Grace Health receives half million-dollar grant

Grace Health announced on January 24 that it has received a $496,081 Distance Learning and Telemedicine (DLT) USDA Grant administered by the Rural Utilities Service.

This grant will be used to help Grace Health expand their health care practice to rural communities in the Promise Zone in southeastern Kentucky, including Knox County, as patients will have access to remote diagnosis and treatment.

“Grace Health is using telemedicine to expand services to rural communities that do not have the population and demand to support full-time health care providers. Through telemedicine, one provider will be able to serve multiple rural sites much more effectively without having to deal with extensive travel,” said Grace Health in a press release.

Through the grant, Grace Health will purchase telemedicine equipment and will provide primary care, behavioral health and patient engagement services. Grace Health will purchase and implement telemedicine equipment at 22 total sites, including their health clinic located in the Gray community.

Telemedicine is one way Grace Health is actively working to overcome the lack of health care providers in southeastern Kentucky, which is currently the largest barrier to accessing care. According to the press release, while 43 percent of the population in Kentucky lives in rural areas, only 28 percent of physicians work in rural areas.

“It’s really exciting to announce the USDA Grant that we’ve received for telemedicine,” said CEO Michael Stanley. “This will have a wonderful effect for the service area that we provide service, especially access to health care.”

Grace Health contributed to this release.