New $100M grant program to aide emergency, long-term care, and other services

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MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- A new grant program in Wisconsin promises to offer $100 million to support the agencies and services that support the most at-risk individuals in the state.

State officials plan to distribute the money as grants to agencies such as emergency medical services, home and community-based services, long-term care providers, and assisted living facilities. The funding will come from the federal government’s $2 trillion stimulus package.

“These providers need this additional funding to maintain patient care of the highest quality,” Department of Health Services Secretary-designee Andrea Palm said. “The services they provide save lives on a daily basis, and that is especially true during this pandemic.”

The Evers Administration will roll out the grants in two phases. The first part will target the immediate needs of the receiving agencies. In the second, state officials will focus more on the recipients’ unique needs. The money will help with both COVID-19-related expenses as well as losses the agencies sustained through the interruptions the pandemic caused to their normal operations.

“We recognize the significant burden the COVID-19 response has placed on these providers,” Gov. Evers said. “We also recognize the integral role they play in ensuring the health and safety of some of our most vulnerable Wisconsinites and we want to support their efforts during this pandemic.”

The Governor’s Office explained the emergency services are working the frontlines of the outbreak, while the long-term care facilities and home and community-based services are providing assistance to some of the most vulnerable populations. It said those agencies have trouble buying personal protective equipment and retaining workers, adding that these grants will make it possible for them to offer the essential services.