In Maryland, a total of $6,033,600 is being invested by the USDA in seven local projects to expand rural health care.
In August 2021, U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development made the Emergency Rural Health Care Grants available through the American Rescue Plan Act to help rural health care facilities, tribes, and communities expand access to health care services and nutrition assistance. USDA is administering the funds through Rural Development’s Community Facilities Program.
“The COVID-19 pandemic greatly impacted our healthcare system, especially in rural communities. We thank our healthcare workers, food providers, and essential workers who sacrificed so much for us during this crisis,” said USDA Rural Development State Director for Delaware and Maryland, David Baker. “These Emergency Rural Health Care Grants will help these critical services continue to serve our rural population, especially the most vulnerable members.”
As part of the Emergency Rural Health Care Grants Program, investments will be used for projects such as those to help rural hospitals and health care providers implement telehealth and nutrition assistance programs, increase staffing to administer COVID-19 vaccines and testing, build or renovate facilities, and purchase medical supplies. They will also help regional partnerships, public bodies, nonprofits and Tribes solve regional rural health care problems, which will help build a stronger, more sustainable rural health care system in response to the pandemic.