The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) has awarded $6 million to telehealth projects in rural communities to improve access to quality health care in rural communities. The telehealth funds which total $6,286,264 are part of a $16 million package aimed at expanding use of telehealth technology for veterans and other patients, assist providers with quality improvement activities, and support policy-oriented research to better understand the challenges faced by rural communities.
“Rural and frontier communities face
unique geographic barriers to obtaining comprehensive and convenient health
care services,” said Jim Macrae, Acting Administrator of HRSA. “These
grants are designed to help individuals and communities access the high-quality
care they need to live healthier lives.”
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Twenty-one community health organisations will each receive approximately $300,000 annually for up to three years to build sustainable telehealth programs and networks in medically underserved areas. The programme helps these communities build the human, technical and financial capacity to improve the quality of health information available to providers, patients and their families. This programme particularly encourages teleconnections to School Based Health Centres (SBHC) and all networks receiving this award include at least one SBHC.
Administered by the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy (FORHP) within HRSA, the awards will support 60 rural communities in 32 states, along with seven Rural Health Research Centres.
“These grants encourage and support collaboration at the community level, expanding and strengthening the safety net with networks of care in rural areas,” said FORHP Associate Administrator Tom Morris. “Collaboration among different providers of health and social services within a community means shared resources, shared expertise and shared innovations.
The remaining grant programmes will cover Rural Health Research Centres ($4,898,583), Small Health Care Provider Quality Improvement ($4,065,624) and the Flex Rural Veterans Health Access Programme ($900,000).
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