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January 18, 2018

Senator Doug Jones Announces $1.1 Million in Distance Learning & Telemedicine Grants for Alabama


Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Doug Jones (D-Ala.) today announced United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) grants totaling $1,105,247 to support distance learning and telemedicine in Alabama. The USDA’s Distance Learning and Telemedicine (DLT) program helps rural communities leverage technology to expand access to job training, educational, and health care opportunities.

“These grants can help provide a lifeline to health care for Alabama’s rural communities,” said Senator Jones. “By using cutting-edge technology like telemedicine, we can better serve some of our most vulnerable Alabamians and expand access to quality health care, no matter where you live. I’ll continue to advocate for these kinds of 21st century solutions to rural Alabama’s unique needs.”

The DLT program invests in equipment that uses broadband to help rural communities connect to educational and health care services. These vital services are essential to a high quality of life and enable communities to overcome the effects of remoteness and low population density by connecting them to the rest of the world through high-speed internet.

Alabama received three of the 72 grants awarded today by the USDA, which totaled $23.6 million.

The details of each project are in the following chart:

Recipient

Amount

Project Description

The Bibb County Healthcare Authority

$480,706

Rural Development funds will help the Bibb County Healthcare Authority purchase distance learning and telemedicine equipment to provide enhanced medical and teaching services. The project will benefit one hub and eight end-user sites in three communities by providing computer servers, video conferencing units, laptops and software. Bibb Medical Center facilities will be able to access remote resources, including trauma and specialty care, along with continuing medical education. This project will also provide health and wellness education to residents at the county's assisted-living community and provide increased access to clinical care for inmates at the county jail. Bibb County Schools will be able to create new learning opportunities for their students and professional development for their teachers. They will be able to share resources and provide career technical courses, advanced math, music and reading intervention. The distance learning technology will also be utilized for adult education.

University of Alabama at Birmingham

$495,877

Rural Development funds will help establish a telehealth network to connect the University to various hospitals and medical centers across the state. The network will connect patients and providers to deliver telemedicine programs across the medical spectrum, from low-acuity ailments to electronic intensive care units, telestroke care, rare genetic diseases, transplant care and pediatric specialties. The network also will be used for professional training and continuing education.

University of Alabama

$128,664

Rural Development funds will bring telemedicine capacity to Pickens County. The telemedicine equipment will provide a direct, two-way link between Pickens County ambulances and the Pickens County Medical Center's Emergency Department. Medical oversight training will also be provided by the Alabama Department of Public Health's State EMS program.

 

 

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