WASHINGTON, D.C. (KFOR) — The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is providing Oklahoma more than $9 million to support COVID-19 response efforts in rural areas.
Funding through the Small Rural Hospital Improvement Program (SHIP) will go to 35 small rural hospitals in Oklahoma for COVID-19 testing and mitigation, according to the agency.
“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.”
HHS officials said the State Offices of Rural Health, an organization working with small rural hospitals to implement quality and operational improvement efforts, will receive the funding to distribute to eligible small rural hospitals in their state.
According to the agency, 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.
To learn more about the Small Rural Hospital Improvement Program, click here.