Coquille Indian Tribe Receives USDA Grant to Expand Access to Healthcare through Telemedicine

USDA awards $39 million nationwide to increase access to education and healthcare for 4.5 million rural Americans

PORTLAND, Ore., November 2, 2018 — The Coquille Indian Tribe will increase access to specialized medical care for Native Americans throughout southwest Oregon with the help of a $57,370 grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development, announced State Director John Huffman today. “Rural residents often lack access to specialized medical care within their local community,” said Huffman. “This USDA investment will help overcome the challenges associated with remoteness by providing a more comprehensive array of healthcare services and access to specialists located in larger medical centers, improving the quality of life for this tribal community.”

The Coquille Indian Community Health Center, located on the Kilkich Reservation near Coos Bay, Oregon, will establish a telemedicine system to provide access to specialized, professional medical care. The grant from USDA will be used to purchase equipment such as computers, high-definition cameras, and specialized software. By virtually connecting patients to medical specialists located hundreds of miles from the reservation, the telemedicine system will provide access to medical care that was previously unavailable at Kilkich, including treatment for substance abuse disorder, psychiatry, pediatric psychiatry, pain management, and dermatology. Overall, approximately 1,300 rural residents will receive improved access to essential medical services.

Funding for this project is being provided through USDA’s Distance Learning and Telemedicine (DLT) Grant Program. Nationwide, USDA is awarding $39.6 million in grants for 128 projects to increase access to job training, education, and healthcare in rural areas. More than 4.5 million rural residents in 40 states and three territories will benefit from these investments. The funding is contingent upon the recipients meeting the terms of the grant agreements.

USDA Rural Development provides loans and grants to help expand economic opportunities and create jobs in rural areas. This assistance supports infrastructure improvements; business development; housing; community facilities such as schools, public safety, and healthcare; and high-speed internet access in rural areas. Learn more at www.rd.usda.gov/or.

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