Recently, it was announced that USDA https://www.usda.gov was providing more than $1 billion in FY 2017 to help improve access to healthcare services for 2.5 million people in rural communities in 41 states. So far, USDA has invested in 97 rural healthcare projects through the “Community Facilities Direct Loan Program” www.rd.usda.gov used to fund essential community services.
For healthcare, this includes constructing, expanding, or improving healthcare facilities such as hospitals, medical clinics, dental clinics, and assisted living facilities as well as to purchase equipment. The public, non-profits, and federally recognized tribes in rural areas and towns with up to 20,000 people are eligible for these loans.
A few examples of rural healthcare projects funded in FY 2017 include:
- The Community Health Center of Southeast Kansas Inc. http://chcsek.org received a $2.8 million loan to construct a 14,000 square foot health clinic to house medical, dental, and behavioral health services, a pharmacy, and support services. More than 13,000 residents will benefit
- USDA Rural Development www.rd.usda.gov provided a $6.7 million loan to Valley Wide Health Systems Inc. https://vwhs.org in Colorado to convert a building to an integrated care center for primary, dental, and behavioral health services. The clinic anticipates an increase of more than 4,000 patients during the first year of operation
- Avita Health System http://avitahealth.org received funding from USDA’s Community Facilities Direct Loan program for $91.4 million to transform a vacant section of a shopping mall into a hospital to provide care for people with substance use and mental health disorders