Distance learning, telemedicine grants awarded

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WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Office of Rural Development recently announced that it has awarded distance learning and telemedicine grants totaling $3,411,971 to seven Maine community agencies.

According to USDA, the Distance Learning and Telemedicine Program is designed specifically to meet the educational and health care needs of rural America. Among the grants are the following:

Region Two School of Applied Technology ($1,477,946) – Funds will be used by Region Two and the Maine Adult Education Consortium for three related distance learning applications that provide access for adult learners in rural Maine to improve their employability and obtain marketable technical skills. Benefitting counties: Androscoggin, Aroostook, Cumberland, Franklin, Hancock, Lincoln, Piscataquis, Penobscot, Somerset, Washington and York.

Maine School Administrative District No. 75 ($467,873) – Funds will be used for desktop video systems mounted on carts and controlled by laptops to be installed at 26 sites, including five community learning centers and 21 public schools, including elementary, middle and high schools. Benefitting counties: Aroostook, Cumberland, Penobscot, Sagadahoc, Waldo and Washington.

Learning Disabilities Association of Maine ($490,132) – Funds will be used to connect the six to 10 percent of students suffering with specific learning disabilities at 148 rural project sites in 15 counties with educators and other specialists, many of whom will be available at the video endpoint that will be located at the Learning Disabilities Association of Maine. Benefitting counties: Androscoggin, Aroostook, Cumberland, Hancock, Kennebec, Knox, Lincoln, Oxford, Penobscot, Piscataquis, Sagadahoc, Waldo, Somerset, Washington and York.

Androscoggin Home Care & Hospice ($325,000) – Funds will be used by the Androscoggin Home Care’s health service whose territory encompasses 113 communities in Central, Western and mid-coastal Maine. With this grant, they will expand to cover more patients and their families. Two hundred more monitors will be purchased and put into patients’ homes, along with extra supplies of blood pressure cuffs and various computer components essential to the expansion. Benefitting counties: Androscoggin, Cumberland, Franklin, Kennebec, Oxford, Sagadahoc and Somerset.

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