SYRACUSE, N.Y. — Acting New York State Director for Rural Development Scott Collins announced today that USDA is awarding grants for broadband projects in NY to increase access to job training, education, and health care services in rural areas.
“Broadband technology helps provide career educational opportunities and deliver critical medical services to rural residents,” Collins said. “It allows rural hospitals to better diagnose and treat patients. It helps medical service providers treat people who are struggling with opioid and other substance use disorders. It also helps bring jobs to rural areas.”
Nationally, USDA is awarding 72 grants totaling $23.6 million to projects in 35 states through the Distance Learning and Telemedicine (DLT) Grant Program. Five projects serving rural New York communities will receive $1.6 million in funding. The DLT program funds equipment that uses broadband to help rural communities connect to advanced learning and specialized medical services.
Several recipients will use the funds to help address two of the nation’s most urgent needs: opioid abuse treatment and mental health counseling.
Here are two examples of projects USDA is supporting in New York:
- Southern Tier Health Care Systems, Inc. in Olean, N.Y., is receiving a $132,899 grant to deploy telecommunications equipment to help train and certify emergency responders dealing with a dramatic increase in opioid overdoses. Southern Tier will connect to four end-user sites in Salamanca, Cuba, Franklinville and Gerry. The project will support education for emergency response personnel at the Allegany Indian Reservation Volunteer Fire Department and at community service agencies in Allegany, Cattaraugus and Chautauqua counties.
- Oneida-Lewis NY SARC, in Utica, NY, is receiving a $474, 258 grant to purchase telemedicine equipment to provide enhanced telemedicine services throughout Oneida and Lewis counties. The project will serve more than 2,500 individuals with disabilities providing enhanced medical care and also work to eliminate the need for patients to travel great distances to access care.
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 services such as schools, public safety and health care; and high-speed internet access in rural areas. For more information, visit www.rd.usda.gov.
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