Distance Learning and Telemedicine Grants Awarded in 7th District

Nov 17, 2009

(WASHINGTON, DC) - U.S. Rep. Collin Peterson today announced that three projects in his district have been selected to receive Distance Learning and Telemedicine grants through USDA Rural Development. The funding will increase educational opportunities and access to quality healthcare in rural areas.

“These projects show how rural organizations are finding innovative ways to overcome budget gaps and use existing resources to better serve their people,” Peterson said.

“The Obama Administration is committed to providing access to modern healthcare services and quality education options in rural areas,” USDA Rural Development State Director Colleen Landkamer said. “These distance learning and telemedicine grants help deliver these opportunities by expanding telecommunications, educational resources and computer networks in rural communities.”

The following organizations in Minnesota ’s Seventh District were awarded funding:

• Lakes Country Service Cooperative in Fergus Falls was awarded $475,803 to connect 22 schools, a technical college and two educational service cooperatives with video conferencing equipment. The grant allows the schools, college and cooperative to share resources, provide access to new content, improve learning outcomes, reduce dropout rates and provide professional development services. The project impacts the following counties: Otter Tail, Traverse, Polk, Pennington, Isanti, Clay, Pine, Grant, Wilkin, Stevens, Koochiching, Red Lake , Kittson, Kanabec and Chisago.

• The Mahnomen Health Center was awarded $69,573 to connect the health center on the White Earth Indian Reservation with remote hospitals using telemedicine equipment. The equipment will be used to analyze and evaluate heart disease and diabetes on the reservation.

• MACCRAY public schools was awarded $346,904 to connect 19 schools to the Little Crow telemedia network and the Minnesota Valley Education District. The project will provide access to post-secondary education, share resources and complement the Minnesota World class Student Initiative. The project impacts the following counties: McLeod, Chippewa, Meeker, Stearns, Swift, Renville, Lac Qui Parle, Lyon , Kandiyohi, Big Stone and Yellow Medicine.

For more information on USDA Rural Development in Minnesota , visit www.rurdev.usda.gov/mn. For more information on the Distance Learning and Telemedicine Grant program, visit https://www.usda.gov/rus/telecom/dlt/dlt.htm.