USDA continues to make large investments in rural health

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) this week announced millions of dollars in additional funding for health care facilities in rural areas across the Midwest and Southeast.

The USDA Rural Development's Community Facilities program has given more than $213 million for 80 projects in 34 states this year. The new projects bring the total Community Facilities grant and loan total to $1.8 billion for the fiscal year.

"Rural America deserves quality, affordable health care, but too often local communities lack the capital to invest in improving the facilities that deliver that care," Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said. "I am especially proud of the role that USDA plays in addressing the critical needs for health care facilities, including mental health facilities."

The biggest of the new investments is a $91 million loan to Avita Health System in Galion, Ohio, to turn an old department store building into a 197,500-square-foot, multi-specialty health care facility. The project will provide services to 125,000 people across three counties in northern Ohio.

Other projects include rural hospital expansion, more resources for local senior services, and college-level medical education facilities focused on specific community needs.

The USDA has funded 1,052 health care projects since 2009, including $266 million for improvements at 206 public schools, $133 million for 555 libraries, $39 million for 240 day care centers, and $791 million to support 4,876 rural public-safety facilities.

Organizations in this story

U.S. Department of Agriculture 1400 Independence Avenue Southwest Washington, DC - 20250

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