News Release
Release No.STELPRD4020079
ContactGreg Batson(573) 876-9304
(MARCH 29, 2013) USDA ANNOUNCES THE AVAILABILITY OF GRANTS TO IMPROVE HEALTH CARE SERVICES IN THE DELTA REGION
Columbia, MO, Mar 29, 2013 --

@@USDA is accepting applications for funding to establish health care cooperatives and other health care projects to address needs in the Delta region. The United States Department of Agriculture remains focused on carrying out its mission, despite a time of significant budget uncertainty. Today’s announcement is one part of the Department’s efforts to strengthen the rural economy.

The grants, which were authorized under the 2008 Farm Bill, are intended to help communities with up to 50,000 inhabitants to address unmet health needs. Eligible applicants include consortiums or groups of regional institutions of higher education, health and research institutes, and economic development entities located in the Delta Region, which comprises 252 counties and parishes of the states of Alabama, Arkansas, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, and Tennessee.

Missouri Rural Development State Director Janie Dunning stated, “The offering of this grant program can have a significant impact on the counties in the Delta region in our state. Families and individuals in those counties often face obstacles in meeting their daily needs. Improving access to health care in the rural areas is another tool in enhancing the overall quality of life for residents.”

The minimum grant award is $50,000. Funds may be used to develop health care cooperatives, services, educational programs and job training programs. For more information about how to apply for these grants, please see page 18308 of the March 26, 2013 edition of the Federal Register or by clicking here http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2013-03-26/html/2013-06896.htm. Applications are due May 28, 2013.

President Obama's plan for rural America has brought about historic investment and resulted in stronger rural communities. Under the President's leadership, these investments in housing, community facilities, businesses and infrastructure have empowered rural America to continue leading the way – strengthening America's economy, small towns and rural communities.

USDA’s investments in rural communities support the rural way of life, which stands as the backbone of our American values. President Obama and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack are committed to a smarter use of Federal resources to foster sustainable economic prosperity and ensure the government is a strong partner for businesses, entrepreneurs and working families in rural communities.

USDA, through its Rural Development mission area, administers and manages housing, business and community infrastructure and facility programs through a national network of state and local offices. These programs are designed to improve the economic stability of rural communities, businesses, residents, farmers and ranchers and improve the quality of life in rural America.

USDA has made a concerted effort to deliver results for the American people, even as USDA implements sequestration – the across-the-board budget reductions mandated under terms of the Budget Control Act. USDA has already undertaken historic efforts since 2009 to save more than $700 million in taxpayer funds through targeted, common-sense budget reductions. These reductions have put USDA in a better position to carry out its mission, while implementing sequester budget reductions in a fair manner that causes as little disruption as possible.

USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer. To file a complaint of discrimination, write: USDA, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, Office of Adjudication, 1400 Independence Ave., SW, Washington, DC 20250-9410 or call (866) 632-9992 (Toll-free Customer Service), (800) 877-8339 (Local or Federal relay), (866) 377-8642 (Relay voice users).