Columbia Star

1963        Celebrating 60 Years      2023

SCDHHS awards $48.2 million in healthcare infrastructure funds to improve access to quality medical services in rural and medically underserved areas



The South Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (SCDHHS) has announced it has awarded 26 grants totaling $48.2 million to improve access to quality medical care. Launched in October 2023, the grant provides one-time infrastructure funds to create or improve facilities in rural or medically underserved areas. The grant program focused on essential health care areas, including primary care, maternal and infant care, pediatrics, and behavioral health.

“This grant program is a great example of how public private partnerships can leverage funding and support innovative ways to meet the health care needs of our citizens,” said SCDHHS Director Robert Kerr. “From investing in brick-and-mortar facilities to extending access to care through new technologies and telehealth, this funding will help improve access to both primary and specialty care in our communities that experience some of the greatest health challenges in our state. We appreciate the innovative solutions brought forth by our grant applicants and the support the General Assembly and Governor McMaster have entrusted in SCDHHS to help improve health outcomes in our state.”

Grant awardees will receive up to $3 million in onetime infrastructure funds and must operate grant-funded facilities for a minimum of five years.

SCDHHS is executing the grant program as additional attention is being drawn to access to care and health outcomes in South Carolina. A recent report by the Boston Consulting Group found that: •South Carolina ranked 38th among states in primary care physicians per capita; •Nine percent more South Carolinians lived in a primary care physician health professional shortage area than the national average (38 percent vs. 29 percent); and

•Residents living in more rural areas were somewhat more dissatisfied than others with health services in the state.

The grant funds are drawn from one-time funding appropriated by the South Carolina General Assembly to SCDHHS for investment in infrastructure that will improve access to health care in communities consistent with the direction provided in the state’s Rural Health Initiative.

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