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USDA seeks applications for tech grants for healthcare and education

By on May 2, 2018

SAN JUAN – Assistant to the Secretary for Rural Development Anne Hazlett announced Wednesday that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is accepting applications for grants to use broadband e-Connectivity to improve access to health care and educational services in rural communities.

“Under Secretary Perdue’s leadership, USDA is tackling e-Connectivity as a foundational issue for rural communities because it affects everything from business opportunities to adequate health care access,” Hazlett said in the release. “These grants are one of many tools USDA provides to help ensure that people who live and work in rural areas can use broadband to gain access to essential services and economic opportunities.”

USDA’s Rural Development state director for Puerto Rico, Josué E. Rivera, indicated that the agency is awarding grants ranging from $50,000 to $500,000 under the Distance Learning and Telemedicine (DLT) program.

“This is a unique opportunity in Puerto Rico that we must not pass up after the devastation of the past hurricanes. These grants will help us obtain and provide essential services and bring economic prosperity to our communities,” said Rivera.

Proposals for projects whose primary purpose is to provide opioid prevention, treatment and recovery will receive 10 priority points when applications are scored, the release explains.  

Priority points will also be given for grants that offer access to science, technology, engineering and math courses. Grants are available to most state and local governmental entities, non-profit groups, for-profit businesses or consortia of these.

For additional information, see the Federal Register of April 3, page 14245 or contact Nereida Rodríguez, community program director at (787) 766-5158 or Miguel Ramírez, public affairs coordinator at Puerto Rico State Office at (787) 766-5708 or visit .

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