Fifteen organizations receive $4M to boost telehealth efforts

By Molly Merrill
04:30 PM

HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced more than $32 million in funding on Monday aimed at boosting access to healthcare service in rural areas, including approximately $4 million for telehealth projects.

The Telehealth Network Grant Program will receive more than $2 million of this rural healthcare funding. The program helps communities build capacity to develop sustainable telehealth programs and networks.  
Grantees are:

  • Ware County Board of Health in Waycross, Ga., was awarded $254,755.
  • St. John's Hospital of the Third Order in Springfield, Ill., was awarded $255,000.
  • Union Hospital, Inc., in Terre Haute, Ind., was awarded $247,575.
  • Building Health Communities in Pride, La., was awarded $255,000.
  • Eastern Maine Medical Center in Bangor, Maine, was awarded $254,123.
  • Roanoke Chowan Community Health Center Inc. in Ahoskie, N.C. was awarded $255,000.
  • Avera Health in Sioux Falls S.D., was awarded $255,000.
  • University of Utah in Salt Lake City was awarded $253,862.

The Telehealth Resources Center Grant Program will receive more than $1 million in funding. The program provides technical assistance to help healthcare organizations, networks and providers implement cost-effective telehealth programs serving rural and medically underserved areas and populations. The program is designed for entities with a successful track record in helping to develop sustainable telehealth programs.

Grantees are:

  • University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences in Little Rock, Ark., was awarded $324,729.
  • Georgia Partnership for Telehealth, Inc. in Waycross, Ga., was awarded $324,124.
  • University of Hawaii in Honolulu was awarded $324,984.
  • University of Kansas Medical Center Research Institute, Inc., in Kansas City. Kans., was awarded $325,000.

The Flex Rural Veterans Health Access Program will receive close to $1 million of the funds. The program is new and aims to help eligible entities coordinate innovative approaches, collaborative networks and virtual linkages to provide rural veterans and other rural residents access to mental health and other health care services. The grants aim to improve mental health services through the use of health information exchange and telehealth in states where veterans make up a high percentage of the total population.

Grantees are:

  • State of Alaska, Department of Health and Social Services in Juneau, Alaska, was awarded $296,642.
  • Montana Department of Health and Human Services in Helena, Mont., was awarded $296,667.
  • Virginia Department of Health in Richmond, Va., was awarded $296,667.

Sebelius announced approximately $22 million for the Medicare Rural Hospital Flexibility Program, $3 million for the Rural Health Workforce Development Program, $770,000 for the Frontier Community Health Integration Demonstration Program, and $500,000 to the Rural Training Track Technical Assistance Demonstration Program.

"These funds reflect the priorities spelled out by President Obama in providing the best healthcare possible to rural Americans," said Sebelius. "The ultimate goal is to build healthier rural populations and communities."

"The grants will strengthen partnerships among rural health providers," added HRSA Administrator Mary Wakefield.

Click here for the full list of grantees.