Farm Progress

USDA looks to expand rural healthcare access

Agency says new grants will benefit more than 5 million people.

Joshua Baethge, Policy editor

July 26, 2023

2 Min Read
Doctor on computer
Getty Images

USDA Deputy Secretary Xochitl Torres Small announced $129 million in new rural health care grants. The grants will fund projects in 39 states and Puerto Rico. According to agency-provided statistics, those projects will help more than five million rural Americans.

“During one of the most critical times in our nation’s history, the Biden-Harris Administration responded to deliver immediate economic relief and ensure rural people have access to quality health care,” Torres Small says. “USDA’s Emergency Rural Health Care Grants are helping strengthen rural America’s health care infrastructure to build for the future.”

Grant funding will come through the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021. All 172 approved projects are intended to improve rural healthcare facilities and expand services.

Torres Small made the announcement during an address at the University of Virginia. That university’s nonprofit Consortium to Advance Healthcare in Appalachia will use its grant money to expand healthcare and telemedicine in Wise County, Virginia. The organization will develop plans to addresses pandemic chronic illnesses and enhance long-term rural healthcare. It will also expand regional networks for resource sharing, education, training and communications.

Organizations in Delaware and Massachusetts will use grant funds to purchase facilities and equipment for food pantries benefiting families, senior citizens, veterans and people with disabilities.

Gunnison County, Colorado will use its grant to purchase equipment for a new medical facility expected to serve more than 5,000 people. Tule River Indian Health Center in California will purchase generators, freezers and refrigerators to protect medical equipment during emergencies affecting people living on the Tule River Reservation.

Others receiving rural healthcare grants include organizations in Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Washington, Wisconsin and Wyoming.

Read more about:

Rural Health

About the Author(s)

Joshua Baethge

Policy editor, Farm Progress

Joshua Baethge covers a wide range of government issues affecting agriculture. Before joining Farm Progress, he spent 10 years as a news and feature reporter in Texas. During that time, he covered multiple state and local government entities, while also writing about real estate, nightlife, culture and whatever else was the news of the day.

Baethge earned his bachelor’s degree at the University of North Texas. In his free time, he enjoys going to concerts, discovering new restaurants, finding excuses to be outside and traveling as much as possible. He is based in the Dallas area where he lives with his wife and two kids.

Subscribe to receive top agriculture news
Be informed daily with these free e-newsletters

You May Also Like