Tester Announces $264,651 for Pandemic Telehealth Programs

Senator: “I’m proud to have secured these funds that will bolster our telehealth infrastructure”

U.S. Senator Jon Tester today announced $264,651 in Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act funds for pandemic workforce enhancement programs at Montana State University and the University of Montana.

“For Montanans—many of whom have to drive hundreds of miles to the nearest health care provider—telehealth is a critical lifeline to medical resources, particularly in times of crisis,” said Tester. “I’m proud to have secured these funds that will bolster our telehealth infrastructure that will provide essential health services that will keep folks in rural Montana safe during this pandemic.”

These funds are a part of $15 million that will be allocated by the Health Resources Services Administration to 159 organizations across the country to bolster health professionals’ training programs. Montana’s grantees include:

  • Montana State University ($95,455): Area Health Education Centers Program
  • Montana State University ($78,571): Registered Nurses in Primary Care Training Program
  • University of Montana ($90,625): Geriatrics Workforce Enhancement Program

Tester has fought tirelessly to expand broadband coverage, especially in rural Montana, and has worked to expand access to telehealth services in response to the COVID-19 outbreak. Tester called for audio-only telehealth reimbursements to level the playing field for seniors and others without reliable broadband access during the coronavirus outbreak. He also urged the Department of Veterans Affairs to expand critical telemental health services for veterans and successfully secured $2.15 billion to bolster telehealth capabilities through increased telework and call center capabilities in the CARES Act.

Visit tester.senate.gov/coronavirusresources for a list of resources for Montanans during the COVID-19 outbreak