As part of the 2021 American Rescue Plan, the United States Department of Agriculture was allotted $500,000,000.00 to fund a pilot grant program under the heading Emergency Rural Development Grants for Rural Health Care to meet rural development needs related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Emergency Rural Health Care program is designed to help broaden access to COVID-19 testing and vaccines, rural health care services, and food assistance through food banks and food distribution facilities.
Rural health care is challenged by immediate financial needs stemming from COVID-19 related expenses. Long-term access to – and availability of – rural health care services have been further hampered as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. In response to these challenges, this program offers two tracks of funding to eligible applicants.
- Track One: Recovery Grants provide immediate relief to address the economic conditions arising from the COVID-19 emergency
- Track Two: Impact Grants advance ideas and solutions to solve regional rural health care problems to support the long-term sustainability of rural health
Track One: Recovery funds must be used in correlation with the COVID-19 pandemic, and to support immediate health care needs, to help prepare for a future pandemic event, to increase access to quality health care services, or to support food assistance through food banks and food distribution facilities.
Track Two: Impact Grant funds must be used in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic and to advance ideas and solutions to solve regional rural health care problems to support the long-term sustainability of rural health care. Long-term sustainability is defined as improved health outcomes, improved access to quality health care, and creating and maintaining sustainable economic development for small communities.”
Not applicable as this is a new program.
Costs allowable under the Emergency Rural Development Grants for Rural Health Care include, but are not limited to;