Five health clinics that serve rural Idaho communities will receive a total of about $3.6 million in emergency grants to use for costs related to COVID-19 and to continue providing medical care to rural Idahoans, according to a news release Thursday from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Terry Reilly Health Services will receive $1 million in funding for a clinic in Homedale. The grant will expand access in Owyhee County to primary care, dental, behavioral and pharmaceutical care, COVID-19 testing and vaccinations, as well as COVID-19 treatment when available. The nonprofit operates free clinics around southwest Idaho, including its clinic at 108 E. Idaho Ave. in Homedale.
The Nez Perce Tribe will receive $1 million to help pay for construction of a facility that will offer COVID-19 testing and vaccination. It will also provide beds and urgent medical care to tribal and non-tribal patients. Medical centers in the area have “severe overcrowding conditions” and lack bed capacity because of the pandemic, according to the news release. There also will be an assisted living facility near the existing Nimiipuu Health Clinic, the release said. Nimiipuu offers care in Lapwai and Kamiah.
The Adams County Health Center will receive $1 million to replace, upgrade and update its clinic, the only community health center in Adams County. The center was built in 1961. It has an outdated floorplan and “unending astronomical repair costs,” the news release said. The new facility will have more patient care rooms, expanded pharmacy space and room for vision and dental care.E
Valor Health, formerly known as the Walter Knox Memorial Hospital, will receive $447,325 to help reimburse losses resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. The Emmett hospital will use the money for costs associated with COVID-19 and to support staffing, equipment, supplies and overall health care.
The Shoshone-Bannock Tribe will receive $112,475 to establish monoclonal antibody treatments for COVID-19 at the Shoshone-Bannock Community Health Center in Fort Hall. The grant will pay for medical personnel, medical testing supplies, an ultrasound machine that can screen for blood clots, a laptop and other supplies.
“These Emergency Rural Health Care Grants are monumental for Idaho and the impacted communities who will now be able to build, renovate, and equip their health facilities as a result of this support,” Rudy Soto, USDA Rural Development director for Idaho, said. “These grants are going to meaningfully improve the health and well-being of rural Idahoans that have long lacked access to high-quality and reliable healthcare services.”