The U.S. Department of Agriculture is investing $3 million in grant funding to help connect rural residents to telemedicine care and distance learning opportunities across the Palmetto State.
The S.C. Department of Corrections is set to receive $995,129 in funding for health services including substance abuse and mental health treatment via a medical cart, housing unit laptop or videoconferencing meeting room. More than 15,000 inmates across 16 counties will benefit from the grant, according to a news release.
The USDA also gifted $431,278 to the University of South Carolina for equipment used in distance and two-way learning networks across six rural counties.
Northeastern Technical College received $750,000 to for videoconferencing technology in use in four rural hub campuses and a correctional institution across Chesterfield, Marlboro and Dillon counties, according to a release, along with $850,00 to be used for STEM distance learning courses broadcast across the school’s four college campuses, eight high schools and a technology center through a dual enrollment program.
“Increasing access to telemedicine and distance learning is critical to building healthier and more resilient rural communities,” Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue said in the release. “Paired with our monumental effort to expand high-speed broadband access in rural America, these investments will help rural health care centers and education institutions reach more rural residents with essential services and opportunities. Under the leadership of President Trump, USDA is committed to being a strong partner to rural communities because when rural America thrives, all of America thrives.”
South Carolina’s projects are four of 116 distance learning and telemedicine initiatives launched across the country via the USDA grant program.p