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Rural Wyomingites in the education and health care industries are encouraged to apply for the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Distance Learning and Telemedicine grant by April 10.

This program helps rural communities connect to each other and to the world, overcoming some of the disadvantages of remote locations and low populations.

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Grants of $50,000 to $1 million are available to state and local government entities, tribes, nonprofits, for-profits and other organizations. The money may be used for:

  • Computer hardware and software
  • Site licenses and maintenance contracts
  • Extended warranties
  • Audio and video equipment
  • Computer network components
  • Telecommunications terminal equipment
  • Data terminal equipment
  • Interactive audio and video equipment
  • Inside wiring
  • Broadband facilities

A 15 percent match is required.

Recent Wyoming recipients of the grant include Care United Medical Center of Laramie, which allowed a local care center to establish a primary care network at 21 rural pharmacy sites throughout the state. The project improved health care access for about 90,000 people.

The Northern Arapahoe Tribe used a Distance Learning and Telemedicine grant to install telehealth resources for diabetes care and education, behavioral substance misuse counseling and treatment and other specialty medical care not locally available.

For more information about the program, register for an informational webinar on Feb. 27 or  March 3. You can also call Wyoming Field Representative Joe Bradley at 208-401-8090, or email him at [email protected].

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