The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s latest round of Distance Learning and Telemedicine grants, totaling $72 million, will go to 116 programs in 40 states, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The aid falls under the USDA’s Rural Utilities Service Telecommunications Program.
“Increasing access to telemedicine and distance learning is critical to building healthier and more resilient rural communities,” USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue said. “Paired with our monumental effort to expand high-speed broadband access in rural America, these investments will help rural health care centers and education institutions reach more rural residents with essential services and opportunities.”
Intended to help rural healthcare providers and educational institutions purchase hardware and software to launch telehealth and distance learning programs, the grants include aid to link primary care providers, health services, hospitals and even correctional facilities.