By Madeline Heim
March 30, 2022
GRAND CHUTE – Wisconsin hospitals and community organizations will be able to apply for federal COVID relief funding to beef up telehealth services — video and phone consultations with doctors and nurses — as part of two new state grant programs.
Gov. Tony Evers announced the $5 million investment Wednesday at Partnership Community Health Center, which provides health care to low-income people in the Fox Cities. He hosted a second news conference later in the day at a nursing home in Merrill.
The two grant programs, funded with American Rescue Plan Act dollars, are aimed at expanding access to mental health services for children and making telehealth appointments easier to access for people without reliable internet at home, Evers said.
Half of the money will be used to provide up to five health care provider systems with one-year grants of about $500,000 to expand virtual psychiatry services for kids. The other half will give dozens of community organizations one-year grants of about $100,000 to establish telehealth access points in libraries, food pantries, community centers and homeless shelters.
“We can ensure that folks can meet with a health care provider no matter where they live — that’s what telehealth does for us,” Evers said.