Hospitals, health care facilities urged to apply for rural health care funding

Posted 18 August 2021 at 4:12 pm

Press Release, U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Following the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) announcement that up to $500 million in American Rescue Plan emergency rural health care funding will be newly available, Senator Gillibrand is encouraging all eligible New York entities to apply ahead of the deadline.

Applicants may apply for Impact Grants by October 12th and Recovery Grants on a continual basis until funds are expended. Senator Gillibrand fought hard to pass the American Rescue Plan package, which included this funding to expand access to Covid-19 health care services and nutrition assistance for New York State’s rural health care facilities, tribes, and rural communities.

“The federal government is delivering on its promise to provide direct relief to our nation’s rural communities. I am so pleased to announce that up to $500 million in emergency federal funding will help bring immediate relief to thousands of rural health care systems struggling to recover from the economic impacts of the ongoing pandemic and will help strengthen their long-term sustainability,” said Senator Gillibrand. “I strongly encourage all eligible New York entities to apply before the October 12th deadline.”

Who is eligible to apply for this program?

  1. Public bodies
  2. Community-based nonprofits
  3. Federally-recognized Tribes

What is an eligible rural area?

Rural areas including cities, villages, towns, townships, and federally-recognized Tribal lands with no more than 20,000 residents as determined by the latest U.S. Census data are eligible for this program. Facilities and projects must be located in — and primarily serve — rural areas. Population statistics may be adjusted to exclude long-term prison populations, and the first 1,500 service members living in government quarters on a military installation.

How to apply

Recovery Grants are available to help public bodies, nonprofit organizations and tribes provide immediate Covid-19 relief to support rural hospitals, health care clinics and local communities. Recovery Grant applications will be accepted on a continual basis until funds are expended. These funds may be used to:

  • Increase Covid-19 vaccine distribution and telehealth capabilities;
  • Purchase medical supplies;
  • Replace revenue lost during the pandemic;
  • Build and rehabilitate temporary or permanent structures for health care services;
  • Support staffing needs for vaccine administration and testing;
  • Support facility and operations expenses associated with food banks and food distribution facilities.

Impact Grants are available to help regional partnerships, public bodies, nonprofits, and tribes solve regional rural health care problems and build a stronger, more sustainable rural health care system in response to the pandemic. Impact Grant applications must be submitted to your local USDA Rural Development State Office by 4 p.m. local time on Oct. 12. USDA encourages applicants to plan and implement strategies to:

  • Develop health care systems that offer a blend of behavioral care, primary care, and other medical services;
  • Support health care as an anchor institution in small communities;
  • Expand telehealth, electronic health data sharing, workforce development, transportation, paramedicine, obstetrics, behavioral health, farmworker health care, and cooperative home care.

USDA encourages potential applicants to review the application guide at