KENTUCKY — In February 2021, U.S. Congressman Andy Barr, R-Ky., announced an $869,604.00 U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development grant to the Saint Joseph Hospital Foundation for the expansion of telemedicine in Kentucky’s 6th Congressional district. 

The grant funding comes from the Rural Development’s Distance Learning and Telemedicine Grant Program. 

Saint Joseph Hospital Foundation services residents in Fayette, Madison, Montgomery, Clark and Fleming counties.

“Telemedicine is a critical tool in the fight against COVID-19. By utilizing telemedicine, we limit exposure of possible COVID-19 positive patients to healthcare workers, nurses and doctors, saving on personal protective equipment and cutting down on transmission of COVID-19 in medical offices and hospitals,” said Barr. “I commend Saint Joseph Hospital Foundation for embracing telemedicine as a way to protect their staff and better treat their patients moving forward.”

On the battle against COVID-19, Barr says the Biden administration has plenty of room for improvement, as it relates to COVID-19 response and vaccine distribution. 

"The COVID-19 relief bill they touted only had 9% of the funding in it actually applied to health-related to COVID-19. Most of it was a liberal wish list of bailout to state and local governments for pre-COVID liabilities, stimulus payments to illegal immigrants and prisoners, alot of waste, pork and deficit spending that had nothing to do with COVID-19," said Barr.