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Lewis County Hospital Receives $1 Million in Initial Round of Federal Emergency Rural Health Care Grant Award Funding


Published: April 14, 2022 at 10:00 a.m.

By: Nick Altmire



U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Tom Vilsack Wednesday announced the establishment of a program under President Bidenís American Rescue Plan to expand rural hospitals and providersí access to COVID-19 vaccines, testing, and supplies, while helping rural health care providers stay financially solvent in the long-term. The initial awards of the Emergency Rural Health Care Grants total $43 million and will benefit 2.2 million people  who live and work in rural America, according to a USDA press release. Awardees include 93 rural health care organizations and community groups across 22 states.


Lewis County General Hospital was the only awardee in New York state, receiving $1 million of the $43 million awarded through the program across the nation. This Rural Development investment will be used to help offset the revenue lost in 2021, according to the press release, due to decreased volume resulting in lower revenue for Lewis County General Hospital. This grant will dramatically help the hospital navigate the financially troubling time period, the release states.


The Biden-Harris Administration made these funds available through its legislative package, the American Rescue Plan Act, according to the press release. Within months after the Actís passage, USDA responded quickly by making this funding available to ensure the long-term availability of rural health care services. In total, the program will use up to $475 million in grants provided by the Rescue Plan to expand rural hospitals and providers. Additional awards will be announced in the coming months.


The press release notes that the grants USDA is awarding will 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.









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