Lewis County Hospital Receives $1 Million in Initial
Round of Federal Emergency Rural Health Care Grant Award Funding
Published: April 14, 2022 at
By: Nick Altmire
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.
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.
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.