Assistant to the Secretary for Rural Development Anne Hazlett today announced that USDA is investing $501 million in 60 projects to help improve health care infrastructure and services in rural communities nationwide.
“Access to health care is essential for every community,” Hazlett said. “It supports a high quality of life, and it helps businesses attract and retain workers. USDA is partnering with rural communities across the country to help rural residents and workers get access to modern, convenient health care services.”
Hazlett made today’s announcement as part of USDA’s commemoration of National Rural Health Day, which is held annually on the third Thursday of November to focus on the specific health care issues facing rural communities. The Department is investing in 60 projects through the Community Facilities (CF) Direct Loan program. These investments will expand access to health care for approximately 2 million people in 34 states.
In Nevada, USDA Rural Development announced it has obligated nearly $14 million in CF loan and grant funds across rural areas to support hospital and clinic expansions, a new fire house and medical and emergency responder equipment.
Nevada Rural Hospital Partners President Joan Hall applauded USDA’s efforts on National Rural Health Day. “Nevada Rural Hospital Partners has enjoyed a very long and fruitful relationship with the Nevada USDA,” Hall said. “The assistance by means of grants, loans, or educational opportunities to our rural communities’ hospitals and Emergency Medical Services has greatly benefitted local citizens.”
Boulder City Hospital is completing a renovation and adding additional medical services using a $4.2 million CF Loan. West Wendover is building a new fire house using an $8.9 million CF Loan. Low interest rates and longer terms make the USDA program attractive in rural areas with populations of 20,000 or less.
To help address substance abuse, USDA Rural Development approved $50,000 in CF Technical Assistance and Training Grant funds to help the New Frontier Treatment Center in Fallon to expand services. The funding will help the substance abuse nonprofit complete a preliminary architect’s report and financial feasibility study to review expansion costs. In addition, Nye County Coalition will receive $150,000 in CF Grant funds to provide technical assistance to the Town of Tonopah to help identify healthcare facility needs there. The town is currently operating without a hospital.
Two other rural communities were approved for funds for medical equipment. The City of Wells received a $36,600 loan for an X-ray machine at their clinic, and the Mineral County Fire Department in Hawthorne was approved for $32,470 in CF grant funds to purchase turnout gear and CPR and AED equipment.