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SCDHHS Creates $15 Million Grant Program to Help Rural and Medically Underserved Areas

COLUMBIA, S.C. – The South Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (SCDHHS) today announced the creation of a new grant program to improve access to quality medical care in rural and medically underserved areas throughout the state. Through the newly created grant program, the agency expects to distribute at least $15 million in one-time funds to support the creation or improvement of healthcare facilities in rural and/or medically underserved areas.

“This grant program is an important additional investment that will enhance access to care for South Carolinians who live in rural and medically underserved areas of the state,” said SCDHHS Director Robby Kerr. “We appreciate the support and trust Governor McMaster and the General Assembly have shown in SCDHHS by appropriating this funding and supporting this initiative.”

Selected awardees will receive up to $3 million in one-time infrastructure funds to create or improve facilities that provide high quality, cost-effective, coordinated and equitable services in essential health care areas such as primary care, maternal and infant care, pediatrics and behavioral health. Applicants will be required to operate grant-funded facilities for a minimum of five years.

The funding for the grant awards is drawn from one-time funding appropriated by the South Carolina General Assembly to SCDHHS to invest in infrastructure that will improve access to health care in these communities consistent with the direction provided in the state’s Rural Health Initiative (proviso 33.22). Through the initiative, the General Assembly gave SCDHHS the authority to “establish a grant program for providers to implement sustainable delivery models or capital improvements to enhance access to health care services.”

The application and instructions for this grant program are available on the agency’s website. Applications are due Dec. 4, 2023, and successful grant awardees will be notified Feb. 2, 2024. For questions about the grant program and applications, email

About the South Carolina Department of Health and Human Services

The South Carolina Department of Health and Human Services provides health care benefits to nearly 1.2 million South Carolinians. The agency’s mission is to be boldly innovative in improving the health and quality of life for South Carolinians.


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