HURON, S.D., Oct. 12, 2022 – U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development South Dakota State Director Nikki Gronli today announced that USDA is awarding $2.4 million in grants to improve health care facilities in rural towns across South Dakota.
“The Emergency Rural Health Care Grants support rural communities in providing health care to the people and places in our country that often lack access,” said Gronli. “These investments will help build, renovate and equip health care facilities like hospitals and clinics throughout South Dakota.” [Audio: mp3, 18 sec, 430kb]
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:
- The Bennett County Hospital and Nursing Home will receive $897,000 to purchase health care equipment to help address the varying needs of rural residents in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Equipment purchases include two new ambulances, two home health care vehicles, a portable X-ray machine, ultrasound machine, three temperature screening kiosks and an ultraviolet sterilizer. The updates will allow Bennett County Hospital to be better equipped to handle future pandemics and treat more patients locally. Home Health vehicles will allow hospital staff to extend services to residents who are unable to travel in Bennett, Oglala Lakota, Jackson, and Todd counties.
- Lewis and Clark Behavioral Health Services Inc. will receive an additional $323,000 to construct a facility to provide behavioral health and substance abuse services. They have been operating out of several buildings located at different sites throughout Yankton. The new project will help to improve safety, care and accessibility for patients and staff by housing all services under one roof. The new facility will be in Yankton and provide services to Yankton, Bon Homme, Charles Mix, Clay, Gregory, Hutchinson, Union, Yankton, Douglas, Davison, Aurora, Brule, Jerauld, Miner, Sanborn, Hanson, Buffalo, Lyman, and Tripp counties. Many members have limited resources. These funds are in addition to nearly $7.5 million previously awarded.
- Day County will receive $90,000 to purchase ambulances and equipment from the current privately-owned ambulance service, whose owners are retiring. Day County does not have another ambulance service, nor were any of the surrounding counties able to provide the needed services, which would leave Day County residents with a huge gap in their emergency service care. The applicant will use the funds to purchase the equipment portion of the current ambulance service. The grant will also allow Day County to upgrade two ambulances and purchase an automated chest compression system. Ambulance services are a necessity during normal times, but the pandemic created even more urgency. As a front-line provider, it is imperative they be able to reach and stabilize patients in their service area.
The investments USDA is announcing today will expand health care services in Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Missouri, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wyoming and Guam.
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.
USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer and lender.