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Breaking Down the American Rescue Plan’s Emergency Rural Health Care Grant Program

Breaking Down the American Rescue Plan’s Emergency Rural Health Care Grant Program

The American Rescue Plan Act opened up two new categories of Emergency Rural Health Care Grants, which will provide up to $500 million to community-based nonprofit healthcare organizations and federally recognized tribes. The purpose of these grants is to help rural organizations increase access to much-needed healthcare services — including telehealth. If your organization has been impacted by COVID-19 and seeks to expand or improve services, these grants may be a good fit for you.

The two grant tracks: Recovery Grants and Impact Grants

The Emergency Rural Health Grant program is awarding grants in two main tracks: Recovery Grants and Impact Grants.

Track one: Recovery Grants

Recovery Grants must be used in connection with the COVID-19 pandemic to support health care needs in your community. In your application, you can request grant funding to address one or more of the following categories:

  • Vaccine distribution
  • Medical supplies and equipment for medical surge
  • Reimbursement for healthcare-related revenue loss during the pandemic
  • Telehealth expansion
  • Construction or renovation of healthcare facilities
  • Staffing for testing or vaccine administration

Track two: Impact Grants

Impact Grants must be used in connection with the COVID-19 pandemic and to support long-term, sustainable healthcare services — including the development of holistic healthcare programs (that blend behavioral care and other medical services), the expansion of telehealth services, and more. In your application, you can request funding for:

  • Establishing a regional partnership to implement a model that supports the long-term sustainability of rural healthcare
  • Establishing an evidence-based model that organizations in your community can replicate
  • Identifying a health-related problem within your community and developing a solution
  • Establishing a methodology to calculate impact measures
  • Covering the cost of technical assistance necessary for project implementation
  • Paying professional service fees associated with the grant request

Key program dates and details

Here are some of the key details of the Emergency Rural Health Care Grant program:

  • Applications for grant awards are due October 12, 2021
  • Recovery Grant awardees will receive between $25,000 and $1 million
  • Impact Grant awardees will receive between $5 million and $10 million
  • The Recovery Grant period is expected to begin around November 1, 2021, and last approximately 36 months
  • The Impact Grant period is expected to begin around January 1, 2022, and last approximately 36 months

Please read the Recovery Grant application guide and the Impact Grant application guide for more information.

What Recovery Grant applicants need to submit in their application

Each Recovery Grant application must include the following:

  • A summary page including the intended funding track, applicant name, amount of grant request, and project description
  • A detailed table of contents
  • A completed “Application for Federal Assistance” form (SF-424)
  • A completed “Budget Information — Non-Construction Programs” form (SF-424A) or “Budget Information — Construction Programs” form (SF-424C)
  • Organizational documents demonstrating eligibility (view the full list of required documents on page six of the application guide)
  • Additional evidence of eligibility that demonstrates that your healthcare organization primarily serves rural areas
  • A complete budget narrative

For more information about necessary application materials, please see section three of the Recovery Grant application guide.

What Impact Grant applicants need to submit in their application

Each Impact Grant application must include the following:

  • A summary page including the intended funding track, applicant name, amount of grant request, and project description
  • A detailed table of contents
  • A completed “Application for Federal Assistance” form (SF-424)
  • A completed “Budget Information — Non-Construction Programs” form (SF-424A) or “Budget Information — Construction Programs” form (SF-424C)
  • Organizational documents demonstrating eligibility (view the full list of required documents on page six of the application guide)
  • Additional evidence of eligibility that demonstrates that your healthcare organization primarily serves rural areas
  • A complete budget narrative

For more information about necessary application materials, please see section three of the Impact Grant application guide.

How your organization can apply to this grant program

Before your organization officially submits your application, make sure you’ve read the Notice of Funds Availability (NOFA) and reviewed the materials on the program webpage.

Contact your state’s Rural Development office and submit the materials outlined above when you’re ready to submit your application.

For more detailed information about the materials you’ll need to submit, please refer to the Recovery Grant application checklist and the Impact Grant application checklist.

The Emergency Rural Health Care Grant program is a perfect fit for healthcare organizations located in rural, underserved areas looking to impact their communities and improve their services in the wake of COVID-19. It also offers some excellent opportunities for organizations to incorporate or expand telepsychiatry services into their behavioral health programs. If your organization is interested in learning more about how telepsychiatry can supplement and improve your services, contact Iris Telehealth today — we’re always here to help.

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