WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is investing $501 million in 60 projects to help improve health care infrastructure and services in rural communities nationwide.

“Creating strong and healthy communities is foundational to increasing prosperity in rural America,” said Anne Hazlett, assistant to the Secretary for Rural Development. “Under the leadership of Secretary Sonny Perdue, USDA is committed to partnering with rural leaders to improve quality of life and economic development through modern and accessible health care.”

Building projects offering business opportunities for HVAC contractors, both residential and commercial, will be available because of these loans in Alabama, Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Illinois, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Mississippi, Montana, North Carolina, North Dakota, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Mexico, New York, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Vermont, Washington, Wisconsin, West Virginia and Wyoming. Examples of projects to be done in the west region are listed below.


This investment will be used to construct a 64,000-square-foot multi-disciplinary heath care facility on a 10-acre site in San Luis. The facility will provide a variety of outpatient and ancillary services as well as community rooms, training space, and community gardens. It will serve the border communities of San Luis, Somerton, Gadsden, the Cocopah Indian Tribe, and others in La Paz and Yuma counties. Presently, local residents must travel 30 miles for these services.


This investment will finance the construction of a 39-bed, long-term-care facility on the Blackfeet Indian Reservation in northwest Montana. This project is Phase I of a planned 47-bed facility. Phase II will be constructed at a future date. The new, 27,079-square-foot facility will replace a smaller one that is 47 years old. It will provide space for residents who are now in facilities that are more than 60 miles from the community. This project will benefit the approximately 7,000 members of the Blackfeet Nation who live on or near the Reservation. Additional funding includes a $2,750,000 USDA loan guarantee and a $1 million applicant contribution.


This investment will be used to provide additional financing for the second phase of the expansion of the Pecos Valley Medical Center (PVMC). The center's caseload increased from 2,500 patients a year in 2013 to 3,300 in 2015. To meet this increase in demand, the facility has converted storage rooms into temporary offices. It has converted provider offices into exam rooms. Once Phase II is completed, the building will be a two-level structure. The lower level will house dental operators, telehealth work stations, a conference room, laundry and offices. The upper level will house offices, conference rooms, a lunch room and lockers. Additional funding includes a $3 million USDA Community Facilities loan and a $1 million grant from Health Resources and Services Administration.


This investment will be used to expand the infrastructure and services offered by the Uintah Basin Medical Center in Duchesne and Uintah counties. These counties are located two and three hours away from full-service medical providers, requiring residents to travel long distances to see a specialist. Uintah Basin Health Care will complete renovation and expansion projects at three of its health care facility sites in Vernal and Roosevelt. A new surgery will provide more space for beds, equipment and medical personnel. Additional funding includes a $6,262,200 Community Facilities loan guarantee. This investment will benefit the county's 51,195 residents.


This investment will be used to build an 80,000-square-foot critical access hospital facility in Chelan, Wash. The new facility will provide emergency services, surgery, pediatrics, and mental and behavioral health programs, including opioid treatment and community wellness programs. There will also be a helicopter pad for trauma transfers. This will replace the current, old hospital in Chelan. The new facility will serve 75,500 rural residents. Additional funding includes a $2,250,000 Community Facilities loan guarantee, a $2 million applicant contribution and $20 million from an undisclosed source.


This Rural Development investment will be used to finance an acute-care hospital expansion and renovation. The Hot Springs County Memorial Hospital is located in Thermopolis, Wyo. It serves the 4,812 residents of Hot Springs County and the surrounding areas. The original hospital was constructed in 1959, with only two notable renovations in 60 years. The project will include an expansion of the hospital, demolition of the patient wing, and extensive renovation of the existing facility including the clinic, pharmacy, imaging, and sleep lab. The hospital has been a cornerstone of the Hot Springs County community since its inception. It is the second largest employer in the county, with 143 employees. Additional funding includes a $5,336,000 USDA Community Facilities loan guarantee and a $250,000 applicant contribution.

Publication date: 12/28/2018

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