USDA Rural Development Nebraska State Director Kate Bolz announced her state team is joining USDA on its nationwide celebration of rural health today.
One of the unique challenges to an otherwise wonderful way of life, healthcare in rural communities can be difficult to access. Long drives and barriers to reaching providers are some of the limitations RD seeks to improve through programs like Distance Learning Telemedicine Grants, and the ReConnect Program, which brings high-speed internet to rural communities that do not yet have broadband. These services can make telemedicine appointments available to rural residents, who otherwise might not have access to remote healthcare.
In 2022, Rural Development invested more than $4.6 million in broadband and telecom infrastructure improvements in Nebraska, and more than $27 million in community facilities.
For example, Lexington Regional Health Center, in Lexington, Nebraska has been awarded an Emergency Rural Health Care Grant in the amount of $232,626.00. This Rural Development investment will be used to reimburse certified operating losses sustained during the COVID-19 pandemic. Recovery of lost monies will assist this rural community hospital to recover economically from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. These funds will improve healthcare access for the 26,370 rural area residents in the area, ensuring they have equitable access to healthcare by supporting staffing and healthcare needs.
“USDA Rural Development invests in rural America because we know a strong community is rooted in its people,” said Bolz. “We promote healthy communities and environments through grants and loans to make sure people, children, and families have access to the healthcare and resources they need to thrive. For these reasons, USDA is recognizing the power of rural people on National Rural Health Day and highlighting the continued importance of bringing these federal funds to Nebraska. I invite Nebraska communities to reach out to our staff to discuss their needs, so we can find solutions and investments for their improved quality of life. More information is available on our website at www.rd.usda.gov/ne.”
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 assistance is helping provide immediate relief to support rural hospitals, healthcare 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, healthcare, and high-speed internet access in rural, tribal, and high-poverty areas. For more information, visit www.rd.usda.gov/ne.
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