Cantwell Announces Over $1 Million in Grants to Expand Access to Health Care in Okanogan, Renton, and Northwest Washington
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA) today announced that a total of $1,089,770 in grants have been awarded to Family Health Centers, HealthPoint, and Skagit Regional Health to expand access to telehealth services for patients in underserved communities throughout Okanogan, Renton and Northwest Washington.
“Telehealth is essential to enabling access to medical advice during the COVID-19 crisis. These telehealth grants awarded to Family Health Centers, HealthPoint, and Skagit Regional Health will help connect more Washingtonians to life-saving care,” said Senator Cantwell.
Family Health Centers (Okanogan)
Family Health Centers was awarded $212,164 to purchase laptops, phones, headsets, and take-home monitoring devices to help patients in a community with a large population of Hispanic migrants that experienced high rates of COVID-19 avoid unnecessary in-person clinic visits.
HealthPoint was awarded $839,091 for telehealth devices, including laptops and webcams, that support healthcare providers in conducting video consultations, provide remote treatment for patients unable to attend in-person visits due to COVID-19, and allow patients to make a HIPAA-compliant telehealth appointments via a secure network.
Skagit Regional Health (Northwest Washington)
Skagit Regional Health was awarded $38,515 for videoconferencing software that will facilitate secure provider visits with patients.
The grants were awarded through the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) COVID-19 Telehealth Program. The program was first established in the 2020 CARES Act. Additional funds were appropriated by Congress as part of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021.
Senator Cantwell is a strong proponent of telehealth and has long stressed the need for comprehensive broadband infrastructure to support telehealth services. In August 2020, Cantwell joined her Senate colleagues in a letter to the FCC urging them to increase funding for the Rural Health Care (RHC) Program, which supports access to telehealth services in hard-to-reach and economically depressed communities. Since the pandemic began, Cantwell has announced more than $6.6 million in funding for telehealth services to health care entities throughout Washington state. At a Senate Commerce Committee hearing in May 2020 on the state of broadband infrastructure in America, Senator Cantwell emphasized the importance of telehealth healthcare services throughout the COVID-19 crisis.
The full list of round three awardees can be found HERE.
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