WASHINGTON, D.C. (May 18, 2020) – The University of Kentucky and the University of Louisville are two of the 159 organizations nationwide selected to receive federal funding from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act to increase telehealth services.
The federal funds, distributed by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) through the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), will be used by the research universities to increase telehealth programs in Kentucky to help respond to the Coronavirus pandemic.
The office of U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), who introduced the CARES Act in March, announced the telehealth funding details today. The CARES Act is a response to the COVID-19 pandemic that led to a shutdown of muc of the U.S. and global economy.
The federal funding provided by the CARES Act will help UK and UofL train their medical students to better utilize telehealth services to help screen and test patients for Coronavirus. The universities have been awarded the following:
- $90,625 for University of Louisville Geriatrics Workforce Enhancement Program
- $95,455 for University of Louisville Area Health Education Centers Program
- $78,571 for University of Kentucky Registered Nurses in Primary Care Training Program
“Kentucky’s research universities continue to lead the field in telehealth programs, helping families get the care they need to slow the spread of the coronavirus,” McConnell said. “These targeted investments in UK and UofL can especially help our seniors and those at heightened risk receive important services without unnecessary exposure. I was proud to use my position as Senate Majority Leader to support Kentucky’s critical advancements in 21st-century healthcare. The CARES Act continues to deliver urgent resources to help keep families safe as we work together to beat this virus.”
“The University of Louisville is very grateful for the support of Leader McConnell and the CARES Act to significantly advance our efforts to help Kentucky meet its healthcare needs through telehealth and tele-education,” said Dr. Toni Ganzel, UofL School of Medicine Dean and Vice President for Academic Medical Affairs, said. “The CARES funding support is critical to helping us expand the activities of both our Kentucky Area Health Education Centers (AHEC) providing health education and workforce pipelines as well as our Geriatric Workforce Enhancement Programs (GWEPs), that focus on enhancing the care of older adults living in rural and underserved areas. UofL has been a leader in telehealth and tele-education and this funding will build on that strength to help rural and underserved communities prevent, prepare for and respond to the realities of COVID-19.”
“Thanks to Sen. McConnell’s support with the CARES Act we could not be more thrilled to help advance our mission for building a culture of health in Kentucky,” said Dr. Janie Heath, University of Kentucky College of Nursing Dean and Warwick Professor of Nursing. “The rural communities have been significantly impacted by the global pandemic and we look forward to being able to strengthen our RN primary care services through telehealth.”
The CARES Act is the largest economic rescue package in American history; it was enacted in about a week. In addition to these federal funds, the CARES Act has had an $11 billion impact in Kentucky so far, according to a news release from McConnell’s office. It has delivered $3.4 billion in relief to address urgent housing, transportation, healthcare, education and economic development priorities.
The Paycheck Protection Program in the CARES Act is helping nearly 44,000 Kentucky small businesses access over $5.3 billion in loans to keep their lights on and employees on payroll.
According to McConnell’s office, Kentucky families have also received more than $3.2 billion in Economic Impact Payments from the U.S. Treasury