(Washington, DC) – Today, U.S. Senators Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and Maggie Hassan (D-NH) and Representatives Annie Kuster (NH-02) and Chris Pappas (NH-01) announced that New Hampshire small rural hospitals will receive $3,100,512 to bolster COVID-19 testing and mitigation. Specifically, the funding was allocated through the American Rescue Plan and awarded through the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) Small Rural Hospital Improvement Program (SHIP). Small rural hospitals — those with fewer than 50 beds and Critical Access Hospitals — are vital health care access points and trusted community resources. The federal dollars can be used by Granite State small rural hospitals to expand COVID-19 testing, boost access to testing and strengthen mitigation efforts.
“While New Hampshire has made tremendous progress in the fight against this pandemic, we’re not out of the woods yet. The dangerous and highly-contagious delta variant of COVID-19 is spreading across the country, while here in our state, areas like Coos County are experiencing a significant spike in COVID-19 cases,” said Senator Shaheen. “The continuing threat this virus poses to our communities highlights why these federal dollars are so important. This funding will allow our small rural health care providers to expand access to COVID-19 testing and strengthen mitigation efforts catered to the unique needs of our rural communities. I’ll continue to work in the Senate to ensure our communities have the resources they need to put an end to this virus.”
“Although we have made significant strides, the threat of COVID-19 remains,” said Senator Hassan. “In addition to vaccinating more Americans, we must continue ensuring that communities have access to COVID-19 testing. This federal grant will help New Hampshire’s rural hospitals continue to improve their testing capabilities, and I will continue to support our rural communities as we get through this pandemic together.”
“Our New Hampshire health care workers have done an incredible job caring for our communities and keeping us safe throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, and though we have made great progress getting shots into arms and saving lives, the Delta variant is spreading quickly across the country and this virus still poses a serious threat to the health and wellbeing of Granite Staters,” said Representative Kuster. “In order to stay one step ahead of COVID-19, control outbreaks, and prevent spikes in cases, it’s essential we continue to support testing and mitigation efforts – especially in rural areas of our state. I’m pleased New Hampshire will receive over $3 million in federal funding to support these critical efforts at our rural hospitals as we continue working to end this pandemic once and for all.”
“Our rural hospitals and health care providers were seriously strained by the COVID-19 pandemic. These funds are a crucial step in our continued efforts to support rural hospitals and providers throughout the state and get them the assistance they need to continue fighting to end this pandemic,” said Representative Pappas. “I remain committed to working alongside our Congressional delegation to support New Hampshire’s ongoing needs and ensure a strong and sustained recovery from this crisis.”
Shaheen and Hassan are members of the bipartisan, bicameral group of lawmakers that steered negotiations of COVID-19 relief. The COVID-19 relief bill signed into law in December contained Shaheen- and Hassan-negotiated legislation that provided urgently needed assistance to American students, families, businesses, workers and health care providers impacted by the public health and economic crises. Senator Shaheen had a similar leadership role as a negotiator for the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act, which was signed into law last March and secured New Hampshire an initial $1.25 billion to assist with COVID-19 response efforts.
The delegation also worked to secure the passage of the American Rescue Plan to respond to the full scope of this public health and economic emergency. They recently announced that the state and Granite State communities will receive more than $1.4 billion in COVID-19 financial relief, as well as nearly $10.7 million to combat the substance use disorder epidemic and support mental health services in New Hampshire. That’s in addition to $350.5 million to help schools safely re-open and support students, $20.2 million to help community health centers expand access to vaccines and $40.9 million to help expand COVID-19 testing in Granite State schools. In addition, they have also announced funding from the legislation to strengthen home visiting services for vulnerable families and support COVID-19 vaccination efforts in underserved communities in the state.