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Mercy Foundation Secures $92,826 USDA Distance Learning and Telemedicine Grant

DES MOINES, IA – Mercy Foundation is pleased to announce it has secured a $92,826 Grant from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) through its Distance Learning and Telemedicine Grant Program.

This project connects medical providers to rural affiliates using telemedicine, providing access to specialty medical services in the form of innovative, interactive two-way audio and video technology. The telemedicine technology that will be purchased by the grant will be used by physicians to diagnose and treat patients primarily in the outpatient settings, as well as for medical staff training and education.

USDA Rural Development administers around 40 loan and grant programs to help enhance economic development and improve quality of life opportunities in rural America, defined as communities of 20,000 residents or less.

This project directly addresses the need for increased access to high-need specialties, including cardiology, in nine rural Iowa communities. The project scope includes opioid treatment and opioid training for medical providers, which are priority areas of this USDA funding opportunity. Rural participating sites are critical access hospitals located in towns ranging in population from 1,273 to 5,528, and include:

  • Adair County Memorial Hospital, Greenfield
  • Central Community Hospital, Elkader
  • Davis County Hospital, Bloomfield
  • Decatur County Hospital, Leon
  • Manning Regional Hospital, Manning
  • Mercy – Centerville, Centerville
  • Monroe County Hospital, Albia
  • Ringgold County Hospital, Mt. Ayr
  • Wayne County Hospital, Corydon

“We are grateful for this funding from the USDA, as this project will benefit patients and families in rural communities by providing more timely access to the appropriate level of care,” said Mercy Foundation President Shannon Cofield.

“The proposed project is an innovative means of connecting specialists to rural affiliates using telemedicine. The project will benefit rural hospitals by equipping them to serve more patients in their home communities,” said Mercy Health Network Telehealth Technology Manager Fred Eastman.

About Mercy Medical Center – Des Moines
Mercy operates four not-for-profit, Catholic hospital campuses, with a total of 875 beds, along with more than 20 additional facilities that house more than 50 primary care, pediatric, internal medicine and specialty clinics. Founded by the Sisters of Mercy in 1893, Mercy Medical Center – Des Moines is the longest continually operating hospital in Des Moines and is also one of the largest employers in the state – with more than 7,000 employees and a medical staff of more than 1,000 physicians and allied health associates.  Mercy Medical Center–Des Moines is a member of Mercy Health Network and is a part of Catholic Health Initiatives (CHI), a national nonprofit health organization with headquarters in Englewood, Colo.  The faith-based system operates in 18 states and includes 101 hospitals and multiple other facilities and services.

About Mercy Foundation
Mercy Foundation secures vital funding that ensures equal access, clinical excellence and high-quality care for all in Greater Des Moines through Mercy Medical Center – Des Moines. Learn more at

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