WASHINGTON D.C. - U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) announced today that a $1,323,000 loan was awarded to Family Healthcare, Inc. (FHI) by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development Community Facilities program. Rural Development funds will be used to construct a new 10,493 SqFt healthcare center. This expanded, modern building will allow for additional healthcare services in a fully accessible facility. The expanded care capabilities will allow FHI to serve the ever growing customer base they have developed in Meigs County. This Recovery Act project will allow Family Healthcare, Inc. to build the Meigs Health Center in Pomeroy.
"This new healthcare facility will improve access to medical care for small towns and rural communities in Ohio," Brown said. "The residents of Meigs County and surrounding areas deserve affordable access to medical care and these investments will go a long way to achieve that goal.
The USDA Rural Development's Community Facilities program helps finance essential community facilities - including child care centers, hospitals, assisted-living facilities, police stations, medical clinics, and fire and rescue stations - for public use in rural areas.
Family Healthcare, Inc. provided medical care to more than 24,000 patients in communities in Perry, Hocking, Athens, Meigs, Vinton and Ross counties.
In October 2008, Senator Brown chaired a Senate Agriculture Committee field hearing in Chillicothe, on rural health care and the effects of the economic crisis on rural America. More than half of Ohio's 88 counties are designated as rural areas by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. With lagging infrastructure and high unemployment rates, these areas are particularly vulnerable to the effects of an economic downturn. The hearing, entitled "Path to Opportunity: Jobs and the Economy in Appalachia", provided valuable insight on creating jobs and growing Ohio's rural economy.
Brown chairs the U.S. Senate Agriculture Subcommittee on Hunger, Nutrition, and Family Farms. He is the first Ohioan in more than 40 years to serve on the U.S. Senate Agriculture Committee.