American Rescue Plan Act: Emergency Rural Health Care Grants

Emergency Rural Health Care Grants provides critical grant funding to support rural communities’ health care needs in the face of COVID–19. The program will provide emergency funding for eligible Community Facilities applicants to help rural hospitals and local communities increase access to COVID-19 vaccines, testing, healthcare services (including telehealth), and food assistance. This program is designed for essential Community Facilities located in rural areas, primarily serving rural areas, and serving populations with median household income that is lower than ninety percent of the State nonmetropolitan median household income. Grants will be awarded in two tracks:

Track One–Recovery Grants provide immediate relief to address the economic conditions arising from the COVID-19 emergency. This Track seeks to:

  • Increase capacity for vaccine distribution
  • Provide medical supplies and equipment to increase medical surge capacity
  • Reimburse for healthcare related lost revenue used to maintain capacity during the coronavirus pandemic
  • Increase telehealth capabilities, including underlying healthcare information systems
  • Construct temporary or permanent structures to provide healthcare services
  • Support staffing needs for testing and/or vaccine administration
  • Support facilities, equipment, and operating expenses associated with food banks and food distribution facilities

Track Two–Impact Grants advance ideas and solutions to solve regional rural health care problems to support the long-term sustainability of rural health. This Track seeks to:

  • Establish or scale a regional partnership or consortium of community leaders and healthcare partners to plan, implement, and evaluate a model(s) to support solving regional healthcare problems and promote the long-term sustainability of rural healthcare
  • Establish or scale an evidence-based model and disseminate lessons learned for possible replication in other small communities and regions
  • Identify a health-related problem within the applicant’s region, develop and implement a method and solution to overcome the problem, and conduct a program evaluation to examine health related outcomes, long-term sustainability, and replicability
  • Establish a methodology to calculate summary impact measures or an estimated return on investment for the grant funds requested
  • Cover the cost of technical assistance to assist with one or more aspects of project implementation, project evaluation, data sharing, and reporting requirements
  • Cover indirect costs in an amount up to a federally-negotiated indirect cost rate

Note: Two informational webinars will be held, on August 19, 2021 and August 25, 2021. See solicitation for details.

Applicants may request and receive assistance under both Track One and Track Two awards.

Amount: An estimated total of $500,000,000 is available for both Track One and Two awards. Track One awards range from $25,000–$1,000,000 for a project period of up to 3 years. Track Two awards range from $5,000,000–$10,000,000 for a project period of up to 3 years; no more than 15 Track Two awards will be made.

Note: A match is required. An applicant is limited in the amount of grant funds that can be requested to assist a facility, depending on the population to be served and the median household income of that population. Facilities and projects must demonstrate other sources of funds to fund the remaining portion of project costs. In these cases, grant assistance will be provided on a graduated scale with smaller communities with the lowest median household income being eligible for a higher proportion of grant funds. Grant funds will be limited to:

  • Up to 75% for projects located in a rural community having a population of 5,000 or fewer, with median household income of the population to be served below the poverty line or 60% of the State nonmetropolitan median household income, whichever is greater.
  • Up to 55% for projects located in a rural community having a population of 12,000 or fewer, with median household income of the population to be served below the poverty line or 70% of the State nonmetropolitan median household income, whichever is greater.
  • Up to 35% for projects located in a rural community having a population of 20,000 or fewer, with median household income of the population to be served below the poverty line or 80% of the State nonmetropolitan median household income, whichever is greater.
  • Up to 15% for projects located in a rural community having a population of 20,000 or fewer, with median household income of the population to be served below the poverty line or 90% of the state nonmetropolitan median household income, whichever is greater.

Eligibility: Eligible applicants include Public bodies, Community-based nonprofit corporations and associations, and Federally recognized tribes. Eligible rural areas include cities, villages, towns, townships, and federally-recognized tribal lands with no more than 20,000 residents as determined by the most recent U.S. Census Data. See solicitation for details.

Note: Track Two applicants also must establish a network or group of entities that consist of healthcare provider organizations, economic development entities, federally-recognized tribes, and/or institutions of higher education.

Deadline: October 12, 2021

Resource Information
Funder U.S. Department of Agriculture
Eligibility Local Government, Nonprofit Organization, State Government, Tribal Government
Resource URL: https://www.rd.usda.gov/erhc
Sector COVID-19 Emergency Response, Health
Grant Amount $25,000 - $1,000,000
Deadline October 12, 2021