U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development Ohio State Director Jonathan McCracken today announced that USDA is expanding access to healthcare for Ohioans as part of President Biden’s Investing in America agenda.
USDA is awarding more than $11 million in Emergency Rural Health Care Grants to improve health care in rural towns. These grants will help rural health care organizations expand critical services.
“USDA Rural Development is committed to investing in the health care infrastructure that is essential for strong, thriving communities,” said McCracken. “Grants like this ensure rural communities have access to modern and sustainable health care facilities by providing the essential health care they need.”
During one of the most critical times in our nation’s history, the Biden-Harris Administration responded to deliver immediate economic relief and ensure rural people have access to quality health care,” Deputy Secretary Torres Small said. “USDA’s Emergency Rural Health Care Grants are helping strengthen rural America’s health care infrastructure to build for the future.”
Today’s investments will help regional partnerships, public bodies, and nonprofits solve regional rural health care challenges. These solutions will build a stronger, more sustainable rural health care system for the Ohio’s small towns and communities.
In Washington County, Ohio, Marietta Memorial Hospital (MMH) will use a $10 million grant to launch a workforce development program designed to reduce nursing shortages in the healthcare system.
MMH is part of the Memorial Health System (MHS), a nonprofit integrated health system providing health care services to rural and underserved populations, including Athens, Monroe, Morgan, Noble, and Washington counties of Ohio, and Pleasants, Tyler, and Wood counties of West Virginia.
Beavercreek Medical Center/Soin Medical Center in Greene County, Ohio, will use $1 million to purchase equipment for a medical center being constructed in Wilmington, Ohio. It will include a rural health clinic, an emergency department, and laboratory and imaging services. Functions include providing vaccines, testing, and telehealth services while improving access to quality health care.
In Belmont County, Ohio, Barton Volunteer Fire Department will use $41,000 to purchase an ambulance. The pandemic put a strain on the Barton Volunteer Fire Department and the current equipment and ambulances have outlived their useful life. The new ambulance will allow medical response to be more reliable and well-equipped to handle medical emergencies beyond the pandemic. This funding will help continue emergency medical services, providing medical care to support 5,184 community residents.
This funding is made possible by President Biden’s 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.
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.
USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer and lender.