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RANGELY — Gov. Bill Ritter announced that the Colorado Rural Health Care Grant Council has awarded just more than $1.9 million in the inaugural round of grants to strengthen health care delivery in Colorado’s rural communities.
The Rangely District Hospital received $50,000 to improve its physical plant.
“As we continue toward our goal of providing access to high quality, affordable health care to all Coloradans, it is critical that we support our rural communities,” said Gov. Ritter. “I am thrilled to announce this first round of grants which will make an immediate and significant impact in improving access to and quality of care from Alamosa to Yuma.”
The Council awarded 52 grants ranging from $1,600 to $50,000 to physical, mental and oral health care providers in 34 Colorado counties for infrastructure projects.
Grantees include Federally Qualified Health Centers, rural hospitals, public health departments, public and private health clinics and school-based health centers. The grants will support construction and remodeling projects, equipment and supplies, staff training, transportation and health information technology.
“United Healthcare is committed to investing in a healthier Colorado and expanding quality health care services to rural communities throughout the state,” said Beth Soberg CEO, United Healthcare of Colorado. “We do this by offering products and services that address access to affordable health care for all Coloradans, and also through grants to diverse community health organizations statewide that will help improve the health care delivery system for everyone, including under-served populations.”
The Colorado Rural Health Care Grant Program was established in August 2007, and is funded with a $7.5 million gift to the State of Colorado from United Healthcare, which will be distributed throughout six years.
The Colorado Rural Health Care Grant Council is co-chaired by Colorado’s Chief Medical Officer Dr. Ned Calonge and United Healthcare’s Market Medical Director Dr. Jacqueline Stiff and includes health care consumers, rural health care providers, and representatives from the Governor’s Office, Division of Insurance at the Department of Regulatory Affairs, Department of Health Care Policy and Financing and Department of Local Affairs. The Colorado Rural Health Center, Colorado’s non-profit state office of rural health, administers the grant program.