One of the most frequently cited statistics in the current debate about the future of healthcare in the United States focuses on the key economic development role it plays within our communities. With upwards of 20 percent of the U.S. economy generated by the healthcare sector, hospitals and healthcare organizations are significant economic engines of our communities. And while the jobs they create both directly and indirectly, the availability of healthcare within a community, helps its citizens stay healthy, contribute more, and helps the community grow.
For healthcare organizations looking to expand their community footprint and continue to drive economic growth for the communities they serve, there are a surprising number of grants available, according to Chris LaPage, Manger of Research and Consultative Services at the Grants Office, LLC. “Whether a healthcare organization is looking to improve its facilities through building or renovation, or seeking to train medical and professional staff, there are grants available from both federal agencies as well as state and local agencies,” he shared.
The main grants administrators at the federal level are the Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), and Housing and Urban Development (HUD). For grants administered at the federal level, like those offered by the Department of Commerce, La Page advises starting at the regional office level to determine opportunities and requirements. He also suggests that healthcare organizations in lower income areas investigate block grants available from HUD, and rural healthcare organizations focus on USDA grants focused on community development.
At the state and local level, LaPage shared that many economic development grants targeted at healthcare organizations are administered regionally. The largest of these grants are administered by the Appalachian Regional Commission, serving the 13 Appalachian states, and the Delta Regional Authority, which administers the Delta Health Care Services program to 8 states and 252 parishes. These regional commissions administer funds from federal and state organizations as well as public-private partnerships and much of their work is connected into workforce training and development, often in conjunction with local colleges and universities. Also in the Delta region, for grants to fund renovation or building of public health facilities, LaPage suggested investigating opportunities with the States Economic Development Assistance Program, commonly referred to as SEDAP.
While there’s a lot of information to analyze, understand, and, eventually, grants to apply for, help is at hand. As well as using the links above you can find some great resources to fund healthcare initiatives as part of an economic development initiative for your community here.