09/27/09 — Goshen gets grant from rural health fund

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Goshen gets grant from rural health fund

By Catharin Shepard
Published in News on September 27, 2009 2:00 AM

WARSAW -- The Goshen Medical Center in Warsaw is one of 24 rural health programs in North Carolina that will receive grant funding to help create a total of 310 new health care jobs across the state.

The Goshen Medical Center will be able to increase staffing at the clinic in Warsaw by adding four to nine new jobs, an expansion made possible by the $184,000 available to the town of Warsaw through the Rural Hope program.

Rural Hope participating organizations include the North Carolina Rural Economic Development Center, the Golden LEAF Foundation, the N.C. Health and Wellness Trust Fund and now Gov. Beverly Perdue, who joined in the effort to improve rural health care delivery and job creation in the state.

"In many areas of our state, rural hospitals and health care facilities work on tight budgets to serve their communities. Rural Hope will ease the burden by bringing health care and jobs to rural communities across North Carolina," Gov. Perdue said in a release. "I commend the North Carolina Rural Center, the Golden LEAF Foundation and the Health and Wellness Trust Fund for working together to support this initiative and making sure our citizens receive the help they need."

The project will invest nearly $3.9 million in funding to improve rural health care facilities. The grants must be matched by an equal amount of private and/or public funds.

Small towns, with populations of fewer than 5,000 residents and unincorporated areas, were eligible for the grants, which were given to hospitals, urgent care centers, physician offices, hospice care, aging center, mental health providers, physical therapy providers, free clinics, health centers and more.

The Rural Center will accept a second round of applications under its Rural Health Care Initiative until December 1.

"These grants continue our 22-year history of helping rural communities improve their economies and their quality of life," Rural Center president Billy Ray Hall said in a press release. "We're especially pleased that this program does both, by creating jobs that are desperately needed and at the same time increasing access to health care that has been short supply in too many rural communities."

The N.C. Rural Economic Development Center is a private, nonprofit organization dedicated to developing economic strategies to improve the quality of life in rural North Carolina. The Golden LEAF Foundation, a nonprofit organization established a decade ago to help transform the state economy, has awarded more than $393 million in grants since its inception. The N.C. Health and Wellness Trust Fund provides money to programs that promote preventative health.