As Assistant to the Secretary for Rural Development at USDA, Anne Hazlett announced that USDA https://www.usda.gov is investing $501 million in 60 projects to help improve healthcare infrastructure and services in rural communities nationwide. USDA’s investment will expand access to healthcare for about two million people in 34 states.
USDA provides funds through their “Community Facilities Direct Loan and Grant Program” https://www.rd.usda.gov/programs-services/community-facilities-direct-loan-grant–program to assist in helping rural communities improve essential community healthcare facilities, to purchase equipment, and pay for related project expenses. The loans are available to public bodies, community-based non-profit corporations, and federally-recognized tribes.
An example of a few of the projects include:
- Mark Twain Health Care District received $678,000 loans to finance a new medical clinic that will provide services including telehealth, behavioral health, women’s health, physical therapy and will serve more than 3,000 residents
- St. Anthony Regional Hospital & Nursing Home received loans for $12,606,000 to construct a free standing cancer center so cancer services will be combined in one area. The facility will provide improved radiation and medical oncology services and house the upgraded linear accelerator
- Alcona Citizens for Health Inc. received $3,703,000 in loans to construct a health center in Oscoda Michigan to house medical, behavioral health, care management, outreach, and dental services
USDA is also partnering with communities to bring high-speed broadband e-Connectivity infrastructure to more rural areas by investing projects in a dozen states. This is going to be accomplished with USDA investing $91 million through the agency’s “Telecommunications Program”.
The Telecommunications Program provides loans and grants, community connect grants, distance learning and technology grants, rural broadband access loans, and telecommunications infrastructure loans and guarantees. USDA is investing in nineteen projects to bring high-speed broadband e-Connectivity infrastructure to more than 27,000 businesses and households in the U.S.
Go to https://www.rd.usda.gov/programs-services/all-programs/telecom-programs for more information.