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USDA Rural Development Invests $256 Thousand to Improve Health Care for Rural People in South Dakota

Michael Frye
Release Date

HURON, S.D., Nov. 17, 2022 – U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development South Dakota State Director Nikki Gronli today announced that USDA is awarding $256 thousand in grants to improve health care facilities in rural towns across South Dakota.

“As USDA celebrates the power of rural people on National Rural Health Day, we’re excited to announce further investments in our communities,” said Gronli. “These Emergency Rural Healthcare grants will help provide first responder vehicles and critical equipment to South Dakota communities impacted by the pandemic.”

USDA Rural Development is making this Emergency Rural Health Care Grants Program funding available 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

The investments will be used for projects such as those to 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 will also help regional partnerships, public bodies, nonprofits and Tribes solve regional rural health care problems, which will help build a stronger, more sustainable rural health care system in response to the pandemic. For example:

  • Douglas County will receive $98,000 to purchase an ambulance with a power system to run equipment in the ambulance. The new ambulance will help provide better assistance to patients in respiratory distress without draining their power supply.
  • Freeman will receive $26,000 to upgrade two ambulances with a power load system, enabling staff to move patients quickly and safely. One ambulance chassis also will be replaced, allowing the city of Freeman to improve their ability to reach and transport patients during inclement weather.
  • Hot Springs Ambulance Service will receive $132,000 to purchase a 4-wheel drive ambulance and vision scopes for all their ambulances. The new ambulance will help Hot Springs Ambulance Service reach patients during inclement weather and areas with minimal serviced roads. The vision scopes allow the staff to intubate patients in respiratory distress.

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

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 http://www.rd.usda.gov/sd. If you’d like to subscribe to USDA Rural Development updates, visit the GovDelivery subscriber page.


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