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CareSouth Carolina has received a $362,726 USDA grant to improve access to primary care and opioid education and substance misuse treatment services. The grant will also provide for primary and acute telemedicine medical services in school-based settings. The CareSouth Carolina grant is one of 128 grants nationwide that Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue announced to increase access to job training, educational and health care services in rural areas.
“We are excited and honored to have received this grant which will introduce telemedicine capabilities in many settings such as schools, businesses and industries,” CareSouth Carolina CEO Ann Lewis said. “This will help address the significant health care shortages in our area.”
The grant will help enable CareSouth Carolina to equip ten hub/end-user sites, five end-user sites in area schools, and one hub site to improve access. The project will provide portable video systems and telemedicine carts. By the end of the three-year project period, CareSouth Carolina anticipates reaching 2,800 patients annually through telemedicine services.
“Empowering rural Americans with access to services for quality of life and economic development is critical to rural prosperity,” Secretary Perdue said. “Distance learning and telemedicine technology bridges the gap that often exists between rural communities and essential education, workforce training and health care resources.”
USDA is awarding $39.6 million through the Distance Learning and Telemedicine (DLT) Grant Program. More than 4.5 million residents in 40 states and three territories will benefit from the funding.
The Interagency Task Force on Agriculture and Rural Prosperity was established in April 2017 to identify legislative, regulatory and policy changes that could promote agriculture and prosperity in rural communities. The task force findings included 31 recommendations to align the federal government with state, local and tribal governments to take advantage of opportunities that exist in rural America. Increasing investments in rural infrastructure is a key recommendation of the task force.
USDA Rural Development provides loans and grants to help expand economic opportunities and create jobs in rural areas. This assistance supports infrastructure improvements; business development; housing; community facilities such as schools, public safety and health care; and high-speed internet access in rural areas. For more information, visit www.rd.usda.gov/sc.