USDA announces $23.4M in telemedicine grants for 75 rural programs

Rural communities, which often lag behind on access to and adoption of technological initiatives in healthcare, are getting a boost when it comes to telemedicine opportunities and distance learning, due to a $23.4 million investment from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

The grant will cover 75 individual projects across 31 states and was announced in conjunction with National Rural Health Day.

"Rural communities often lack access to specialized medical care or advanced educational opportunities necessary for stronger rural economies," Tom Vilsack, secretary of agriculture, said in a statement. "These grants will help increase access to healthcare and many other essential services."

The USDA also published a breakdown of all of the programs the grants will support, including the purchase and implementation of higher quality electronic equipment to increase patient access and information sharing between recipient providers.

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