USDA Invests $3.9 Million in American Rescue Plan Funds to Expand Access to Rural Health Care for People in Central Pennsylvania

Department Responds in Record Time to Meet the Growing Health Care Needs in Rural America

U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development State Director Bob Morgan announced that USDA is awarding $3.9 million in Emergency Rural Health Care Grants to 6 rural health care organizations and community groups in Central Pennsylvania.

“No matter where you live, people deserve good health care, and the Biden-Harris Administration is committed to making that a reality throughout rural America,” Morgan said. “Through the Emergency Rural Health Care Grants Program, USDA is improving access to the critical health care services rural people rely on every day here in rural Pennsylvania.”

The Biden-Harris Administration made these funds available through its historic legislative package, the American Rescue Plan Act. Within months after the Act’s passage, USDA responded quickly by making this funding available to ensure the long-term availability of rural health care services.

The grants USDA is awarding will help rural hospitals and health care providers implement telehealth and nutrition assistance programs, increase staffing, build or renovate facilities, and purchase medical supplies.

Morgan made the announcement at Evangelical Community Hospital. The hospital is one of six recipients to receive grant funds in Central Pennsylvania. The hospital will use a $487,800 grant to support the purchase of an Advanced Life Support (ALS) Medic Unit with radio equipment as well as patient monitors and ancillary equipment to be used in the hospital on inpatient and outpatient units.

The COVID-19 pandemic increased the demand for care on both Emergency Medical Services (EMS) and hospital fronts. The new unit and equipment allows the hospital to be ready from an emergency and in-hospital care standpoint to handle any future COVID-19 surges as well as medical treatment for conditions outside of COVID-19.

Additional awardees in the 12th Congressional District include:

  • The Clinton County Department of Emergency Services received a $750,000 grant to purchase and install tower communications equipment for towers in Leidy Township and Chapman Township. The funds will also be used to purchase radio communications equipment to better serve the Bucktail Regional Medical Center. This project will help ensure the emergency services call center reaches the area, and it will improve communication between the hospitals, ambulance services and fire companies.
  • Broad Acres Nursing Home Association in Tioga County received $1 million grant to reimburse lost health care revenue incurred from March 13, 2020, to August 31, 2021. The funds will be used to promote or administer vaccines to current and future residents and staff, and to increase testing.
  • Lock Haven Emergency Medical Services in Clinton County received a $309,700 grant to purchase two ambulances, two cardiac monitors and defibrillators, a power load system, two Motorola mobile units and six Motorola portable radios. The equipment is needed to help the company provide services to the community, which has seen an influx of patients due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Centre Care Inc. in Centre County received a $1 million grant to reimburse lost health care revenue from March 15, 2020, through August 31, 2021, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The funds will be used to promote or administer vaccines to current and future residents and staff, and to increase testing. Centre Care Incorporated provides nursing, assisted living and senior retirement care to qualifying persons.
  • Citizens Hose Company of South Renovo in Clinton County received a $443,800 grant for a quick response unit rescue truck. The new vehicle will allow for better and more reliable response times, and equip the fire department with the necessary equipment, tools and diagnostic capabilities to perform the emergency response tasks. It will also be used to serve as a mobile vaccine administration and testing unit as necessary for the COVID-19 pandemic and for future health crises. This equipment will allow emergency services to reach the remote portions of the service area. The equipment will allow the fire response team to setup a mobile medical unit during emergency situations before ambulance services arrive.

On April 13, a total of $10.5 million in Emergency Health Care grant projects were announced in Pennsylvania. This included 18 projects across Pennsylvania. A full list of these projects can be viewed on our website. This funding will help meet the demands of growing health care needs in rural America and expand access to health care services for 2.2 million people across 22 states.

USDA will announce additional recipients of Emergency Rural Health Care Grants in the coming weeks and months.