CLEARFIELD, Pa., Oct. 15, 2020 – Today, the Trump Administration announced the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is investing $2.7 million in grants to help rural residents in Pennsylvania gain access to health care and educational opportunities.
“Under the leadership of President Trump and Agriculture Secretary Perdue, I am delighted to announce these missions to help cultivate and advance Distance Learning and Telehealth investments across vast swaths of rural Northern and Central Pennsylvania. These funds will expand access to essential health, educational, social and business opportunities throughout some of the most challenging terrain in the Eastern United States. As a Trump Administration official and State Director at USDA RD, I am proud to bring connectivity to the places that need it most. USDA has been working tirelessly to be a strong partner to rural Pennsylvania in building stronger and healthier communities, because we know when rural American thrives, all of America thrives,” said Curt Coccodrilli, Pennsylvania State Director at USDA RD.
Last week, USDA announced the Department funded 116 projects located in 40 states and two U.S. territories through the Distance Learning and Telemedicine (DLT) grant program. The program helps health care and education institutions buy the equipment and software necessary to deploy distance-learning and telemedicine services to rural residents.
- Central Intermediate Unit (CIU) at Birch Tech located across Cambria, Centre, Clearfield, Clinton and McKean counties, Pa. will use a $994,834 grant to provide video conferencing, interactive STEM equipment, computers and networking equipment to 25 elementary schools, 13 middle schools and one high school which will serve 14,149 students.
- Riverview Intermediate Unit located across Clarion, Crawford, Forest, Jefferson and Venango counties, Pa. will use a $1,000,000 grant to improve its infrastructure and delivery of therapies and teacher related special education services to students. The improved telecommunications will result in increased efficiencies, providing new options that will allow the unit to continue to meet students’ needs for intervention services.
- University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) Kane located across Elk, Erie, McKean and Warren county, Pa. will use a $448,800 grant to provide emergency medical care services to rural end-user sites. The project will enhance telemedicine access for 110 people. The end-user site located in the city of Bradford is within an Opportunity Zone.
- Youngsville Television Corporation located across Crawford and Warren county, Pa. will use a $354,552 grant to help fund the deployment of telemedicine infrastructure connecting medical responders to provide opioid dependency support to local and regional communities. In conjunction with participating medical centers, six volunteer fire departments within the region will receive teleconferencing equipment to be installed within their facilities, providing access to opioid response and support training.
To learn more about investment resources for rural areas, interested parties should contact their USDA Rural Development state office. USDA Rural Development provides loans and grants to help expand economic opportunities and create jobs in rural areas. This assistance supports infrastructure improvements; business development; housing; community facilities such as schools, public safety and health care; and high-speed internet access in rural areas. For more information, visit www.rd.usda.gov.
USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer and lender.