Shore Medical Center in Somers Point was awarded $550,800 in an Emergency Rural Health Care grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture for a COVID-19 isolation unit in its emergency department, according to a news release.
“On behalf of our community and the patients we treat, Shore Medical Center would like to thank the United States Department of Agriculture for its support of our hospital,” said David Hughes, Shore’s chief development officer.
Hughes said, “The $550,800 in funding will help us transform an area of our Emergency Department into negative pressure rooms, which will give us added capacity to treat patients in isolation and support us in preparing for the next national or regional crisis.”
Shore Medical Center will use the funding to purchase essential equipment for a free-standing 10-bed COVID-19 Isolation Unit. The new unit will be equipped with a negative pressure air handling system for COVID-19 outbreaks or any future similar pandemics, according to the news release.
USDA Rural Development New Jersey State Director Jane Asselta said President Joe Biden recently announced that on May 11 he will end the COVID-19 national emergency and public health emergency declarations.
“The past nearly three years have taught us of the critical need to invest in our rural healthcare infrastructure and of the impact that accessible, quality healthcare has on the well-being of our neighbors living in small towns,” Asselta said.
Hughes said that the team at Shore “has been incredible throughout the COVID-19 crisis, but we all know that, especially in healthcare, our job is never done. We are always taking every measure possible to be prepared to care for our patients, and the funding through this grant will go a long way in helping us achieve our mission.”
He also extended his gratitude to Asselta and her team for “their hard work and guidance throughout this grant process.”
“Together, we are making sure that the highest level of healthcare is available to our community,” Hughes said.
U.S. Department of Agriculture Deputy Under Secretary Farah Ahmad made the announcement about the funding for Shore Medical Center and a $1 million grant for Deborah Heart and Lung Center in Browns Mills, N.J., through the Emergency Rural Health Care Grant.
The funding for Deborah, the region’s only heart, lung, and vascular specialty hospital, will help to fortify its resources for the next pandemic response. Its patient rooms will be equipped to meet the critical care standards necessary for treating very ill or highly infectious patients, according to the release.
“Having access to quality healthcare is an important part of USDA’s commitment to ensuring that people living in rural areas have every opportunity to succeed – and that they can find those opportunities close to home,” Ahmad said.
To learn more, visit www.usda.gov.