Vermont Business Magazine Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont) on Wednesday applauded the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development announcement that nearly $3 million combined across three grants has been approved for grassroots organizations. Vermont healthcare in Wells River, Springfield and Brattleboro. These Emergency Rural Health Care (ERHC) grants, part of the U.S. bailout emergency relief funding that Sanders helped pass in 2021, will expand essential health care services for thousands of Vermonters in rural communities.
“There should be no debate that Vermonters living in rural areas should be able to get quality health care close to home,” Sanders said. “And yet healthcare facilities have struggled for years to keep the doors open – a problem that has only worsened with the pandemic. I’m proud to see the US bailout, one of the most important pieces of legislation benefiting working people in this country’s modern history, continue to bring vital relief to Vermonters – from solving the workforce crisis from health to maintaining essential supplies and equipment, and now to strengthening care services in Springfield, Brattleboro and Wells River. This funding will go a long way in ensuring that these essential healthcare facilities can continue their important work to keep Vermonters healthy and safe.
Through the US Rescue Plan, the USDA is making ERHC grants available to provide immediate relief, expand services, and strengthen nutritional assistance to rural health care facilities, tribes, and communities. In Vermont, these three recent scholars include:
- $1 million for Springfield Hospital to alleviate economic hardship stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic, modernize facilities and services, and ensure residents can continue to access quality health care close to home. The hospital will use part of the funding to invest in a more efficient HVAC system. The updated air handling system will modernize the building by improving energy efficiency and reducing operating expenses.
- $637,600 for Brattleboro Memorial Hospital to upgrade equipment and make improvements that meet the growing demands of telemedicine, including an improved telephone system, smart beds, elevators, portable beds and stretchers, and state-of-the-art diagnostic and treatment equipment.
- $1 million for Little Rivers Healthcare in Wells River to increase patient access to needed services, including providing additional examination rooms, health offices, care team support spaces, bathrooms, waiting room, reception area labor and fire safety compliance work.
As part of the U.S. bailout, Vermont received a historic amount of federal relief and investments to help keep Vermonters safe and healthy, including more than $40 million for community health centers across the country. State and $27 million for vaccine distribution.
BURLINGTON, Vermont, Sept. 21 — Senator Sanders