The Wyoming Department of Health is trying to improve healthcare in rural communities by providing grant money for rural health centers.
The agency’s Keri Wagner says the money can be used to open new clinics, or to allow existing facilities to expand.
“Priority will be given to … applicants for new clinics in areas where access does not already exist,” Wagner said.
She added that while many areas in Wyoming don’t have access to good healthcare, money is not the only problem; it’s also hard to find doctors who are willing to live in rural areas.
“People generally like to be in areas where they have a lot of access to recreation and shopping and employment and education opportunities,” Wagner said. “So it is a little bit harder for those smaller communities to recruit providers and to have providers want to set up shop in those areas.”
But she says offering funding to set up new healthcare facilities, or to expand existing ones, is a step in the right direction.
Wyoming has one million dollars available for the grant program, which can either go to one applicant, or be split among several applicants.