GRAND RAPIDS, Minn (May 15, 2014) – Blandin Foundation announced today that it has awarded six grants totaling $147,750 that assist rural Minnesota communities in advancing high-speed Internet access and use in their communities.
Resilient Region Champions, part of Region Five Development Commission, will develop a rural telehealth program in Central Minnesota, with support of an $8,000 Blandin Foundation grant.
Cheryal Hills, the Executive Director of Region Five Development Commission, expressed her thanks for the support, stating, “We are interested in telehealth as a tool that can address our challenges in providing quality remote care across several specialties that serve our rural patient needs. Through this project, Resilient Region Connectivity team will coordinate a regional effort that draws on expertise from several related fields and that seeks the best solutions for our unique rural healthcare requirements.”
This project is part of the Resilient Region Plan, a development strategy that resulted from input by more than 600 Central Minnesotans. The goal of the Plan is to create a sustainable region that integrates the disciplines of housing, transportation, natural environment and economic development, all while building an inclusive region.
“Rural leaders know that connected communities are vibrant communities,” said Dr. Kathleen Annette, CEO of Blandin Foundation. “We are delighted to see how the Resilient Region Champions are utilizing technology to improve care for rural Minnesotans.”
Since making rural broadband use and access a focus in 2003, Blandin Foundation has partnered with leaders in more than 60 communities and 80 organizations across the state to support sustainable broadband adoption to enhance quality of life and place.