MARTIN (October 7) — The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) is investing more than $600,000 in funding to help rural Northwest Tennessee residents gain access to telemedicine and distance-learning opportunities.
Locally, Carey Counseling Center, Inc. will use a $328,433 USDA grant to provide mental health services in eight locations within six rural counties of Northwest Tennessee.
The project will enable residents of rural Northwest Tennessee to see their mental health professional even if they are not available in their local office that day. This opens more appointment times since the practitioner can see clients from other locations.
The program helps health-care and education institutions buy the equipment and software necessary to deploy distance-learning and telemedicine services to rural residents.
Additionally, it will provide telemedicine for the school nurse to properly diagnose illnesses and support low-income families.
“Increasing access to telemedicine and distance learning is critical to building healthier and more resilient rural communities,” said U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue. “Paired with our monumental effort to expand high-speed broadband access in rural America, these investments will help rural health care centers and education institutions reach more rural residents with essential services and opportunities. Under the leadership of President Trump, USDA is committed to being a strong partner to rural communities because when rural America thrives, all of America thrives.”
Secretary Perdue announced the USDA is investing $72 million in grants to help 12 million rural residents gain access to health care and educational opportunities in 40 States, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands
Tennessee Rural Development State Director Jim Tracy announced more than $2 million in funding will benefit residents of rural west Tennessee.
“The expansion of rural education and health care access significantly advances the quality of life for students and residents,” Tracy said. “Today’s investments will allow citizens in rural areas to take advantage of telemedicine and distance-learning opportunities that would otherwise not be available.”