The Gila Regional Medical Center will receive nearly $7 million in funding to help fight the coronavirus pandemic, Rep. Xochitl Torres-Small (D-N.M.) announced.
The additional funding will allow the medical center to keep its doors open and continue offering care to fight the coronavirus pandemic. The money is expected to be delivered by mid-April.
Torres Small has paid special attention to rural hospitals during her time in office. The National Institute of Health reports that hospitals in rural areas often have physician shortages and an older population of patients who are more susceptible to the coronavirus.
The congresswoman worked alongside Sen. Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) to secure the funding.
“When Gila Regional Medical Center contacted Senator Heinrich and me about their dire financial situation, we sprang into action. Thanks to strong communication with Gila Regional, funds included the CARES Act, and good teamwork to highlight the situation with CMS, we were able to help secure over $6.8 million in funding that will allow GRMC to stay open and continue treating patients,” Torres Small said in a statement.
“Now more than ever, we need to work together to support our rural healthcare, and I was grateful to be able to work with Senator Heinrich and the staff at GRMC to help make this happen.”
The two also sent a letter to HHS Secretary Alex Azar highlighting that rural hospitals rely heavily on revenue from elective and non-urgent procedures, which have been canceled during the coronavirus pandemic.
“Rural hospitals like Gila Regional Medical Center are absolutely essential to the health of their communities. It is critical that we do everything possible to keep these hospitals afloat during this crisis and I am proud of the collaboration with Congresswoman Torres Small to secure this loan that will provide a significant infusion of resources for this hospital,” Sen. Heinrich said in a statement.
Torres Small supported and voted to pass the legislation that made funding for the Gila Medical Center possible.