Almost $3 million in Emergency Rural Health Care Grants was awarded to the state of Mississippi by the U.S. Department of Agriculture on Wednesday.
USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack presented the grants at the Greenwood Leflore Hospital, saying that over 21,000 are expected to be impacted by the funds.
The grants come from the Biden Administration’s American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARPA) as the USDA was given $475 million to distribute to expand access to health care services and nutrition assistance.
Now, $3 million of those funds are going directly to three hospitals in the state.
“Under the leadership of President Biden and Vice President Harris, USDA mobilized our staff and resources to respond in record time to improve the long-term viability of rural health care providers and services across this nation,” Vilsack explained. “USDA used an all-hands-on-deck approach to create the Emergency Rural Health Care Grants program to address a variety of immediate health care needs and services in rural communities.”
Vilsack announced that the first $1 million of the funds would go to the Greenwood Leflore Hospital to aid over 15,000 Mississippians.
The Greenwood Leflore Hospital is expected to use its funding to provide cost-effective services despite experiencing a loss of revenue during the pandemic.
Additional awardees in Mississippi were also included:
- Delta Health Alliance Inc. will use a nearly $1 million grant to create a COVID-19 rapid testing, education, and training center at Leland Medical Clinic (LMC) in Leland. LMC provides free vaccinations supported through other funding sources, but the USDA grant will expand access to these services to more vulnerable, low-income community members.
- Delta Health Center Inc. will use a $1 million grant to expand vaccine distribution efforts and increase the capacity for telehealth in the rural Mississippi Delta. The funding will help providers address immediate and future health care needs exacerbated by COVID-19.