Assistant to the Secretary for Rural Development Anne Hazlett recently announced that the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) is partnering with rural communities in 22 states, including seven projects in rural Iowa, to support opportunities for opioid prevention, treatment and recovery.
“With its impact on workforce, quality of life and the economic vitality of rural communities from Maine to California, the opioid epidemic is more than just a matter of public health, it is an issue of rural prosperity,” Hazlett said. “Under the leadership of President Trump, USDA is committed to being a strong partner to rural communities in planning and building local responses to this monumental challenge.”
USDA is investing $10.7 million in 85 projects in 22 states through the Community Facilities program. The seven Iowa projects are receiving a total of $661,400.
“USDA Rural Development is helping address substance misuse disorders at the local level through program investment and strategic partnerships,” said Grant Menke, USDA Rural Development State Director in Iowa. “Looking for innovative ways to collaborate is an important step in addressing this problem that is impacting the heartbeat of our country.”
Cass County is using a $17,500 grant to purchase a police vehicle with equipment for a K-9 officer. The K-9 vehicle will be used to deter the sale and misuse of illegal drugs including opioids, and as a response vehicle on the scene of mental health or misuse situations. The K-9 vehicle will serve a population of 14,000.
The city of Albia is using a $29,200 grant to purchase a police vehicle. The new vehicle will be used to combat the opioid epidemic, for both prevention and response to illegal drug-related actions in a community of 3,800.
Lucas County Health Center is using a $150,000 grant to purchase an ambulance and related equipment for a hospital. The ambulance will be equipped with advanced life support supplies and equipment to assist in combating opioid misuse and drug overdoses. It will serve almost 8,900 Lucas County residents.
Monroe County Hospital is using a $123,700 grant to purchase an ambulance for the local hospital. It will be equipped with advanced life support supplies and equipment to assist with all emergencies, including opioid misuse. The ambulance will serve 7,800 residents of Monroe County.
United Community Health Center Inc. is using a $150,000 grant to buy equipment for an expanded medical clinic in the community of Storm Lake. The facility will include expanded behavioral health services, including diagnosis and treatment of substance misuse, including opioids. This project will provide improved service to about 10,600 residents.
Wayne County Hospital is using a $150,000 grant to buy an ambulance equipped with paramedic-level service and security features, specifically for opioid treatment. An estimated 6,400 residents will benefit.
The city of Pisgah is using a $41,000 grant to purchase a used ambulance for the volunteer fire department and first responders. The ambulance is equipped with medical supplies, including reversal medication for opioid misuse incidents. About 250 residents will be served.
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 services such as community buildings, public safety and health care; and high-speed internet access in rural areas.
Contact USDA Rural Development
Information on programs available through USDA Rural Development is available by visiting www.rd.usda.gov/ia or by calling (515) 284-4663.
USDA Rural Development has 11 offices across the state to serve the 1.7 million Iowans living in rural communities and areas. Office locations include a State Office in Des Moines, along with Area Offices in Albia, Atlantic, Humboldt, Indianola, Iowa Falls, Le Mars, Mount Pleasant, Storm Lake, Tipton and Waverly.