April 23, 2020
Washington, D.C.—U.S. Senators Susan Collins and Angus King announced today that Maine received a total of $2,485,050 to support rural hospitals and increase access to telehealth to help medical providers reach patients in underserved areas during the COVID-19 pandemic. Funding will also be used to help reduce poisonings related to an increase in disinfectant and cleaner use. This investment, authorized by the CARES Act Senators Collins and King voted for, was awarded through the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
“This funding provides critical support to residents of Maine’s rural communities by supporting their local hospitals and improving the accessibility of telehealth services that will allow them to receive care safely,” said Senators Collins and King in a joint statement. “We will continue our efforts to boost resources for Maine’s health system, including working to provide additional testing and personal protective equipment, to help protect the health and safety of all Mainers during this pandemic.”
The funding was allocated as follows:
· Telehealth. Medical Care Development, Inc. received $828,571 through the Telehealth Resource Centers program. The funding will allow Medical Care Development to provide expertise and technical assistance to medical professionals using telehealth technology throughout the state.
· Rural Hospitals. The Maine Department of Health And Human Services received $1,602,023 through the Small Rural Hospital Improvement Program. Rural hospitals are given broad flexibility to use the funding for testing and laboratory services as well as the purchase of personal protective equipment (PPE).
· Poison Control. MaineHealth received $54,456 through the CARES funding for Poison Centers program. Over the past few months, Poison Control Centers have seen a significant uptick in calls related to cleaner and disinfectant exposure. This funding can be used to increase outreach and education to reduce the risk of COVID-19 related poisonings and to enhance readiness and training to respond to and manage the increased calls related to COVID-19 related poisonings. Poison Control Centers are available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, through the Poison Help line (1-800-222-1222).