Iowa Hospital Received Rural Emergency Care Grant

GRINNELL, Iowa (WHO) – At UnityPoint Grinnell Regional Medical Center, the Des Moines Office of USDA Rural Development was on hand to personally present one of 17 grants for health projects across Iowa.

UnityPoint Grinnell received two grants totaling nearly $1 million. Statewide, grants totaling $8.4 million went to 13 recipients in 12 counties.

“National Rural Health Day is the perfect time to showcase the significant contributions USDA is making to rural Iowa’s health infrastructure,” said Theresa Greenfield, USDA Iowa director of rural development. “Our rural neighbors face unique challenges in receiving personalized health care in remote and underserved parts of our state.”

The funds are part of the Emergency Rural Health Care Grants Act, which is part of the American Rescue Plan Act.

Director Greenfield made the announcement while touring the Grinnell Regional Medical Center. A $535,000 grant will be used to separate the emergency room and radiology waiting room into two separate waiting rooms. The number of admitted patients is expanded, as is the women’s clinic. Another $464,000 grant will go toward renovating a now-overcrowded lab, making more space for vaccines, testing and administration.

“If we didn’t receive this award, we would have to make a choice between expanding women’s health services or replacing a cooling tower that resembles an air conditioner,” said Kyle Wilcox of Grinnell UnityPoint Regional Medical Center.

At the round table discussion, the topic of financially stricken rural health facilities was discussed.

“Sixty percent of all hospitals in the state are losing money right now, so the question, especially for rural hospitals, of which there are 89, is how to stay solvent,” said Bill Menner, executive director of the Iowa Rural Development Council.

Humboldt County Memorial Hospital received $69,200, Opportunity Living $86,700, Mahaska County Hospital $619,000, Van Diest Medical Center $751,000, Iowa Specialty Hospital $1 million, according to a USDA Rural Development press release US$ and Monroe County Hospital US$1 million.