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

“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:

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