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USDA Announces Recipients Of $7.98 MIllion To Improve Rural Health Care


Acting Agriculture Secretary Chuck Conner today announced $7.98 million in Distance Learning and Telemedicine loans and grants.

“Enhancing the quality of rural health care is a top priority for USDA Rural Development,” Conner said. “We are pleased to help seven more rural hospitals and medical centers use these funds to develop state-of-the-art electronic medical record-keeping systems to improve the quality of care in their communities.”

Among the seven providers in six states is Iowa’s Mitchell County Regional Health Center in Osage, which received a total of $659,000 in grants and loans to improve the quality and accessibility of medical data by installing high-speed telecommunications lines. In Lamar, Colo., the Prowers County Hospital District was selected to receive a loan/grant combination of $308,460 to enhance its electronic medical records (EMR) filing system with a diagnostic workstation and emergency information. In Rockland, Maine, the Penobscot Bay Medical Center was selected for a $1 million loan and grant combination to expand its EMR system. Rural Development funds will be used to provide software, medical carts and laptop computers. The EMR system will integrate existing systems and services provided by staff, such as patient history, physicians’ orders and hospital admissions. EMR systems use technology to improve the speed and accuracy of transmitting medical data to doctors, nurses, hospitals and other medical professionals in rural communities.
USDA Rural Development’s mission is to increase economic opportunity and improve the quality of life for rural residents. Rural Development has invested nearly $91 billion since 2001 for equity and technical assistance to finance and foster growth in homeownership, business development, and critical community and technology infrastructure. More than 1.5 million jobs have been created or saved through these investments. Further information on rural programs is available at a local USDA Rural Development office or by visiting USDA’s web site at .


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