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USDA Invests $131,619 in Kansas Distance Learning and Telemedicine
Kansas Ag Connection - 03/04/2021

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development acting state director for Kansas Dan Fischer announced it is investing $131,619 to help rural residents gain access to health care and educational opportunities. Rural areas are seeing higher infection and death rates related to COVID-19 due to several factors, including a much higher percentage of underlying conditions, difficulty accessing medical care, and lack of health insurance. The awards includes money provided through the CARES Act. The Kansas award will benefit 144,000 rural residents.

"Telemedicine provides rural Kansas residents with easier access to more medical resources," Fischer said. "These investments by the Biden Administration will help millions of people living in rural places access health care and education opportunities that could change and save lives and build back better."

USDA is funding 86 projects through the Distance Learning and Telemedicine (DLT) grant program. The program helps rural education and health care entities remotely reach students, patients and outside expertise. These capabilities make world-class education and health care opportunities accessible in rural communities. The ability to use telehealth resources is critical, especially now during a global pandemic.

USDA announced investments today in Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia, American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.

The project in Kansas:

- Morton County Health Systems in Elkhart, Kan., will be the hub site. The system will serve approximately 144,000 residents in Morton, Stevens, Seward, Haskell, Grant, Finney, Kearney, and Stanton counties in Kansas; Baca County in Colorado; Cimarron and Texas counties in Oklahoma; Union County in New Mexico; and Dallam, Hansford, Ochiltree, and Sherman counties in Texas.

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