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COMMISSIONER MILLER TO RURAL HOSPITALS: HELP IS ON THE WAY (4/17/2020)

AUSTIN – Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller announced his office has secured emergency federal funding to help rural Texas hospitals struggling in the COVI9-10 pandemic. Beginning next Wednesday, April 22, TDA will distribute approximately $90,000 per hospital to over 130 rural hospitals in Texas.

The funding is provided by the federal Small Rural Hospital Improvement Program (SHIP) under the Department of Health and Human Services. The much-needed emergency funding will ease the financial burden local healthcare facilities face as the pandemic continues. Rural hospitals are often the only critical care option for Texans in these communities.

“This money is a lifeline for our rural hospitals and the folks who depend on their medical care,” Commissioner Miller said. “Many of these hospitals have only weeks of funding left and this money will make a huge impact their financial survival. It’s not all they need, but it’s what they need right now.”

TDA’s State Office of Rural Health is dedicated to serving the health needs of rural Texas. SORH staff work with local health care providers, county leaders and state partners to support access to quality health care for rural Texans. Additionally, SORH works to assist rural health providers through a variety of programs including information and referral, assistance with medical license applications, grants and educational awards that are available to individual clinicians, health care institutions and other organizations.

“This money matters to big cities like Austin, Dallas and Houston because if their hospitals reach capacity, rural hospitals are the last line of defense,” Miller said. “Rural hospitals are a vital part of the healthcare capacity for Texas and we’ve got to keep them open. I want to keep the door open to rural hospitals today, tomorrow and forever.”