The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), through the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), has awarded $1,770,657 to Utah to combat the COVID-19 pandemic in rural communities. Specifically, this funding was awarded to the Utah Department of Public Health as an investment to support small rural hospitals in Utah. An additional funding of $828,571 was awarded to the University of Utah, a HRSA-funded Telehealth Resource Center (TRC), to provide technical assistance on telehealth services to help rural and underserved areas combat COVID-19.

“Today’s funding gives rural hospitals in Utah critical support to build up their capacity for fighting COVID-19 in their communities, including through further expansions of telehealth, more purchases of PPE, and boosting testing capacity,” said HHS Secretary Alex Azar. “This funding will build on the historic expansion of telehealth undertaken by the Trump administration to help all Americans in Utah access the care they need during the pandemic.”

HRSA’s Federal Office of Rural Health Policy (FORHP) received $150 million through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act to assist hospitals across the nation, funded through the Small Rural Hospital Improvement Program (SHIP), respond to this public health emergency.

The CARES Act funding allows hospitals maximum flexibility in how they respond to COVID-19 within their communities, including the provision of testing and laboratory services as well as the purchase of personal protective equipment to minimize COVID-19 exposure.

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