USDA grants will improve health care, education


WASHINGTON — Several rural West Virginia and southeastern Ohio communities are receiving money to improve rural health care through the Distance Learning and Telemedicine (DLT) Grant Program.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture is awarding $39.6 million through the program.

The approved programs receiving money locally include:

  CAMC Health Education & Research Institute will receive $163,223 to help provide care to the patients in 46 facilities in 16 rural Appalachian counties in West Virginia, southern Ohio and eastern Kentucky who suffer from chronic kidney disease.

The new network of interactive healthcare will help patients, from a population of approximately 180,000, throughout the kidney disease treatment spectrum, from education on disease management and dialysis, to post kidney transplant care and consultation.

  CHANGE Inc. is receiving $500,000 to purchase and install telemedicine equipment at eight locations in Hancock, Marshall and Brooke counties in West Virginia and in Jefferson County, Ohio. It will bring behavioral health services to school-based health centers and to rural communities with a total population of 42,260 people.

The program will address behavioral health issues by establishing remote telemedicine links to psychiatrists or other specialty providers.

  The Toronto, Ohio City School District is being awarded $500,000 to help purchase distance learning equipment to create opioid health education, treatment, and prevention programs for families. The project will implement a comprehensive opioid treatment and misuse prevention program.

The hub site will be in Weirton, W.Va., with two end user sites in Toronto.

The district will have three partners and sites: CHANGE, Inc. in Newell, WV, Eastern Gateway Community College in Steubenville, Ohio, and FFA Camps in Carrollton, Ohio.

Families will also have access to health care onsite, supported by additional healthcare professionals via telecommunications. Students will also have access to dual credit offerings from Eastern Gateway Community College and science, technology, engineering, and mathematics coursework and counseling workshops from Ohio FFA Camps.

Based on the communities served, this project has the potential to impact a population of 45,746.


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