Rural Child Poverty Telehealth Network Grant Program

05/08/15  Portland, Ore.

This announcement solicits applications for the Rural Child Poverty Telehealth Network Grant Program (RCP-TNGP).

The RCP-TNGP is a three-year pilot program to support established telehealth networks to develop innovative ways to address the unique health care challenges faced by children living in impoverished rural areas. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) defines poverty as having an income below a federally determined poverty threshold.

Recent data from USDA indicates higher poverty rates in rural areas than in urban areas. The rural area(s) to be served will be identified by the applicant, and should be supported by the use of county and sub-county level data to describe the poverty levels in their target area and the unmet needs of children to be served. Many of the largest drivers of health care costs fall outside the clinical care environment:

  1. These non-medical drivers have costly implications for health care utilization: 500,000 hospitalizations would be averted annually if the rate of preventable hospitalizations were the same for residents of low-income neighborhoods as for those of high-income neighborhoods,
  2. and hospital readmission rates are more closely related to community characteristics than to hospital characteristics.
  3. For the purposes of this FOA, applicant networks should include human/social service providers to the extent that the provision of those services can be tied directly back to improving the health care status of low-income rural children served via telehealth and distance learning technology.

For the purpose of this funding, human/social services are defined as early childhood development, food and nutrition support and education, economic support programs related to the family of the children served including awareness and counseling and or referral related to available job training and economic support, housing and other social service supports. In providing services beyond the clinical setting, applicants will be required to demonstrate how the provision of information and referral for those human/social services through the telehealth network will ultimately benefit the health of children served through this grant funding.

The goal of the RCP-TNGP is to demonstrate how telehealth networks can expand access to, coordinate and improve the quality of health care services for children living in impoverished rural areas and in particular how such networks can be enhanced through the integration of social and human service organizations.

Learn more about this funding opportunity.