The United States Department of Rural Development (USDA) has announced that USDA awards $74 million in grants to improve healthcare facilities in rural towns across the country.
These grants will help 143 rural healthcare organizations expand essential services to 3 million people in 37 states, Guam and Puerto Rico.
Investments include $32 million for 67 rural health care organizations to help more than one million people living in socially vulnerable communities.
“Under the leadership of President Biden, Vice President Harris and Secretary of Agriculture Vilsack, the USDA is committed to ensuring that people, wherever they live, have access to reliable health services and high quality such as emergency care, primary care and dental care,” said Torres Small. “The Emergency Rural Health Care Grants announced today will help build, renovate and equip health care facilities such as hospitals and clinics in rural areas in 37 states. of a sustainable and accessible health care infrastructure in rural areas is essential to the health and well-being of millions of people living in small towns across the country.
This includes local funding of $456,800 for Grays Harbor County Public Hospital, District No. 1.
This funding will be used to expand the clinical footprint of Summit Pacific Medical Center (SPMC).
According to the USDA, the funding was allocated specifically for increasing capacity to test and treat COVID-19.
Summit Pacific’s expansion will move current administrative space to six exam rooms with a dedicated waiting room to support medical surge capacity for emergency care and specialty services.
The hospital district says the current space for specialist and urgent care does not allow for the isolation of patients who have respiratory symptoms or other COVID-like symptoms.
This renovation project will provide dedicated space for patients who require specialist services away from the urgent care clinic with an isolated waiting room to minimize exposure.
The Biden-Harris administration has made these funds available in the Rural Emergency Health Care Grant Programs through the American Rescue Plan Act.
USDA Rural Development promotes a healthy community and environment through Emergency Rural Health Care Grants to ensure that individuals, children, and families have access to the health care they need. need.
Grants support the ability of rural communities to provide health care to people and places in our country that often don’t have access to it.
The investments will help rural hospitals and healthcare providers implement telehealth and nutritional assistance programs, increase staff to administer COVID-19 vaccines and tests, build or renovate facilities and to buy medical supplies. They will also help regional partnerships, public agencies, nonprofits, and tribes address regional rural health care issues and build a stronger and more sustainable rural health care system in response to the pandemic. .
The USDA will announce additional winners for the Rural Emergency Health Care Grants in the weeks and months ahead.