River's Edge Hospital was recently the site for the announcement by U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and Minnesota U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar and Tina Smith of a $500 million grant to improve rural healthcare. According to Smith, nearly 140 rural hospitals across the country have closed since 2010. This grant will not only help rural hospitals like River's Edge with costs incurred during COVID-19 but also things like medical supplies and equipment.
Rural healthcare has been at the heart of JJCA's work for more than three decades, so we've witnessed firsthand the struggles faced by rural communities that have fought to retain their critical access facilities. River's Edge in St. Peter, Minnesota and Ferrell Hospital in Eldorado, Illinois are two success stories among the many community hospital casualties. Their stories illustrate the creativity in both design and funding necessary to sustain these facilities.