Davis Announces USDA Rural Development Distance Learning and Telemedicine Grants

Oct 26, 2021
Grants
Press

Washington, DC — U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis (R-Ill) today announced that United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development has awarded a total of $922,788 Distance Learning and Telemedicine (DLT) grants to two organizations in the 13th Congressional District.

Carle Health in Urbana will receive $544,034. The funds will be used to purchase telemedicine equipment to virtually connect Carle Richland Memorial Hospital (CRMH) in Olney with Carle Foundation Hospital in Urbana. This will improve access to specialized care for thousands of patients.

Jersey Community Unit School District #100 in Jerseyville will receive $378,754 to expand the Rural Illinois Shared Education (RISE) Network to eight additional schools in rural Illinois. This expansion of the Shared Education network is focused on opioid and substance abuse prevention, suicide prevention education, and expanded educational opportunities.

“I have worked continuously since taking office to expand access to broadband for our rural communities, especially schools and hospitals,” said Davis. “These grants we’re announcing today goes hand-in-hand with those efforts by now using much of the broadband that is in place and putting it to good use. This funding is an example of the kind of investments we should be making in rural America and I’m proud to support it.”

Carle Health Project Details

This Rural Development investment will be used to purchase telemedicine equipment to virtually connect Carle Richland Memorial Hospital (CRMH) in Olney, Illinois with Carle Foundation Hospital in Urbana. This equipment will improve rural community access to specialized health care services for acute cases. It will also allow patients to have the option of receiving care locally and avoiding transferring to another health care facility for vital health care services. The community hospital serves eight southeastern Illinois counties, with a combined population of approximately 200,000.

“Telemedicine is truly revolutionizing the way we are able to care for patients,”said Suzanne Sampson, senior vice president, Transformation Services, Carle Health. “These funds are going to provide critical telemedicine resources to rural communities to bring them the care they need right where they are. Carle is proud to be at the forefront of this innovative technology.”

Jersey CUSD #100 Project Details

This Rural Development investment will be used to expand the Community Unit School District #100’s Rural Illinois Shared Education (RISE) Network to eight additional schools in rural Illinois. Poverty and no population growth have factored into the participating counties being Health Professional Shortage Areas for mental health care. The project is focused on opioid and substance abuse prevention and education; suicide prevention education; and expanding educational opportunities. The expansion of the Shared Education network will also provide opportunities for workforce development, including training of first responders. This highly collaborative teaching and communication tool will benefit approximately 3,600 residents of rural Illinois.

Jersey CUSD 100 is very excited to be one of the recipients of the Distance Learning and Telemedicine Grants,” said Jersey CUSD #100 Superintendent Brad Tuttle. “Jersey CUSD 100 shares this grant with Calhoun CUSD 40, Carlinville CUSD 1, Carrollton CUSD 1, Greenfield CUSD 10, North Greene CUSD 3, Southwestern CUSD 9, and St. Augustine College. This is an extraordinary time where schools are working diligently to meet the needs of students. The funds through this grant will allow Jersey CUSD 100 and the other schools to access courses through the RISE/SynapSIS Network to connect students with teachers from different schools. Students will now be able to take coursework not currently offered in their school with teachers or colleges across the State. These grant funds allow for the expansion of courses outside of current offerings and across school districts.”

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