U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue today announced that USDA provided more than $1 billion in Fiscal Year 2017 to help improve access to health care services in rural communities. Of that amount, more than $1 million was invested in Missouri.
“USDA invests in a wide range of health care facilities – such as hospitals, clinics and treatment centers – to help ensure that rural residents have access to the same state-of-the art care available in urban and metropolitan areas,” Perdue said. “I understand that building a prosperous rural America begins with healthy people. Ensuring that rural communities have access to quality medical care is a top priority for USDA.”
USDA made these investments through the Community Facilities Direct Loan Program. The loans can be used to construct, expand or improve health care facilities such as hospitals, medical clinics, dental clinics and assisted-living facilities, as well as to purchase equipment. Public bodies, non-profit organizations and federally recognized tribes in rural areas and towns with up to 20,000 people are eligible for these loans.
“Access to health care is important for rural Americans. Often, health care professionals and facilities in rural areas may not be able to provide certain services as extensive as larger communities,” said Missouri State Director Jeff Case. “To ensure our rural Missourians are getting the medical care they need, we are working with hospitals, medical centers, assisted-living facilities, and emergency responders to provide more resources for individuals living in those areas.”
The following are a few examples of rural health care projects that USDA funded during FY 2017 in Missouri:
Livingston County received a $17,400 loan for construction of a 14-bed assisted living wing. This project is expected to increase future revenues as it will allow the facility to modernize and meet the needs and demands of the growing population of retirees in the community.
Crawford County received a $12,900 loan to purchase a power stretcher and equipment to assist the Steelville Ambulance District with lifting patients while responding to emergency calls
Funding from USDA’s Community Facilities Direct Loan program is playing a major role in Kirksville, Missouri. The Adair County Nursing Home District received $1 million, in addition to prior RD funding, to construct a new nursing home facility which will replace their current 50-year-old building. The new one-story 45,000 square foot building will offer the modern concept of ‘neighborhoods’ for the residents giving a more home-like experience. The 90-bed facility will also have a unique rehab environment for inpatient and outpatient use.
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; homeownership; 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/mo.