KVHC receives grant to reach underserved areas

13 years ago

    PATTEN — USDA Rural Development Director Virginia Manuel has announced a Distance Learning and Telemedicine Grant in the amount of $148,440 to the Katahdin Valley Health Center for reaching out to medically underserved areas in Northern and Central Maine. This facility is one of 10 projects funded in Maine for a total of $3,183,473 invested in rural communities. This is the most of any state in the country- the highest dollar amount and largest number of recipients.
    KVHC will utilize the grant for a multipurpose video teleconferencing and health management system to targets areas in northern and central Maine which are medically underserved and which suffer from a shortage of health professionals. The equipment will bridge the gap and bring sub-specialty clinics, providing better coverage in behavioral health, oncology, dermatology, internal medicine and dental care. Additionally, the equipment will serve as a training and distance-learning tool for providers, nurses and students as a vehicle for educating staff through direct interaction with training supervisors.
     “I am delighted that Katahdin Valley Health Center has received this grant, which will increase access to quality healthcare services to rural and underserved areas where they are so greatly needed,” said USDA Rural Development State Director Virginia Manuel. “USDA Rural Development in Maine is leading the way in the country, investing in distance learning and telemedicine opportunities for rural schools and healthcare organizations in our state. The benefits from these projects will be long lasting and far reaching and are a testament to the quality of the Maine organizations offering the services.”
    “Katahdin Valley Health Center is committed to providing superior healthcare to all within our service area including the uninsured and underinsured. We are determined to continue to seek all options to import services rather than exporting patients” said Durward Humphrey, KVHC chief executive officer.
    Nationwide, 106 projects have been selected to receive more than $34.7 million in grants to fund educational projects and expand access to health care services in rural areas through USDA’s Distance Learning and Telemedicine Program.
    In Maine, USDA Rural Development has Area Offices located in Presque Isle, Bangor, Lewiston, and Scarborough, as well as a State Office, located in Bangor. There are 83 employees working to deliver the agency’s Housing, Business, and Community Programs, which are designed to improve the economic stability of rural communities, businesses, residents, and farmers, and improve the quality of life in rural Maine. In Fiscal Year 2010, USDA Rural Development invested over $450 million, including leveraged funds, in the state of Maine. Further information on rural programs is available at a local USDA Rural Development office or by visiting USDA Rural Development’s web site at http://www.rurdev.usda.gov/me.