USDA Invests over $1.25 Million to Improve Health Care for People Living in Missouri
Investments to Help Socially Vulnerable Communities
COLUMBIA, MO, Aug. 11, 2022 – U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development Missouri State Director Kyle Wilkens today announced that USDA is awarding over $1.25 million in grants to improve health care facilities in two rural towns in Missouri. These grants will help rural health care organizations expand critical services for people their areas.
“USDA Rural Development is determined to make high-quality and reliable health care services like urgent care, primary care, and dental care available to rural communities,” Wilkens said. “The Emergency Rural Health Care Grants will build, renovate and equip health care facilities like the hospitals in these two rural areas.”
The Biden-Harris Administration made these funds available in the Emergency Rural Health Care Grants Programs through 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.
USDA Rural Development promotes a healthy community and environment through the Emergency Rural Health Care Grants to make sure people, kids and families have access to the health care they need. The grants support the ability of rural communities to provide health care to the people and places in our country that often lack access.
The investments 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, and non-profits solve regional rural health care problems and build a stronger, more sustainable rural health care system in response to the pandemic. For example:
- Washington County Memorial Hospital will use over $250,000 to assist with increased expenses due to the on-going COVID-19 pandemic. Funds will be used to increase capacity and provide medical supplies in correlation with the pandemic, support immediate healthcare needs by increasing telehealth capabilities and to prepare for and assist in future pandemic events.
- Golden Valley Memorial Hospital District will use $1,000,000 to purchase and install a new air handler and make associated ductwork repairs. During the COVID-19 pandemic the hospital increased exhaust to facilitate more rooms having negative air pressure, added exhaust fans to room windows to expel air outdoors, and purchased 17 portable HEPA filtration systems to dilute air contaminants in patient rooms. These additions have maxed out the hospital's current air handler. Currently, the system provides only one and one-half air changes per hour, and the current standards require six air changes per hour.
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.
Under the Biden-Harris Administration, 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.
USDA touches the lives of all Americans each day in so many positive ways. Under the Biden-Harris Administration, USDA is transforming America’s food system with a greater focus on more resilient local and regional food production, fairer markets for all producers, ensuring access to safe, healthy and nutritious food in all communities, building new markets and streams of income for farmers and producers using climate-smart food and forestry practices, making historic investments in infrastructure and clean energy capabilities in rural America, and committing to equity across the Department by removing systemic barriers and building a workforce more representative of America. To learn more, visit www.usda.gov.
Contact USDA Rural Development
USDA Rural Development has 25 offices across the state to serve the 2.2 million residents living in rural Missouri. Office locations include a state office in Columbia, along with local offices in Butler, Charleston, Chillicothe, Clinton, Dexter, Eldon, Farmington, Higginsville, Houston, Kennett, Kirksville, Maryville, Mexico, Moberly, Neosho, New London, Poplar Bluff, Richmond, Rolla, Sedalia, Springfield, St. Joseph, Troy, and West Plains.
If you’d like to subscribe to Missouri USDA Rural Development updates, visit our GovDelivery subscriber page.
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