WAUTOMA, Wis., October 25, 2021 – U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Wisconsin Rural Development Acting State Director Michelle Wallace announced that USDA is investing $50 million investment in 105 rural distance learning and telemedicine projects in 37 states and Puerto Rico to help 7.6 Million people in rural areas.

“Information technology is critical to rural Wisconsin and bringing specialized medical programs to rural areas will save lives,” Wallace said. “USDA is pleased to support Waushara county in its endeavor to increase the quality of life for its residents.”

Waushara County Emergency Medical Services Department will use a $213,000 grant to connect seven fixed rural station locations (the main Waushara County location, four station locations and two posting locations) and outfit seven ambulance and truck vehicles with mobile hotspots and mobile telehealth video conferencing systems for emergency medical services (EMS) telemedicine services while in the field. The vehicles will be outfitted with telemedicine systems and mobile hot spot boosters for connectivity so that ambulances in the field can, in real time, respond to calls and incidents and then connect live with healthcare providers to improve efficiency and support services for patients. At each of these fixed sites, video conferencing technology solutions will be installed to enable real-time, live, interactive training and education initiatives via distance learning. The project will benefit approximately 25,000 rural residents.

This award is being funded through USDA’s Distance Learning and Telemedicine (DLT) program. This program helps fund distance learning and telemedicine services in rural areas to increase access to education, training and health care resources that are otherwise limited or unavailable.

USDA Rural Development provides loans and grants to help expand economic opportunities and create jobs in rural areas. This assistance supports infrastructure improvements; business development; housing; community facilities such as schools, public safety and health care; and high-speed internet access in rural areas. For more information, visit www.rd.usda.gov/wi, call us at 715-345-7600 or email [email protected].

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