JOHNSON CITY, Tenn., Jan 31, 2012 -- A new era of learning opportunities for students and teachers was celebrated today as USDA Rural Development State Director Bobby Goode joined Quillen College of Medicine Associate Dean Barbara Sucher and other school and local leaders to announce federal funding for East Tennessee State University.
"Families in Northeast Tennessee, Southeast Kentucky and Northwest Virginia should grow up with the same opportunities they would have living anywhere else," said Goode. "Investments in educational opportunities like this make it possible for our students to get the best education possible so they can out-compete others across the globe."
A USDA Rural Development grant of $191,601 will be combined with $95,922 in contributions from the University to establish a telemedicine system that will connect Quillen College of Medicine to five counties in Tennessee, Kentucky and Virginia.
The overarching goal is to create more highly equipped education system that will allow students the opportunity to access necessary information easier. The investment will be used to install video equipment and teleconference capabilities at each facility as well as provide remote telemedicine units which will allow physicians to send patient information to a consulting site.
Others participating in the event included Sen. Lamar Alexander’s Representative Lana Moore, Sen. Bob Corker’s Representative Bridgett Baird, Rep. Phil Roe’s Representative John Abe Teague, Johnson County Mayor Larry Potter, ETSU President Dr. Brian Noland, ETSU College of Medicine Dean Dr. Phillip C. Bagnell, University Chief Operating Officer Dr. Wilsie Bishop and RD Area Director Joe Woody.
The USDA Rural Development distance learning and telemedicine (DLT) grant program increases the range of educational opportunities available to students and teachers, improves access to quality healthcare and opens up new economic opportunities for families, individuals and businesses in rural America. For more information on Rural Development telecommunications programs contact Terry Kokinda at (615) 451-9498 or Terry.Kokinda@wdc.usda.gov.
USDA Rural Development invests in jobs, infrastructure, homeownership and affordable rental housing in rural communities. Last year the agency assisted tens of thousands of Tennessee families and businesses, investing more than $737 million through affordable loans, loan guarantees and grants.
For more information on Rural Development programs available in Northeast Tennessee contact the Rural Development Area Office in Greeneville at 423-638-4771 ext. 4, toll free at 800-342-3149 ext. 1490, or online at www.rurdev.usda.gov/tn.
USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer and lender. To file a complaint of discrimination, write USDA, Director, Office of Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Avenue, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20250-9410,
or call (800) 795-3272 TDD (615) 783-1397