Health Resources and Services Administration
Friday, September 26, 2014
$22.1 Million to Improve Access to Health Care in Rural Areas
Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) Administrator Mary K. Wakefield, PhD, RN, announced more than $22 million to support health care in rural areas, including funds that will provide resources and expertise for telehealth solutions, improve emergency medical services, and help communities build networks of care.
Through grant programs administered by the Office of Rural Health Policy, located within HRSA, the awards went out to more than 100 rural communities in 42 states.
“Rural communities have some of the greatest needs for expanding access to health care,” Wakefield said. “These investments represent our commitment at the federal level to support partners on the ground, who are working to strengthen health care delivery in every area of the country.”
The seven grant programs include:
- More than $11 million for the Rural Health Network Development Program, augmenting $4.4 million awarded in May 2014, to help coordinate essential health care services at the community level among three or more providers. Through collaboration and combined functions, networks can maximize resources and services in a health care model that can be replicated in other communities, both rural and urban.
- Almost $5 million for the Rural Health Network Development Planning Program, augmenting nearly $1.2 million awarded in May 2014, helping rural providers plan and develop coordinated strategies to achieve efficiencies, expand access to, and improve the quality of essential health care services.
- More than $2.3 million to the Evidence-Based Tele-Emergency Network Program to expand capabilities in remote emergency departments and determine the effectiveness of tele-emergency care for rural patients and providers.
- More than $600,000 to the Telehealth Resource Centers, which assist health care organizations, networks and providers with implementation of cost-effective telehealth programs in rural areas.
- More than $1.5 million for the Radiation Exposure Screening and Education Program to develop education programs and screen eligible individuals for cancer and other radiogenic diseases.
- More than $1 million toward two programs that will improve emergency medical services. The Rural Access to Emergency Devices Program and the Public Access to Defibrillation Demonstration Project support access to automated external defibrillators in rural communities and public training in their use.
Additionally, Healthy Start grant awards announced earlier this month will send $4.6 million to rural communities to reduce infant mortality. Along with $10 million in funds designated to rural areas for construction and renovation through the Health Center Program, these awards represent a HRSA investment of more than $36 million in the health of rural communities.
The Health Resources and Services Administration is part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. HRSA is the primary Federal agency responsible for improving access to health care services for people who are uninsured, isolated, or medically vulnerable. For more information about HRSA and its programs, visit www.hrsa.gov.