McDuffie County is getting a cut of $5 million in state grants from the Georgia Department of Community Health.
McDuffie Regional Medical Center will use the money to purchase a CT Scanner, according to a press release from the office of Gov. Roy Barnes.
The money is from the Georgia Department of Community Health and was awarded to 60 hospitals as part of a continuing effort to improve access and quality care for residents in rural Georgia, according to the release.
"Ensuring the viability of health care systems in rural Georgia is essential not only to the health status of our citizens but the health of our economy," said Barnes.
The General Assembly appropriated the money during the 2002 legislative session to assist rural hospitals with infrastructure development, strategic planning, non-traditional health care delivery systems and the provision of 24-hour emergency room services.
Criteria for eligibility includes location in a county with population less than 35,000 residents, acceptance of both Medicaid and Medicare patients, provision of health care services to indigent patients; and operation of a 24-hour emergency room.
The Department of Community Health received 60 applications requesting funds to assist with expansion and/or renovation of emergency rooms, primary care centers, purchase of diagnostic equipment such as CT scanners, ultrasound, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and radiological equipment as well as infrastructure repairs and enhancements.
Funds are expected to be disbursed to hospitals soon and may also be used to recruit and retain health care professionals, an industry that has experienced substantial workforce shortages in Georgia and throughout the country.
"Strengthening our rural communities and improving access to quality health care for Georgians is fundamental to improving the lives of all Georgians," adds Barnes.
It's the second time in recent weeks that McDuffie has received state money.
Earlier, Barnes announced $5.1 million in grant and loan awards from the OneGeorgia Authority to 12 of Georgia's most economically distressed communities to create jobs and implement economic development projects.
The McDuffie County Development Authority and the City of Thomson received a $500,000 grant to assist with the initial development of the 396-acre industrial park near Interstate 20 north of Thomson. Some of the planned improvements include grading, water, sewer and an the construction of an access road to a 73-acre section of the park.
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