Congresswoman Chellie Pingree

Representing the 1st District of Maine

Pingree Announces $1.3 Million in Maine Telemedicine and Distance Learning Grants

Jan 23, 2018
Press Release

​PORTLAND, MAINE—Congresswoman Chellie Pingree (D-ME) today announced $1,343,036 in USDA Distance Learning and Telemedicine Grants to expand learning opportunities and improve health care in rural areas of Maine. 

“New technology means that living in a rural area no longer has to be a barrier to accessing educational opportunities or quality health services. As a Member of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture, I’m proud to advocate for programs like this that expand technology infrastructure to all corners of Maine,” said Pingree. “These grants will help Maine students connect with a range of educational resources while improving health services for patients at hospitals across the state. It’s an exciting investment in our rural communities.” 

Grant Descriptions and Amounts Provided by USDA Below 

Isle Au Haut: $441,189.00
Rural Development funds will be used to help create a distance learning network consisting of a consortium with two hubs in Belfast, Maine and connecting to 30 other hub/end-user sites in the counties of Waldo, Sagadahoc, Hancock, Knox,Cumberland and Washington and including the Passamaquoddy Indian Tribe.The distance learning project will include video conferencing equipment that will allow for expanded opportunities for real-time, interactive education. Benefits ofthe project include allowing students to strive for higher academic achievement,to complete post-secondary educations, and include enhanced professionaldevelopment opportunities for teaching.

Sanford Springvale: $495,541.00
Rural Development funds will help the Sanford School Department in York County, Maine purchase video conferencing equipment to provide interactivedistance learning services. The project will benefit three hub sites in Montana and Maine and 13 end-user sites in 14 communities throughout Maine and Montana. Computer servers, video conferencing equipment, software and networkingcomponents will be provided to allow the schools to strengthen curricula, particularly that related to STEM education, and to promote cross-cultural learningthrough history and the arts.

New England Music Camp Association: $132,214.00
Rural Development will help fund a distance learning project that will equipfive schools located in central Maine with the technology necessary to providerural Maine communities with music and performing arts education as well as abroader range of cultural opportunities. The region faces challenges including:rural isolation, unemployment and poverty. This project is designed to mitigate the negative effects of these trends in the area by providing exposure to a varietyof academic and cultural opportunities to primarily low-to-moderate income individuals. This cost-efficient technology will provide a content-rich educationalmodel to students and professional development opportunities for instructors.

MaineHealth: $274,092.00
Rural Development funds will be used to help MaineHealth located in Portland,Maine to provide a three component Tele-Health network including EMSEnhanced Communications, Nursery Care Support and Transfer Decision Support, and Post Discharge Care to home based patients. Ten area hospitals located inthe counties of Franklin, Oxford, Lincoln, Kennebec, Knox, and Waldo, Maineand Carroll County, New Hampshire will be hub end-user sites and will connect to thirteen ambulance companies throughout the area. The project includes EMS Enhanced Communications that will connect rural ambulances to hospital emergency departments and the Nursery Care Support and Transfer Decision Support component will facilitate telehealth consultations between local careproviders and specialists. Also, the Post Discharge element of the project willprovide comprehensive home-based medical services for infants and adults that have been discharged, in order to provide post hospital care, and will reduce readmissions.