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The Rural Community Development Initiative Grant

USDA Rural Development is a branch of the Unites States Department of Agriculture whose mission is to improve the quality of life in rural America. They provide loans, loan guarantees and grants to support vital services such as housing, health care, water, electric, communication and other necessary infrastructure. They also offer loans to businesses and supply technical assistance to farmers. They even have programs to help individual residents buy their own homes.

Telemedicine, Technology, and Distance Learning:   The DLT Grant Program

Rural medicine is facing a crisis! Declining populations, a high percentage of uninsured persons, the lack of physicians, and huge travel times for both patients and their doctors all make it harder for residents of rural areas to obtain the medical care they need. One study found that elderly cancer survivors who lived in rural areas were 66% more likely to skip medical care than those in more urban settings, even though both groups had health insurance. It is speculated the hardships and expenses related to travel may be one reason why. Can telemedicine offer solutions to this dilemma? One objective of the Department of Agriculture's Distance Learning and Telemedicine (DLT) Grant Program to increase rural residents access to healthcare via technology, along with funding general distance learning opportunities as well.

Grants for Rural Hospitals: Expanding Outreach

According to the National Rural Health Association, more than 75 rural hospitals have closed since 2010, with 673 at risk of meeting the same fate. That could leave up to 11.7 million people with no where to turn. Not only will patients be in jeopardy, but regional economies may suffer as well. These facilities provide a livelihood for community members. Their absence will not only result in direct job loss, but potential employers may be reluctant to relocate to areas without adequate health care. This is a pressing dilemma for local governments, as many rural hospitals are run by government entities, particularly counties. While far from a complete solution to the problem, MultiPlan, Inc. is offering Rural Health Outreach grants to help hospitals offer new services and/or reach new populations.

Grants for Rural Areas - A Trio of Rural Resources for You

In our post about the Rural Community Development Initiative we described several ways in which the United States Department of Agriculture Rural Development assists communities with vital resources. Today we bring you three more grants exclusively for rural areas. 

 

 

Innovation Meets Entrepreneurship - The Regional Innovation Strategies Program

There is a long list of American ideas and inventions that have changed the world, from the telephone to the television. The Economic Development Agency (EDA) is dedicated to making sure the U.S remains a matrix for cutting-edge enterprise. The EDA is the only agency in the federal government whose exclusive focus is economic development, particularly for distressed areas. Part of the Department of Commerce, it promotes innovation and regional collaboration to enhance the health of local economies. Not all funded projects have to be as revolutionary as the light bulb, the point is to support viable new companies that create jobs. The EDA’s Regional Innovation Strategies Program (RIS) is accepting applications for two separate competitions for capacity building:

Broadband for Rural Areas

Every day, 73 percent of us go online. The White House’s Broadband Opportunity Council now calls internet access a core utility, infrastructure as necessary as water, sewers, and electricity. Yet the digital divide between rural and urban areas still exists: 53 percent of rural Americans, some 22 million people, lack access to broadband. On Tribal lands, the statistics are 63 percent, or 2.5 million people.

Second Round of Promise Zones Announced

North Hartford Promise Zone (Google Maps).

Yesterday, the Obama Administration announced the next round of urban, rural, and tribal communities that have received a Promise Zone designation. For this second round of competition, 123 applications were received from 38 states, along with Washington, D.C. and Puerto Rico. Eight communities—six urban and two rural/tribal—were selected for Promise Zone designation:

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