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News State / Region $1.5M to improve access to education, health care in NC rural areas

United States Senator Kay R. Hagan (NC) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has announced that North Carolina will receive more than $1.5 million to improve access to health care and educational services in rural communities.

“Nearly half of all North Carolinians live in rural areas,” said Hagan. ”We need to make sure that people in all corners of our state have access to the same educational opportunities and medical care available in metropolitan areas. This funding will help rural schools prepare students for success in the 21st century economy and ensure that residents in these areas have access to the quality, affordable health care they need and deserve.”

The USDA funding will support six distance learning and telemedicine projects across the state. For example, James Sprunt Community College in Duplin County will receive a $192,870 grant that will enable faculty to offer college-level and advanced placement courses to a network of five surrounding high schools.

The East Carolina University School of Dental Medicine will receive $392,748 to expand their rural residency program by implementing a telemedicine system. The system will allow dental residents to receive academic lessons via teledentistry equipment while working at four rural clinics in underserved areas of Eastern North Carolina.

A full list of NC grant recipients is below.

• East Carolina University – $392,748

• James Sprunt Community College – $192,870

• The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill – $81,324

• Mission Healthcare Foundation, Inc. – $419,351

• Easter Seals UCP North Carolina & Virginia, Inc. – $251,235

• Sampson Regional Medical Center, Inc. – $169,852 Funding is provided through the USDA Distance Learning and Telemedicine (DLT) Program.


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