Washington, DC – U.S. Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer and U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand today announced $474,258 in federal funding to the Arc, Oneida-Lewis Chapter. The grant was provided by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development Distance Learning and Telemedicine program.
The funds will be used to purchase telemedicine equipment, including computer servers, bridges, video conferencing equipment, and software. The telemedicine services will connect Utica with 25 residential and day service end-user sites in rural areas of Oneida and Lewis Counties. This investment will provide access to specialized medical professionals and services not available in those areas, and eliminate travel from rural areas to urban medical centers. The project is estimated to serve over 2,500 individuals with disabilities.
“This federal investment is good news for residents and medical professionals in the Mohawk Valley and Northern New York,” said Senator Schumer. “These federal funds will promote public health, provide better access to medical professionals and services that are not always available in rural areas and serve more than 2,500 residents. I am proud to announce this federal investment and will continue to fight to make sure that our communities have the tools they need to grow and prosper.”
“Through this investment, the Arc, Oneida-Lewis Chapter will be able to more easily direct care to local residents,” said Senator Gillibrand. “The telemedicine equipment will help reduce one of the largest barriers that New Yorkers face by providing access to specialized medical care, and making it easier for patients in rural areas to speak with professionals without the added stress of having to travel to a different location.”
USDA Rural Development Distance Learning and Telemedicine Grants aim to provide access to education, training, and health care resources for rural Americans. The grants can be used to purchase equipment such as transmission facilities, audio equipment, interactive video equipment, and computer hardware, as well as technical assistance for using eligible equipment. More information can be found here.