients who would otherwise travel more than 100 miles for care. The hospital will provide increased support for outpatient services, day surgery functionality as well as new and improved spaces for orthopedists, podiatrists, oncologists, ear, nose and throat specialists, family practice, obstetrics and cardiologists. This investment was made possible with the public-private partnership through USDA’s Community Facilities Guaranteed Loan Program utilized by Compeer Financial.

“This project will increase regional rural prosperity by enhancing accessible healthcare,” Frassetto said. “USDA is committed to partnering with rural leaders to create strong and healthy communities.”

This announcement complements the finalization of a partnership between USDA and the National Rural Health Association (NRHA) to identify issues causing financial strain on rural hospitals, which are an important part of the rural health care system. NRHA and the Department will work together to identify management and financial indicators that impact rural hospital operations. This technical assistance will help rural hospitals continue to operate and provide critical health care services to serve rural communities.

 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. In addition, to view the categories of the recommendations, please view the Rural Prosperity infographic.

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/wi.