WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.) today reported that Baptist Memorial Hospital–North Mississippi and the University of Mississippi Medical Center (UMMC) will receive just over $1.0 million for rural health care projects.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) approved the grants as part of its mission to increase access to quality care in rural communities.

“These grants will allow immediate- and more long-term work to expand rural access to care in Mississippi,” Hyde-Smith said.  “UMMC is receiving funding to use its telehealth system to improve rural tele-emergency services, which will help during the ongoing pandemic.”

“Baptist Memorial will use its funding to continue developing a rural residency program, which will help bring needed doctors to serve rural regions,” she added.

Baptist Memorial Hospital–North Mississippi, Inc. in Oxford received a $749,000 Rural Residency Planning and Development Program grant.  This program is intended to strengthen health care workforce development through sustainable rural residency programs in family medicine, internal medicine and psychiatry.  (In late July, Hyde-Smith pushed HHS to release approximately $100 million from the CARES Act Provider Relief Fund to support rural hospitals that train physicians, and to commit to maintaining training programs for at least three years.)

A $300,000 Telehealth Network Grant Program award to UMMC will support its work to increase access to rural tele-emergency services through emergency care consults from health care providers via telehealth.  UMMC’s national leadership in telehealth has served as a national example as telehealth services have increased dramatically because of COVID-19.