Nearly $500,000 has been awarded to the Arc, Oneida-Lewis Chapter to help develop its telehealth program, said U.S. Sens. Charles E. Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand.
The $474,258 federal grant will be used to purchase telemedicine equipment to connect Utica with 25 residential and day service sites in Oneida and Lewis counties. The investment will provide access to specialized medical professionals and services not available in those areas, and eliminate travel from rural areas to urban medical centers.
The project is estimated to serve more than 2,500 individuals with disabilities.
The award was provided by the U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development Distance Learning and Telemedicine program.
“This federal investment is good news for residents and medical professionals in the Mohawk Valley and Northern New York,” said Schumer in a news release. “These federal funds will promote public health, provide better access to medical professionals and services that are not always available in rural areas.”
The USDA is awarding a total of $23.6 million to 72 organizations nationwide for the purchase of equipment that uses broadband to help rural communities connect to educational and health-care services.
“Through this investment, the Arc, Oneida-Lewis Chapter will be able to more easily direct care to local residents,” said Gillibrand. “The telemedicine equipment will help reduce one of the largest barriers that New Yorkers face by providing access to specialized medical care, and making it easier for patients in rural areas to speak with professionals without the added stress of having to travel to a different location.”