Mississippi remains low nationally on vaccination numbers as Delta variant continues to spread.
President Joe Biden’s administration has moved forward with efforts to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. Those efforts most recently include providing Mississippi with $12,918,800 to support rural areas and vaccination efforts.
The appropriations comes in partnership with the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) through the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA). The funding comes through the Small Rural Hospital Improvement Program (SHIP) and will go to 50 small rural hospitals in Mississippi.
These dollars can be used for testing, mitigation and response to COVID and other variants in the area.
“The Biden Administration recognizes the important role that small rural hospitals have in closing the equity gap and ensuring that rural Americans can protect themselves and their communities from COVID-19,” said HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra. “Today’s funding will help small rural hospitals continue to serve their communities in this critical role by expanding their COVID-19 testing capacity and mitigation efforts.”
Implementation of what the additional funding will do will largely come from the State offices of Rural Health. They will work with the hospitals to implement quality and operational improvement efforts. A small rural hopsital is classified as one with 50 beds of less and includes Critical Access Hospitals.
“Our state-based SHIP grantees are important partners in helping to support small rural hospitals,” said HRSA Acting Administrator Diana Espinosa. “HRSA is committed to mitigating the spread of the virus in rural areas by supporting and empowering local providers to tailor their responses to COVID-19 to what works for their communities.”
This move comes after President Biden said that government officials need to go “door to door” to promote vaccination efforts. However, so far there is no indication that plan will take place in the Magnolia state.