Juneau, Alaska (KINY) - As part of a USDA program that seeks to improve health care facilities in rural towns across the nation, Southcentral Foundation is slated to receive funding to construct a clinic in Takotna.
On Thursday morning, Xochitl Torres Small, U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development Under Secretary, announced that USDA is awarding $74 million in grants to improve health care facilities in rural towns.
A release from the USDA said the grants will help 143 rural health care organizations expand critical services for 3 million people in 37 states, Guam and Puerto Rico. The investments include $32 million for 67 rural health care organizations to help more than 1 million people living in socially vulnerable communities.
The $1 million in funding going to Southcentral will be used to construct a health care clinic and provide medical equipment and supplies to deliver primary medical services in Takotna.
"Travel to and from Takotna is conducted via plane on the nearby state-owned 3,300-foot gravel airstrip, and by snow machine, or dogsled during the winter, from McGrath, 17 miles east. Approximately 80 miles of local roads connect Takotna to a former Air Force station, a cargo landing along the river, and mines. The previous health clinic was destroyed by fire, so the community currently relies on a temporary clinic. The nearest hospital is 235 air miles away in Anchorage, Alaska," the project description reads.
USDA will announce additional awardees for Emergency Rural Health Care Grants in the coming weeks and months
Emergency Rural Healthcare Grants were created by the USDA last year after the passage of the American Rescue Plan Act.