More than $38 million available to Virginia schools in additional coronavirus relief

Recover, Redesign, Restart 2020Additional funding through the Governor’s Emergency Education Relief Fund and the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund will be available statewide. 

$21 million in available GEER funds will be distributed to schools through formula-based and competitive grants. The money will support things such as:

  • School nutrition operations and
  • Virtual instruction for students in need of devices and broadband access.

$17.75 million in available ESSER funds will support:

  • Special education services and supports;
  • School-based mental health services and supports;
  • Social-emotional screening;
  • Summer academic academies;
  • Instructional delivery supports;
  • Cleaning/sanitizing supplies for schools and school buses; and
  • Facilities upgrades and protective equipment.

School divisions received a consolidated application for GEER and ESSER state funding earlier this week. The due date for completed applications is Aug. 14.

Click HERE for updates on K-12 Education. 

Ballad Health and ETSU Collaborations for Increased Research on Rural Health

Ballad Health has announced that their 10-year investment in ETSU’s newly established Center for Rural Health Research will include an in-depth study on rural hospitals. Harvard Medical Center will assist with researching how non-urban markets – where a recent surge has forced many hospitals to span across markets and state lines – struggle to keep themselves at a competitive advantage. The new study will also seek to find the predictors of hospital closure and acquisition. The hope for the study is to provide a better informed view of the rural health system for future policy decisions. 

Click HERE to read. 

In addition to this study, Ballad Health’s Strong BRAIN – ‘Building Resilience through ACEs-Informed Networking’ – Institute will shed a light on the impact adverse childhood experiences have on the developing brain. The CDC estimates that “1.9 mil cases of heart disease and 21 mil cases of depression could have been avoided by preventing those events”.   This is key information for SWVA residents seeing as how their health is driven by income, education, access to healthy food, and other social determinants of health.  

Click HERE to read.

NBC News: Coronavirus strains rural hospitals to ‘the absolute limit’

Although coronavirus has yet to make the same harsh impact on rural communities as in metropolitan areas around the United States, their financial reality may drastically reduce their best efforts when preparing for the worst.

Most facilities have already to turned to telehealth in order to minimize that one-on-one contact. However, as Beth O’Connor, director of the Virginia Rural Health Association, states, “Many of our rural families, and even many of our rural hospitals and clinics, don’t have the bandwidth that they need to be able to participate in telehealth service. So when you have something like this pandemic when you would prefer to see someone virtually, it’s just not possible.”

Click HERE to read.

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