Hhs Awards $26.7 Million To Improve Rural Health Care
Grants OF $26.7 million designed to improve health care in small rural hospitals and speed help to heart attack victims in rural America have been released by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
More than $14.8 million of the total comes from a program intended to help 1,450 small rural hospitals in 46 states and Puerto Rico improve the services they provide.
Each hospital participating in the Small Rural Hospital Improvement Grant program will receive approximately $10,000, which will be spent to improve quality and patient safety by making greater investments in computers, software and technical assistance. Rural hospitals are defined as small if they have 49 or fewer beds.
The remaining $11.9 million in grants, part of the Rural Access to Emergency Devices Grant program, will go to states to buy automatic external defibrillators and train emergency personnel in rural areas in their proper use.
Automatic defibrillators are lightweight, portable devices, which provide an electrical shock capable of restoring the normal heart rhythm of cardiac arrest victims, greatly improving chances of survival until they reach a hospital.
Both grant programs are part of the Secretary’s Initiative on Rural Communities (http://ruralhealth.hrsa.gov/initiative.htm), which aims to improve access to health care and social services for the 65 million Americans who live in rural areas. The grants are administered by the Office of Rural Health Policy (http://www.ruralhealth.hrsa.gov) in HHS’ Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA).