Newsletter Article

Jun 2, 2021

HHS Announces Nearly $1 Billion from American Rescue Plan for Rural COVID-19 Response

Press release extracts – Theresa Griffin-Rossi, Program Development Advisor
Originally published May 4, 2021 

“Rural health providers are vital to ensure equity in COVID-19 testing, vaccinations and in making sure rural residents have the information about vaccine safety, especially for populations who are at an increased risk for COVID-19 infection or severe illness due to systemic health and social inequities and geographic isolation,” said HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra. “Support to Rural Health Clinics and small rural hospitals for COVID-19 testing, strengthening vaccine allocation and confidence, and vaccine outreach will help rural residents make informed health decisions about COVID-19 to protect themselves and their communities.”

Click to read the full release.

Announcement Highlights:

Provide up to $100,000 to each of more than 4,600 Rural Health Clinics (RHCs) across the country through the Rural Health Clinic COVID-19 Testing and Mitigation Program, which follows the success of the Rural Health Clinic COVID-19 Testing Program. Send questions about the Rural Health Clinic COVID-19 Testing and Mitigation Program to RHCCOVID-19Testing@hrsa.gov.

Further expand COVID-19 testing in approximately 1,730 small rural hospitals – Critical Access Hospitals and other rural hospitals with fewer than 50 beds – with up to $230,000 each through the Small Rural Hospital Improvement Program (SHIP).  Hospitals that are interested should contact their state’s SHIP grantee.

Invite RHCs to join the new Rural Health Clinic COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution Program – a joint effort with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to increase COVID-19 vaccine supply in rural communities. Send questions about the Rural Health Clinic COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution Program to ruralpolicy@hrsa.gov with RHC Vaccine Distribution in the subject line.

Make nearly $100 million available in grants through the Rural Health Clinic Vaccine Confidence (RHCVC) Program. HRSA will fund all eligible RHCs that apply. Rural Health Clinics participating in the RHCVC program will be able to use the funds to increase patient and community confidence in COVID-19 vaccination and to address equity gaps by bolstering patient literacy on the benefits of broader vaccination for other infectious diseases. Send questions about the Rural Health Clinic Vaccine Confidence Program to RHCVaxconfidence@hrsa.gov.

For more information about HRSA’s rural programs, visit the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy website: https://www.hrsa.gov/rural-health/index.html

To learn more about HRSA’s allocation to Rural Health Clinics for COVID-19 testing visit: https://www.hrsa.gov/rural-health/coronavirus/rural-health-clinics-covid-19-testing-fy20-awards

To learn more about the Small Rural Hospital Improvement Program (SHIP), visit https://www.hrsa.gov/rural-health/rural-hospitals.