Distance Learning & Telemedicine Grant Program


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Presentation by Richard E. Jenkins, General Field Representative, Telecommunications Program, Rural Utilities Service, ISDA

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Distance Learning & Telemedicine Grant Program

  1. 1. Distance Learning & Telemedicine Grant Program Richard E. Jenkins, General Field Representative Telecommunications Program Rural Utilities Service a Rural Development Agency of the United States Department of Agriculture
  2. 2. 3 Types of DLT Assistance: 1. 100% Grant ($50-500 K) 2. Combination Loan-Grant 3. 100% Loan At present, there is no DLT appropriation. It is possible that we will receive funding for Grants. However, the loan programs have not been funded in several years, so this presentation will focus solely on the 100% Grant Program. 2
  3. 3. Introduction to DLT Grant Program The best source of information is the Application Guide complemented by the Toolkit. 3
  4. 4. DLT Grant Program Resources Webpage www.rurdev.usda.gov/UTP_DLTResources.html 4
  5. 5. DLT Grant Program - Eligibility Several Types: Applicant Eligibility Project and Budget Item Eligibility Application Eligibility 5
  6. 6. DLT Grant Program - Applicant Eligibility 1. Deliver or propose to deliver distance learning or telemedicine services for the term of the grant. The purposes must meet the grant definition of distance learning and telemedicine. Focus on sustainability. No planning studies, research projects, or shortterm demonstration projects. 2. Be incorporated or a partnership; a Native American tribal organization; a state or local unit of government; a consortium; or other legal entity. For or not-for profit able to contract with the US Government. No individuals or sole-proprietorships. 3. Operate a rural community facility or deliver DLT services to entities that operate a rural community facility or to residents of rural areas at rates calculated to ensure that the benefit of the financial assistance passes through to such entities or to residents 6 of rural areas.
  7. 7. DLT Grant Program - Project and Budget Eligibility DLT Grants are not just a way to obtain educational technology or medical equipment. The focus is on using the unique capabilities of telecommunications to connect rural areas to each other and to the world, thus overcoming the effects of remoteness and low population density. 1. Distance learning means a curriculum with measurable results delivered via telecommunications and stresses the connection of students and teachers at remote sites. 2. Telemedicine means the delivery of medicine from medical professionals at one site to patients at other sites via telecommunications. Telemedicine shows benefit to rural residents either in reduced travel or access to services. 7
  8. 8. DLT Grant Program - Project and Budget Eligibility 1. Grant and Match purposes are identical - If an item isn’t eligible for grant, it cannot be credited as a match. 2. Obtain Grant and Match items from 3rd Party All items must be obtained from an organization other than the applicant or other entities participating in the applicant’s DLT project as hubs, hub/end-users, or end-users. 3. Funds Equipment, not Telecommunications - The Program is focused on providing equipment that operates via telecommunications. While the equipment is eligible, it does not fund the telecommunications that connects the equipment. 8
  9. 9. DLT Grant Program - Project and Budget Eligibility Grant and Match can be expended only for the costs associated with the original capital assets associated with the project. (i.e. first-time) There are three categories of eligible purposes: 1. Eligible Equipment 2. Instructional Programming (not tuition or expenses) 3. Technical Assistance & Instruction for Using Eligible Equipment (limited to 10% of Budget) 9
  10. 10. DLT Grant Program - Project and Budget Eligibility 1. Eligible Equipment - This list is not exhaustive and does not convey automatic eligibility. To be eligible in full, items must be primarily for DLT eligible purposes with no use for ineligible purposes. (See Application Guide on Apportioning DLT Project Benefit) Audio and video equipment Computer Hardware and Software Computer network components Terminal equipment Data terminal equipment Interactive audio/video equipment OEM or OEM authorized warranties on eligible equipment up to the 3 year life of the grant Inside wiring 10
  11. 11. DLT Grant Program - Project and Budget Ineligible Purposes Salaries and Benefits Administrative Expenses (Overhead) Telecommunications Transmission Equipment Recurring Costs incl. Telecommunications Medical Equipment Equipment owned by Telecom Provider (LECS, CLECS, etc.) Duplication of Facilities Costs incurred before Application Deadline 11
  12. 12. DLT Grant Program - Project and Budget Ineligible Purposes (continued) Application Preparation Costs Communications largely within Facility (Within Campus) such as EMR (see Combo Program) Site Development and Building Construction Purchase of Land or Buildings Projects in Coastal Barrier Areas Any purpose not specifically in Regulation or specifically approved by Administrator When Project depends on another source of funding that is not assured. 12
  13. 13. A minimum match of 15% of your Grant Request for eligible purposes is required (zero points). Larger matches yield scoring points. • To be credited as an eligible match, the proposed match must be documented in form and substance satisfactory to the Agency by each donor. • Cash Matches are expected, but In-kind are acceptable provided they are properly documented. In particular, Inkind Matches must be for precisely the same kinds of eligible purposes as Grant Funds. 13
  14. 14. DLT Grant Program - Other Important Points Typical Projects: • Video-conferencing is the most common for distance learning • Visiting nurse links from patient homes to health professionals elsewhere • Tele-radiology 14
  15. 15. DLT Grant Program - Other Important Points Other Projects: • Tele-dentistry • Tele-pharmacy • Virtual ICU • First time use 15
  16. 16. DLT Grant Program - Other Important Points What score do I need to win an award? Difficult (actually, impossible) to say • Varies from year to year • Depends on the number of applicants and the strength of the competition • Technologies evolve, so do needs, and so do perceptions of what is valuable 16
  17. 17. DLT Grant Program - Other Important Points We urge you to read the Application Guide carefully and follow its instructions. Each year, we adjust and amplify the Guide based on experience gained the previous year. A presentation such as this can only touch on the extensive instruction and information contained in the Guide. 17
  18. 18. DLT Grant Program - Other Important Points Use the Guide - Trust yourselves Each year applicants request copies of applications that were successful in prior years. This is not a winning strategy. We strive to create a Guide that will allow a first-time applicant to prepare a successful application without assistance. Remember that you are the subject matter expert for your project and situation. No one can do a better job of preparing a compelling application that is specific to you and your project than you, the local people who will use the project. 18
  19. 19. DLT Grant Program - Other Important Points Contact Information The DLT staff is available to answer questions by phone, fax, and e-mail. 202-720-0413 fax: 202-720-1051 dltinfo@wdc.usda.gov 19
  20. 20. Richard E. Jenkins USDA/RUS Telecommunications Program 3272 Jefferson Street, North Lewisburg, WV 24901 304.645.1947 304.445.5369 Richard.jenkins@wdc.usda.gov 20