USDA is now accepting applications for grants to provide access to education, training and healthcare resources in rural areas. The funding is available through USDA’s Distance Learning and Telemedicine (DLT) grant program.
Under this notice, USDA may provide up to $17.5 million in grants. Awards range up to $500,000. In 2012, USDA Rural Development provided 58 DLT grants for projects in 36 states. Since the program began, 1,400 projects have been funded.
Funds may be used to buy equipment and provide technical assistance. To be eligible, applicants must serve a rural area, demonstrate economic need and provide at least 15 percent in matching funds.
For example, a grant was awarded to the St. Alexius Medical Center in Bismarck, North Dakota to expand access to state-of-the-art EKG and ECG services. The medical center used the grant funding to purchase medical equipment and software so that test results could be immediately transmitted along with other information to cardiac specialists in Bismarck. More than 24,000 rural residents in 25 communities benefited from this grant award.
Completed applications must be received by August 12, 2013. Go to the Federal Register notice published on June 28, 2013 at www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2013-06-28/html/2013-15597.htm.