WASHINGTON - U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Tina Smith (D-MN) and Representative Tom Emmer (R-MN-06), announced that the USDA has awarded CentraCare Health System a $234,648 grant to expand telehealth services across central Minnesota. 

This project will help improve access to critical medical services by placing video equipment at ten clinics across nine counties. It is estimated to help an additional 2,000 patients over a two-year project period. 

"Investments in education and health care are essential to improving communities across our state," Klobuchar said. "This funding will help CentraCare address physician shortages in rural areas by establishing greater access to care through telemedicine for patients in nine Minnesota counties.”

“When I meet with families, farmers, businesses and community leaders in rural Minnesota, one of the first issues that comes up is health care,” Smith said. “I’m glad that the USDA is helping rural Minnesota take on health care challenges by harnessing telehealth technology. As a leader of the Senate Rural Health Caucus I’ll keep working to address the unique needs of rural America.”

“I was proud to write a letter to Secretary Perdue in June advocating for this incredibly important grant. Access to health care should not be hindered by where you choose to live. Telemedicine is an innovative and important tool to treat patients where they are, and for rural communities, it is vital. This grant provides Minnesotans the care they deserve and the access they need. I am glad to see these important telemedicine stations being implemented in my district," Emmer said.

Learn more here about the grant here.