WASHINGTON D.C. (KNWA/KFTA) — The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced Tuesday that it is providing Arkansas with $9,043,160 to support COVID response efforts in rural areas through the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA).
The funding through the Small Rural Hospital Improvement Program (SHIP) will go to 35 small rural hospitals in Arkansas for COVID-19 testing and mitigation.
“The Biden Administration recognizes the important role that small rural hospitals have in closing the equity gap and ensuring that rural Americans can protect themselves and their communities from COVID-19,” said HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra. “Today’s funding will help small rural hospitals continue to serve their communities in this critical role by expanding their COVID-19 testing capacity and mitigation efforts.”
The Arkansas Department of Health will receive the funding to distribute to 35 eligible small rural hospitals across the state.
HHS officials said hospitals will use the funds to maintain or increase COVID-19 testing, expand access to testing for rural residents, and tailor mitigation efforts to reflect the needs of local communities.