Grants available through the Virginia Telecommunication Initiative (VATI) will give a boost to broadband programs promoting better health, reports mHealthIntelligence.com. Twelve projects will split the $8.3 million funding aimed at providing “last mile” broadband outreach to rural communities.
“Broadband is a necessity for communities to attract business, for students to use educational resources, and for Virginians to receive healthcare through telemedicine,” stated Virginia Governor Ralph Northam.
“The latest rounds of grants will shore up the $19 million previously invested to connect outlying regions with a digital handshake.”
Virginia is following efforts made by Illinois in 2019, which invested in rural broadband outreach. “For so many rural and underserved areas, telehealth means access to comprehensive healthcare, which can be as important as solid and well-maintained roads,” said Theresa Eagleson, director of the Illinois’ Department of Healthcare and Family Services. “For those facing behavioral health challenges, telehealth can be especially vital. As the largest provider of healthcare insurance in Illinois, we look forward to actively advancing the mission of this council so that all our members can be better served.”
Governor Northam affirmed, “My administration is committed to expanding broadband access to every part of Virginia, so that all of our citizens have access to the opportunities that connectivity make possible.”