USDA Invests $3.6 Million
USDA Invests $3.6 Million to Improve Health Care for Rural Georgians ATHENS, Nov. 19, 2018 – State Director for Rural Development Joyce White today announced that USDA is investing $3.6 million in rural Georgia health care projects. Today’s announcement is part of USDA’s $501 million investment to help improve health care infrastructure and services in rural communities nationwide and the commemoration of National Rural Health Day, which is held annually in November to focus on the specific health care issues facing rural communities. The Department is investing in five projects in Georgia through the Community Facilities direct loan program. • Medlink Georgia, Inc. will receive $1,270,000 loan to purchase and update its facilities at the Habersham medical campus that serves approximately 2,800 patients annually. • Medlink Georgia, Inc will also receive $2,085,000 loan to construct and update its facilities at the Colbert, Ga medical campus that serves approximately 2,900 patients annually. • The City of Eastman will receive a $33,500 loan and $25,000 grant to purchase a new rescue truck to improve emergency response times for Eastman’s 4,962 residents. • Valley Healthcare System, Inc. will receive $156,000 loan and $25,000 grant to purchase X-ray equipment for their Talbotton Medical/Dental clinic that serves 6,865 residents. • Valley Healthcare System, Inc. will also receive $20,000 loan and $25,000 grant to improve pharmacy services serving Talbotton’s 6,865 residents in rural, West Georgia. USDA announced investments in health care projects in Alabama, Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Illinois, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Mississippi, Montana, North Carolina, North Dakota, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Mexico, New York, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Vermont, Washington, Wisconsin, West Virginia and Wyoming. USDA’s funding announcement complements the finalization of a partnership between USDA and the National Rural Health Association (NRHA) to identify issues causing financial strain on rural hospitals, which are an important part of the rural health care system. NRHA and the Department will work together to identify management and financial indicators that impact rural hospital operations. This technical assistance will help rural hospitals continue to operate and provide critical health care services to serve rural communities. In April 2017, President Donald J. Trump established the Interagency Task Force on Agriculture and Rural Prosperity to identify legislative, regulatory and policy changes that could promote agriculture and prosperity in rural communities. In January 2018, Secretary Perdue presented the Task Force’s findings to President Trump. These 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. To view the report in its entirety, please view the Report to the President of the United States from the Task Force on Agriculture and Rural Prosperity (PDF, 5.4 MB). In addition, to view the categories of the recommendations, please view the Rural Prosperity infographic (PDF, 190 KB). 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.