Connecting rural communities with USDA through telemedicine and innovative facilities
Texas Border Business
Washington— Congressman Henry Cuellar (TX-28), a member of the House Appropriations Committee and Subcommittees on Homeland Security and Defense, announced funding available through the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) to address the opioid crisis in communities through telemedicine and innovative community facilities.
USDA Rural Development has available $25 million in grant funding for innovative projects that address the opioid crisis in rural America. Specifically, the department has reserved 5 million in grants through their Community Facilities grant program, and $20 million through their Distance Learning and Telemedicine program to help rural communities build local responses to the opioid epidemic. Funding for these programs comes from the Fiscal Year 2018 Omnibus spending bill.
Rural communities, non-profit organizations and federally recognized tribes can apply for a Community Facilities grant through the traditional application process by contacting their local USDA RD office. To find your local USDA Rural Development office visit https://www.rd.usda.gov/contact-us/state-offices/tx.
Communities can apply for up to $150,000 in grants for innovative projects such as mobile treatment clinics. The Community Facilities grants program may fund up to 75 percent of an eligible project.
Distance Learning and Telemedicine Grant (DLT) Program applicants will receive priority for telemedicine projects with the primary purpose of providing opioid prevention, treatment or recovery services. Eligible proposals can receive 10 priority points on their applications. DLT program funds can be used to purchase telemedicine equipment, computers, software and construct broadband facilities.
“The opioid epidemic has increasingly become a topic of concern amongst many small communities and towns across the country,” said Congressman Henry Cuellar. “That is why programs like these are an important investment in combatting this current national emergency, which affects each and every town across the nation.
“USDA has been an important partner when it comes to addressing this issue in rural communities, and I thank them for working diligently to create these necessary programs.” Congressman Cuellar added, “I will continue to secure funding and work towards building effective, local responses to this significant issue.”
The application deadline for both programs is June 4th, 2018.
For more information about USDA’s partnership with rural communities in addressing the opioid epidemic, visit http://www.usda.gov/opioids
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