The federal government on Thursday awarded one South Georgia hospital authority funding from $20 million distributed to 27 organizations nationwide to develop new rural residency programs.
In South Georgia, the Hospital Authority of Colquitt County received a $750,000 award from the Health Resources and Services Administration’s Rural Residency Planning and Development Program grants. That money will be used to develop new rural residency programs while achieving accreditation through the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education.
“Promoting the health of rural America is one of the Trump Administration’s healthcare priorities,” HHS Secretary Alex Azar said in a statement. “Supporting the training of healthcare providers in rural areas through grants like these is a key way to help expand rural access to care, and is part of an overall effort to support rural healthcare in sustainable, innovative, and flexible ways.”
Rural parts of the state struggle with access to health care and HRSA Administrator George Sigounas said rural communities face a greater risk of poor health outcomes than their urban counterparts.
"(These) grants take aim at one of the most persistent disparities: access to high quality healthcare providers," Sigounas said.
The money will also help address the challenges in securing sustainable financing and faculty support.
In related news, the Federal Communications Commission on July 10 voted to approve a $100 million initiative to improve health care access for rural Americans.
The money will boost funding for telehealth equipment across the country including here in Georgia, allowing people who can’t get to a clinic or hospital to see their doctors online.