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Working to Improve Rural Health Care, USDA RD Announces Over $2 Million to 6 Facilities

Chris Freeman
Release Date

BISMARCK, N.D., Oct. 13, 2022 – U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development State Director Erin Oban today announced that USDA is awarding over $2 million in grants to improve health care facilities in rural towns across North Dakota.  

“Delivering health care in rural places comes with unique challenges and, oftentimes, additional costs. Those challenges and costs were magnified by the Covid-19 pandemic, and through the American Rescue Plan Act, USDA Rural Development responded with opportunities to improve systems for the long-term,” said Oban. “The Emergency Rural Health Care Grants were made available to assist health care providers in making necessary improvements and to ensure rural individuals, kids, and families have access to the quality care they need right in their own communities. These investments in health care and facilities are investments in North Dakota healthcare workers and the patients they serve.” 

The Biden-Harris Administration 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. Nationwide, 208 health care organizations across 43 states and Guam will be able to expand critical services from the ERHCG. 

In North Dakota: 

  • Cooperstown Medical Center will use a $400,000 grant to assist with the purchase of equipment and payment of professional fees related to the construction of their new 60,098 sq. Ft. Critical Access Care facility.

  • The Lutheran Home of the Good Shepard will use a $48,500 grant to purchase and install an updated security system and Wanderguard. This will provide an upgraded security system and will help to alert staff of wandering residents throughout the facility.  

  • The City of McVille will use $134,200 from two grants to construct an outdoor area that will be Americans with Disabilities Act accessible and install an updated Wanderguard system. The outdoor area will provide a safe and accessible area that will allow residents to spend quality time with loved ones. The updated Wanderguard system will be instrumental in helping staff with individuals under their care. 

  • The Spirit Lake Tribe will use a $1,000,000 grant to install an improved dental clinic. This facility will provide hygienic care, work to digitize records, and provide telehealth capabilities with three telehealth rooms. The facility will also purchase COVID-19 rapid tests for community-wide distribution. 

  • The Anne Carlsen Center will use a $600,000 grant to provide additional funding for construction of a 110,000 sq. ft. facility in Jamestown. The facility will provide modern, flexible, and technology enhanced spaces so that the Anne Carlsen Center can provide a unique care model for its residents/students. 

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.   

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 and health care; and high-speed internet access in rural, tribal and high-poverty areas. For more information, visit www.rd.usda.gov. If you’d like to subscribe to USDA Rural Development updates, visit the GovDelivery subscriber page

USDA touches the lives of all Americans each day in so many positive ways. Under the Biden-Harris Administration, USDA is transforming America’s food system with a greater focus on more resilient local and regional food production, fairer markets for all producers, ensuring access to safe, healthy and nutritious food in all communities, building new markets and streams of income for farmers and producers using climate-smart food and forestry practices, making historic investments in infrastructure and clean energy capabilities in rural America, and committing to equity across the Department by removing systemic barriers and building a workforce more representative of America. To learn more, visit www.usda.gov.