Panhandle Rural hospitals receive government funding for COVID-19 testing and prevention

They can receive up to $250,000 with the allocated funds
They can receive up to $250,000 with the allocated funds(kfda)
Published: Jul. 19, 2021 at 6:21 PM CDT
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AMARILLO, Texas (KFDA) - Rural hospitals in the Panhandle are receiving funds through the Small Rural Hospital Improvement Program (SHIP) to get more COVID-19 testing and support in prevention strategies.

The Health Resources and Services Administration gave over 29 million dollars to be distributed by the State Office of Rural Health Care to 115 rural hospitals in Texas.

Their goal is to close the equity gap in services that small hospitals are able to provide against COVID-19.

“If you feel like you’re having symptoms, lets bring you in here and get you tested,” said Jeff Barnhart, CEO of the Deaf-Smith County Hospital District. “That’s where the SHIP money is gonna help us with the cost. We are able to send some to the state, but you know COVID testing is not cheap.”

There are over 10 hospitals in the Panhandle region receiving these funds, and they can get up to $250,000.

This will greatly help rural hospital’s efforts as other hospitals experienced financial hardship providing these services.

“We still have hospitals filing bankruptcy across our state,” said Sid Miller, Commissioner of the Texas Department of Agriculture. “We’re trying to stop that. This will help with these rural hospitals and able to get them some funds they desperately need.”

The Parmer Medical Center is ready to receive these funds to promote awareness for COVID-19 testing and education.

“We’re looking at doing some local radio ads, putting some educational materials out there, so we’re looking at a lot of options,” said Gayla Quillin, CEO of Parmer Medical Center.

To qualify as a small rural hospital they must have under 50 beds and the funds will be given until the end of the year.

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