Foundation for Rural Service Ends the Year by Awarding Grants

Foundation for Rural Service Ends the Year by Awarding Grants

Tis the giving season, so how appropriate to have our Foundation for Rural Service (FRS) making some end-of-year grant awards that continue to reinforce the foundation’s mission of supporting rural America and rural communities.
I just got off the phone from a call with our team, along with the office of the White House Rural Council, talking about some next steps for working together on telemedicine initiatives so it was fitting that one of the FRS grants went to the Graham County Hospital in Hill City, Kan., for this rural critical access hospital to purchase a device to enable telemedicine to assist trauma and stroke patients. Graham County Hospital is a rural, 20-bed center located in a county where over 25% of the population is over 65 years old. It is located over 240 miles away from the nearest Level 1 hospital and over 130 miles away from the nearest Level 2 hospital, which means that expert help is hard to come by for a patient suffering through a stroke when time is really of the essence. With the FRS grant, the hospital will now be able to enable telemedicine with the purchase of a Polycom Eagle Eye Camera. When activated, the camera will allow a specialty physician from another hospital to help provide direction and guidance to the local staff. Kudos to Nex-Tech for working with the community to enable this request. I’m looking forward to some great stories of success. Telemedicine also must have been the theme for Nex-Tech and FRS since another award went to the Trego County-Lemke Memorial Hospital in WaKeeney, Kan., for the ability to upgrade their equipment to enable their telemedicine relationship with a mental health facility so that they can continue to offer critical services to folks living in their community. Other supported grants included technology for high-school students via laptops. The students, in turn, agree to work on projects benefitting community development under an effort called “Reinvent Horton,” which has connected local high schools students in Horton, Kan., with local development efforts as the students work to create and maintain local business websites and share their technology skills with others in the community. This project was supported by Rainbow Communications and really struck me how proactive the folks in Kansas were to ensure that some of these grants came their way! All terrific projects that make a difference where NTCA members live, work and raise their families.

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