Money available for distance learning, telemedicine projects
United States Department of Agriculture
Agriculture Secretary Ann M. Veneman recently announced the availability of $27 million in grants and $300 million in loans for distance learning and telemedicine projects serving rural America. The deadline for applications is May 13, 2002, for grants and August 31, 2002, for loans or combination loans and grants.
“These loans will help provide important resources to strengthen distance learning and telemedicine programs for rural America,” said Veneman.
“Innovation and technology are helping bring new resources to rural communities and can improve educational opportunities and health care.”
The DLT program, administered by Rural Development’s Rural Utilities Service, finances equipment to expand the resources available to students and opportunities for improved medical service in isolated rural areas.
Distance learning enables students in such areas to participate in enriched classes such as virtual field trips, college preparatory and foreign language classes.
Telemedicine technology makes it possible for doctors to examine and direct the treatment of patients without being physically present. Since the program’s beginning in 1993, USDA has invested more than $125 million in more than 400 DLT projects, bringing better quality health care and education to thousands of rural Americans.
Information on the Distance Learning and Telemedicine Program for 2002 is available at http://www.usda.gov/rus/telecom/dlt/dlt.htm. Included at this site are the Application Guide and the Federal Register Notice. Applications must be submitted before the deadline to the Rural Utilities Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW, STOP 1550, Washington, DC 20250-1550. They will be processed on a first-come, first-served basis.