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USDA invests over $1.8M in education, health care access in rural KY

Greg Thomas
Release Date

U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development Kentucky State Director Hilda Legg today announced the USDA is investing over $1.8 million in Distance Learning and Telemedicine Grant funds across six projects in the commonwealth.

“This exciting announcement shows what can be accomplished by leveraging last-mile broadband to help rural Kentuckians,” said Legg. “Technology allows us to cross county and state boundaries and serve those in need, regardless of their physical location.”

Addiction Recovery Care
This $368,970 investment will enable Addiction Recovery Care to establish a telemedicine hub in Lexington, Kentucky. This will enable service in 23 rural clinics across 13 counties (Bath, Boyd, Fayette, Fleming, Floyd, Harlan, Jackson, Kenton, Lawrence, Martin, Montgomery, Owen, and Pulaski). Through the hub, the remote sites will connect with clinicians and medical staff for intake, prescribing medications, and group counseling.

Owensboro Health Inc.
This $460,820 investment will enable Owensboro Health to install telemedicine equipment at 10 sites in Hopkins, McLean, Muhlenberg, and Ohio counties in Kentucky plus Perry County, Indiana. This project provides health care resources to a population of over 35,000 including an estimated 1,978 patients.

Pikeville Medical Center Inc.
This $357,167 investment will enable the Pikeville Medical Center to install a telehealth platform to provide health care services to target communities. Funds will be used to equip 10 public schools with mobile telehealth carts, exam cameras and equipment, which will connect to the center. This project increases rural access to health care and will benefit a population estimated at over 475,000.

KY Community & Technical College System
This $128,321 investment will allow the Kentucky Community & Technical College System to purchase and install distance learning equipment. A network will link sites in Barren, Daviess, Hardin and Warren counties and six sites in Pulaski, Laurel, Russell, McCreary, Clinton and Casey counties. Somerset Community College will partner with Kentucky colleges and universities to provide enhanced Science, Technology, Engineering and Math, or STEM, education to students. An estimated 45,650 residents in six counties will benefit.

One Cross Community
This $344,176 investment will enable One Cross Community to provide opioid and other substance abuse treatment, mental health services and affordable health care for medically underserved residents. Telemedicine equipment will be installed at eight sites in Marion and Taylor counties. This project provides health care resources to over 44,740 residents.

Cabell Huntington Hospital Foundation
This $206,000 investment will allow Cabell Huntington Hospital Foundation to establish a tele-stroke and tele-oncology network between Cabell Huntington Hospital and 10 sites in rural Kentucky, Ohio, and West Virginia. The resources provided will bring tele-stroke and tele-oncology health care services to 10 rural communities with a total population of 45,748.

In April 2017, President Donald J. Trump established the Interagency Task Force on Agriculture and Rural Prosperity to identify legislative, regulatory and policy changes that could promote agriculture and prosperity in rural communities. In January 2018, Secretary Perdue presented the Task Force’s findings to President Trump. To view the report in its entirety, please view the Report to the President of the United States from the Task Force on Agriculture and Rural Prosperity (PDF, 5.4 MB). In addition, to view the categories of the recommendations, please view the Rural Prosperity infographic (PDF, 190 KB).

USDA Rural Development provides loans and grants to help expand economic opportunities and create jobs 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 areas. For more information, visit www.rd.usda.gov.