The USDA offers grants through their Distance Learning and Telemedicine (DLT) Grant Program, to help rural communities use the unique capabilities of telecommunications to connect to each other and to the world, overcoming the effects of remoteness and low populations density.

Heres what you need to know:

The grant program helps rural communities acquire the technology and training necessary to connect educational and medical professionals with the teachers and medical providers who serve rural residents at the local level.

Eligible applicants include state and local governments, for-profits, non-profits, Federally recognized Tribes, and a Consortia of eligible entities.

To be eligible for a grant, the telemedicine end user site(s) (patient locations) will have a population of 20,000 or less.

Matching Funds

Applicants must provide a minimum of 15% of the amount of grant money requested in the application. In-kind vendor donations were not eligible in 2016 and no change is foreseen. Matching funds are one area where an applicant can make up points lost in other sections of the proposal.

Subjective Points:

Applicants who tell a compelling story about the need for the programs and how they will benefit the area will receive a large number of points in this category.

Points for technological innovation that show how the program plans to bring something new to the area are among the hardest points to get.

Demonstrating the cost effectiveness that a program hopes to achieve is not about getting the lowest possible price for equipment. Instead, the applicant shows it has done due diligence in considering the best fit for the program.

Use of Grant Funds:

Grant funds may be used for:

  • Audio, video, and interactive video equipment
  • Broadband facilities that support distant learning or telemedicine
  • Computer hardware, network components, and software
  • Acquisition of instructional programming
  • Acquisition of technical assistance and instruction for using eligible equipment

The grant money does not pay for the installation or construction of telecommunications transmission facilities or recurring or operating expenses, other than leases for eligible equipment

GlobalMeds Proven Experience

GlobalMed has worked with past USDA grant awardees to develop telemedicine solutions that are now adding value and improving outcomes for rural communities throughout the United States.

Program Resources are available at For questions, contact a General Field Representative in your area at 202.720.0800 or

Contact Us

GlobalMed is about as customized and individual as you can be. They go in and literally assess the need. What specialties do you need this technology for, whether it be a stroke or pediatrics or tele-dermatology, and then they customize the product to those needs.

Garfield JonesVice President of Sales, REACH Call

I can do everything but touch the patientI see a lot of the studies that say telemedicine is equivalent to being there. But, I actually think there is a case for saying at times telemedicine is better than being there.

Kathleen WebsterMD, Loyola University Health System