November 21, 2022

Merkley, Wyden Announce $800,000 for Rural Emergency Health Care Services in Oregon

Washington, D.C. – Oregon’s U.S. Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden announced today that Oregon will receive $801,300 from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Emergency Rural Health Care Grant program to support organizations and facilities across Oregon provide vital emergency rural health care and food assistance to rural communities.

“These grants awarded to Oregon will help provide crucial support in ensuring Oregon’s rural families have access to the health care and food on the table they need to thrive,” said Merkley, a member of the appropriations subcommittee that funds the USDA. “These funds from USDA will help ensure rural Oregon communities get the resources they need to stay healthy.”

“These funds to strengthen health care and fight hunger are lifelines for rural Oregonians counting on local hospitals and organizations in their communities for help,” Wyden said. “I’m glad these federal grants are heading to our state, and I’ll keep battling for similar federal investments that bolster rural quality of life throughout Oregon.”

The USDA Emergency Rural Health Care program provides up to $500 million in grant funding to help broaden access to COVID-19 testing and vaccines, rural health care services, and food assistance through food banks and food distribution facilities. 

Award information can be found below:

1.      Harney District Hospital: $273,400 to purchase and install a laboratory chemistry analyzer and medication dispensing system to improve the hospital's ability to provide quick, reliable testing to detect medical conditions related to the long-term effects of COVID-19.

2.      Brookings Harbor Community Helpers: $250,200 to support increased staffing including the hiring of a bilingual interpreter and advocate to bridge the gap with the Hispanic community.

3.      Columbia Memorial Hospital: $113,000 to upgrade the hospital’s heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems and create a new cold storage to increase vaccine storage capabilities.

4.      Grande Ronde Hospital: $88,200 to ensure they have the needed funds to purchase hospital equipment and enhance its capabilities to respond to COVID-19 by providing enhanced medical services.

5.      Florence Food Share: $48,600 to help fund increased staffing costs related to the COVID pandemic.

6.      Harney County Senior and Community Services Center (HCSC): $27,900 to purchase a refrigerated food truck, a commercial freezer, and transportable coolers for their food pantry.