WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Ben Cardin and Chris Van Hollen and Congressman David Trone (all D-Md.) today announced $430,124 in federal funding to establish a Virtual Cancer Care and Chronic Disease Telemedicine Program for Garrett Regional Medical Center in Oakland, Md. Funding comes from the U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development Distance Learning and Telemedicine grant program provided in part by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act).
“The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the importance of telehealth services. This new federal investment to launch a telemedicine program, in partnership with Garrett Regional Medical Center, will ensure those patients with cancer and chronic health conditions receive the critical care and support they need, all while staying safe in their homes,” said Senator Cardin. “I will continue to advocate for rural hospitals here in Maryland, and across the country, to receive the funding and equipment necessary to keep our country safe.”
“As we battle the ongoing pandemic, telehealth services help more Marylanders access the medical expertise they need in a safe and convenient way. These federal funds will expand those services, ensuring those living in rural areas can easily access top-notch health care. I’m proud to announce these federal funds to benefit Garrett County residents, and we will continue working to expand health care options for all of our communities,” said Senator Van Hollen.
“Telehealth services are essential to keeping both health care workers and patients safe, and we must invest in these services moving forward,” said Congressman Trone. “Through this new federally funded program, patients with cancer and chronic conditions in Western Maryland will be able to get the care they need from the safety of their homes.”
Garrett Regional Medical Center serves as the hub for several local, rural hospitals in the Western Maryland region. This new federal funding will allow patients to receive virtual care from chronic disease specialists and oncologists in the safety of their own home, benefiting an estimated 60,000 people. Services include check-ups, complete physical exams, training staff, and overall increasing the quality of care patients receive.
U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development supports economic development and social services in rural communities across America. Rural Development initiatives promote economic development by supporting essential services and infrastructure improvements.