Skip to content

Category Archives: Health

USDA Seeks Applications for Technology Grants

April 12, 2018

USDA Seeks Applications for Technology Grants to Expand Access to Health Care and Education in Rural Areas

Assistant to the Secretary for Rural Development Anne Hazlett today announced that USDA is accepting applications for grants to use broadband e-Connectivity to improve access to health care and educational services in rural communities.

“Under Secretary Perdue’s leadership, USDA is tackling e-Connectivity as a foundational issue for rural communities because it affects everything from business opportunities to adequate health care access,” Hazlett said. “These grants are one of many tools USDA provides to help ensure that people who live and work in rural areas can use broadband to gain access to essential services and economic opportunities.”

USDA is awarding grants ranging from $50,000 to $500,000 under the Distance Learning and Telemedicine (DLT) program. Grants can finance projects such as those to provide job training, academic instruction or access to specialized medical care.

Proposals for projects whose primary purpose is to provide opioid prevention, treatment and recovery will receive 10 priority points when applications are scored. USDA is approaching the opioid misuse crisis with a dedicated urgency because it impacts the quality of life, economic opportunity and rural prosperity.

USDA also will provide priority points for grants that offer access to Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) courses.

Grants are available to most state and local governmental entities, federally recognized tribes, nonprofit groups, for-profit businesses or a consortia of these.

The application deadline is June 4, 2018. Applications can be submitted via paper or electronically. For details on how to apply, see page 14245 of the April 3 Federal Register.

In South Dakota, Horizon Health Care used a $238,303 DLT grant in 2015 to develop a video-based mental health network for the central and southwest regions of the state. The video network was launched last year. It covers more than one-third of the state.

In April 2017, President Donald J. Trump established the Interagency Task Force on Agriculture and Rural Prosperity to identify legislative, regulatory and policy changes that could promote agriculture and prosperity in rural communities. In January 2018, Secretary Perdue presented the Task Force’s findings to President Trump. These findings included 31 recommendations to align the federal government with state, local and tribal governments to take advantage of opportunities that exist in rural America.

To view the report in its entirety, please view the Report to the President of the United States from the Task Force on Agriculture and Rural Prosperity (PDF, 5.4 MB). In addition, to view the categories of the recommendations, please view the Rural Prosperity infographic (PDF, 190 KB).

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 services such as schools, public safety and health care; and high-speed internet access in rural areas. For more information, visit

USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer, and lender.

Announcements from the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy

April 12, 2018

What’s New

Rural Communities Opioid Response Funding Opportunity – Coming Soon.  HRSA’s Federal Office of Rural Health Policy plans to award up to 75 grants to rural communities as part of a new Rural Communities Opioid Response initiative that will support treatment for, and prevention of, substance use disorder with a focus on the 220 counties identified by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as being at risk, as well as other high risk rural communities.  Successful awardees will receive $200,000 for one year to partner with at least three other entities and develop plans to implement opioid use disorder prevention, treatment, and recovery interventions designed to reduce opioid overdoses among rural populations.  It is anticipated the Notice of Funding Opportunity will be available on later this Spring 2018.  Please note that the process for registering for federal grants can take up to 30 days to complete. Learn more about how HRSA is addressing the opioid crisis with funding, resources and technical assistance.


Public Sector Telehealth Reimbursement: “Beg Forgiveness or Ask Permission”

April 10, 2018

Public Sector Telehealth Reimbursement: “Beg Forgiveness or Ask Permission”
Thursday April 19, 2018 – 11:00 am PDT

View more information and registration instructions.

Final Missouri Distance Learning and Telemedicine Grant Workshops Announced

April 9, 2018

Grant workshops covering the USDA Rural Development Distance Learning and Telemedicine Grant program administered by Rural Utilities Service. The final workshops regarding grant application process will be held at the following locations:

The attached flyers with RSVPs will have specific address and location information. Please complete the RSVP block for the location desired to attend and return to me by April 18th. You will find an agenda for each location attached as well.

Of special note, Mr. Randall Millhiser (RUS Field Branch Chief and DLT program lead), will be present at the April 19th workshop in Columbia, MO. Mr. Millhiser works directly with the program at the National Office and can discuss any specific questions someone may have about the application process or proposed project.

We hope you have the opportunity to join us. The DLT grant program application window opened April 3, 2018 and applications will be required to be submitted by June 4, 2018. Please pass this information along to others as you see necessary.

Announcements from the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy

April 5, 2018

Funding Opportunities

National Health Service Corps Scholarships – May 10.  Health professions students in eligible disciplines can receive payment for tuition, fees and other educational costs as well as a living stipend in exchange for serving two years at NHSC-approved sites in medically underserved rural, urban and tribal communities.

AHRQ Research Demonstration and Dissemination Grant – May 26.  The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) will award grants of up to $400,000 to support health services research projects. Specific priority areas of focus are 1) accelerating Patient Centered Outcomes Research, 2) making health care safer, 3) evaluating expansions of insurance coverage, 4) improving health care affordability, efficiency and cost transparency. Priority populations for study are those in inner-city and rural areas, including frontier areas.

Grants for Distance Learning and Telemedicine Programs – June 4.  The Distance Learning and Telemedicine (DLT) Grant Program helps rural communities use capabilities of telecommunications to connect to each other, overcoming the effects of remoteness and low population density. For example, the program can link teachers and medical service providers in one area to students and patients in another. USDA will host webinars on April 19th and April 25th on eligibility rules and application requirements for the DLT Grant Program. Eligible applicants include most entities that provide education or healthcare through telecommunications including: most state and local governmental entities, federally recognized tribes, non-profits, for-profit businesses, and consortia of eligible entities. Applicants are required to provide a minimum 15% match and awards can range from $50,000 to $500,000. For more information contact

Telecommunications Infrastructure Loans – Ongoing.  The Rural Utilities Service (RUS) at the USDA provides financing for the construction, maintenance, improvement and expansion of telephone service and broadband in rural areas.  Eligibility includes rurally-located non-profit organizations, for-profit businesses, state and local governments, and Federally Recognized Tribes.

Funding for Rural Water and Waste Disposal Projects –  Ongoing.  USDA Rural Development helps very small, financially-distressed rural communities with funding for predevelopment planning costs for water and sanitation infrastructure projects.  Eligible areas are those with a population of 2,500 or less, with a median household income below the poverty line, and includes Federally Recognized Tribes.


Thursday, April 12, 2018, IHS Clinical Rounds: How to Effectively Use the National STD Curriculum

April 6, 2018

View the IHS Clinical Rounds Flyer.

USDA Offers Webinars in Regards to the Distance Learning and Telemedicine (DLT) Grant Program

April 4, 2018

Distance Learning and Telemedicine Grant Program Webinars 

April 19 from 10:00 to 11:30 am EDT
April 25 from 1:00 to 2:30 pm EDT

USDA will host webinars on eligibility rules and application requirements for the Distance Learning and Telemedicine (DLT) Grant Program. Experienced USDA staff will provide detailed guidance on how to submit a successful application.

The DLT Program’s Notice of Solicitation of Applications (NOSA) was published in the Federal Register on April 3.

You can register for the April 19 session here and the April 25 session here. We recommend you do this registration early and run a system check to ensure quick access on the day of the webinar.

If the registration links are not compatible with your browser, please copy and paste into your browser for the April 19 session or for the April 25 session.

Questions? Please contact or or call (202) 720-0800 with any questions about these events.

Further details can be found in the attached flyer.


USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer and lender.