Distance Learning and Telemedicine Loans and Grants

To encourage and improve the use of telemedicine, telecommunications, computer networks, and related advanced technologies to provide educational and medical benefits through distance learning and telemedicine projects to people living in rural areas and to improve rural opportunities.

credit: Healthy People 2020

Examples of Funded Projects

Fiscal Year 2017: No Current Data Available Fiscal Year 2018: No Current Data Available Fiscal Year 2019: No Current Data Available


Agency - Department of Agriculture

Established in 1862, the Department of Agriculture serves all Americans through anti-hunger efforts, stewardship of nearly 200 million acres of national forest and rangelands, and through product safety and conservation efforts. The USDA opens markets for American farmers and ranchers and provides food for needy people around the world.


Relevant Nonprofit Program Categories





Selected Recipients for this Program


RecipientAmount Start DateEnd Date
Montgomery County School District $ 337,376   2018-03-082020-03-08
Chattanooga Hamilton County Hospital Authority $ 50,000   2018-02-082020-02-08
Holmes County School District $ 499,904   2018-02-082020-02-08
Regional Medical Center Of Orangeburg & Calhoun Counties, The $ 348,782   2018-02-082020-02-08
Rio Grande Community College $ 187,105   2018-02-082020-02-08
Primary Care Centers Of Eastern Kentucky, Llc $ 186,645   2018-02-082020-02-08
Lincoln County Board Of Education $ 440,295   2018-02-082020-02-08
Livingston Parish School District $ 476,588   2018-02-082020-02-08
Lower Kuskokwim School District $ 425,118   2018-02-082020-02-08
Corrections, Georgia Department Of $ 364,960   2018-02-082020-02-08



Program Accomplishments

Fiscal Year 2017: Final numbers are not available yet. Fiscal Year 2018: Grants have not been announced yet in Fiscal year 2018. Fiscal Year 2019: No Current Data Available

Uses and Use Restrictions

Telecommunications, computer networks and related advanced technologies that connect medical professionals or teachers at originating sites, rural or non-rural, to medical professionals, patients, teachers and students at rural end-user sites.

Eligible costs depend on the type of financial assistance being requested; i.e., grant or loan.

See 7 CFR Part 1734 for details.

The program is solely funded through discretionary funds.

This year there was $23.6M in new funding, plus rescissions from prior years (which were also discretionary funds).

The program allows for loans, grants and a combination loan and grant for eligible organizations.

Eligibility Requirements

Applicant Eligibility

To be eligible to receive a grant, loan and grant combination, or loan, the applicant must be legally organized as an incorporated organization or partnership, an Indian tribe or tribal organization, a state or local unit of government, a consortium, or other legal entity.

The applicant must have legal capacity to contract with RUS.

The applicant also must propose to utilize the financing to: (i) operate a rural community facility; or (ii) deliver distance learning or telemedicine services to entities that operate a rural community facility or to residents of rural areas at rates calculated to ensure that the benefit of the financial assistance is passed through to such entities or to residents of rural areas.

The applicant must not be delinquent on any Federal debt.

RUS electric and telecommunications borrowers are not eligible for grants.

Generally, applicants are organizations such as schools, libraries, hospitals, medical centers, or other eligible organizations that will be users of a telecommunications, computer network, or related advanced technology system to provide educational and/or medical benefits to rural residents.

Beneficiary Eligibility

The people living in rural areas are beneficiaries, particularly in the areas of medical and health-related services, education, training and medical services.

Credentials/Documentation

See 7 CFR Part 1734 for details. This program is excluded from coverage under OMB Circular No. A-87. 2 CFR 200, Subpart E - Cost Principles applies to this program.

Aplication and Award Process

Preapplication Coordination

Preapplication coordination is required.

Environmental impact information is not required for this program.

This program is excluded from coverage under E.O.

12372.

Application Procedures

2 CFR 200, Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards applies to this program. This program is excluded from coverage under OMB Circular No. A-102. OMB Circular No. A-110 applies to this program. Submit application Form 424; non-delinquent on any Federal obligations; consultation with USDA State Director (for grant applicants); evidence of legal existence and authority to perform the proposed grant activities; a comprehensive rural telecommunications plan; scope of work plan, executive summary for the project: financial information; a statement of experience; funding commitment from other sources; compliance with Federal statutes and regulations (compliance with scoring criteria) and environmental impact; supplemental information and required additional RUS information.

Award Procedures

Based on a determination that the project is economically feasible and serves the purposes the program, awards are approved. For grants, RUS rates the applicants based on specified scoring criteria and determines awards based on those ratings.

Deadlines

Contact the headquarters or regional office, as appropriate, for application deadlines.

Authorization

Federal Agriculture Improvement and Reform Act of 1996, Title VII, Public Law 104-127, 7 U.S.C 950.

Range of Approval/Disapproval Time

The program open under funding windows established under a NOFA/NOSA process annually. Pre-application costs are not eligible, costs incurred after submittal of an application may be eligible. The standard project period is 3 years. Applications are competitively selected each fiscal year for which funding is made available. Applicants whose application was not selected in one year may resubmit an updated and improved application in a subsequent year in the competition.

Appeals

A grant applicant may appeal the numerical scoring of the objective criteria only to the Administrator in writing within 10 days after applicant is notified of the scoring level.

Renewals

Not Applicable.

Assistance Considerations

Formula and Matching Requirements

This program has no statutory formula. Matching Requirements: Percent: 15%. This program has no statutory formula. Matching Requirements: Percent: 15% with an exception for projects in the Pacific. No matching is required for applicants requesting loans. MOE requirements are not applicable to this program.

Length and Time Phasing of Assistance

Funds may be advanced monthly or as needed to reimburse disbursements for approved grant purposes. Applicants generally have three years to spend funds. One extension may be granted. See the following for information on how assistance is awarded/released: Funds may be advanced monthly or as needed to reimburse disbursements for approved grant purposes.

Post Assistance Requirements

Reports

SF 269, 'Financial Status Report,' is required annually.

Cash reports are not applicable.

Progress reports are not applicable.

The disbursal of funds is made on the basis of invoices for eligible purposes.

To this extent, RUS is aware of all expenditures for which reimbursement is sought.

Projects are also periodically audited by field accounting staff.

Project performance activity reports are required annually.

Audits

In accordance with the provisions of 2 CFR 200, Subpart F - Audit Requirements, non-Federal entities that expend financial assistance of $750,000 or more in Federal awards will have a single or a program-specific audit conducted for that year. Non-Federal entities that expend less than $750,000 a year in Federal awards are exempt from Federal audit requirements for that year, except as noted in 2 CFR 200.503. In accordance with the provisions of 2 CFR 200, Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles and Audit Requirements, Subpart F, Audit Requirements (Revised, December 26, 2013) nonfederal entities that expend financial assistance of $750,000 or more in Federal awards will have a single or a program-specific audit conducted for that year. Nonfederal entities that expend less than $750,000 a year in Federal awards are exempt from Federal audit requirements for that year, except as noted in Subpart F. Entities which do not meet the criteria for applicability in 2 CFR 200 will have an audit prepared in accordance with 7 CFR 1773, Policy on Audits of RUS Borrowers and Grantees.

Records

Grantees will provide evidence that funds are expended for approved purposes.

Financial Information

Account Identification

12-1232-0-1-452.

Obigations

(Project Grants) FY 17 Not Available; FY 18 est $20,000,000; and FY 19 est $20,000,000

Range and Average of Financial Assistance

The minimum grant, loan, or loan/grant combination is $50,000. The maximum grant is $500,000. In Fiscal Year 2015, the average grant amount was $312,743. In Fiscal Year 2106, the average grant amount was $284,165. Grants have not been announced yet in Fiscal year 2017.

Regulations, Guidelines, and Literature

7 CFR 1734, subparts D through G. Distance Learning and Telemedicine Program Grant Application Guide - For grants - Distance Learning and Telemedicine Program -Grant Application Guide - Fiscal Year 2016. Loans made under this program are subject to congressional appropriations.

Information Contacts

Regional or Local Office

None.

Headquarters Office

Assistant Administrator, Telecommunications Program, Rural Utilities Service, 1400 Independence Avenue, S.W., STOP 1590, Washington, District of Columbia 20250 Phone: (202) 720-9564.

Criteria for Selecting Proposals

See 7 CFR Part 1734, subparts D through G.



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