Congresswoman Stacey E. Plaskett (USVI) released the following statement regarding a multi-million-dollar investment by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) in distance learning and telemedicine projects for rural communities across the United States including the U.S. Virgin Islands:
“Today, the USDA announced $1,325,254 of grants in distance learning and telemedicine projects in the U.S. Virgin Islands. A $489,723 grant awarded to the University of the Virgin Islands (UVI) and the Virgin Islands Small Business Development Center (VISBDC) will enable UVI to implement a distance learning program providing early health screening, educational courses and training. A $489,936 grant to the Virgin Islands Department of Education (VIDOE) gives the Department the funding to expand course offerings, prepare students for college and provide continuing education opportunities for teachers. The third grant of $345,595, awarded to the Government of the Virgin Islands, will fund a telemedicine project in five sites on St. Thomas and St. Croix.
“These grants will be instrumental in providing rural areas with the tools needed to reduce the educational and health disparities between rural areas and urban and suburban areas.”