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USDA Prioritizes Investments in Telemedicine to Address Opioid Crisis in Rural America

Jay Fletcher
Release Date

Assistant to the Secretary for Rural Development Anne Hazlett announced that the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) is giving funding priority in a key grant program for applications to address opioid misuse in rural communities.

“The opioid epidemic is dramatically impacting prosperity in many small towns and rural places across the country,” Hazlett said. “With this focused investment, we are targeting our resources to be a strong partner to rural communities to build innovative local responses to this significant challenge.”

USDA may award 10 special consideration points for opioid-related Distance Learning and Telemedicine (DLT) projects or for those that provide Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) education as their primary purpose. The application deadline for these projects is May 15, 2019.  “These funds can help build the remote connection our rural communities need for education and health care services to combat this national epidemic. I encourage our rural communities to take advantage of this grant funding to help build healthy and vibrant rural communities now and for generations to come,” said USDA Rural Development Colorado State Director Sallie Clark.

USDA may also award up to 30 special consideration points for DLT program applications for projects that provide opioid treatment services in 220 at-risk counties identified by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In Colorado, applications in Crowley County could be eligible for these points. The deadline for these applications is April 15, 2019.

All DLT applications can be submitted electronically at Grants.gov or in hard copy to: USDA Rural Development Telecommunications Programs, 1400 Independence Ave., SW, Room 2844, Mail Stop 1597, Washington, DC 20250-1597.

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.