Durbin, Duckworth Announce $1 Million Telehealth Grant For Mercy Health System In Rockford

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) today announced that Mercy Health System in Rockford was awarded $1 million in federal funding to improve and expand telehealth services during the COVID-19 pandemic. The grant, awarded by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and established as part of the CARES Act, will allow Mercy Health Systems to purchase devices that will enable audio/video interaction between providers and patients during the COVID-19 pandemic and will allow patients to overcome barriers to care, such as transportation challenges, remote locations, and a limited quantity of health care providers.

“Telehealth services can help more patients to access quality care no matter where they are,” Durbin said. “I applaud the staff at Rockford’s Mercy Health System for their tireless work throughout this pandemic. Senator Duckworth and I will continue working to bring federal resources to Illinois that will help more patients and providers.”

“Expanding the reach of local healthcare networks is critical to extending reliable, accessible care to more Illinoisans, especially as we continue to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic,” Duckworth said. “I’m proud to join Senator Durbin in announcing these federal telehealth funds to help Rockford’s health providers continue serving their community in this time of need.”

“Telehealth benefits our entire community by allowing us to provide our patients with access to care while reducing COVID-19 exposures. In addition to helping patients with COVID-19 symptoms get the appropriate care they need in a safe setting, it also allows us to reach patients who have challenges with transportation, extreme temperatures, and child care or work schedules. The grant from the FCC’s COVID-19 Telehealth Program will help us continue on our path to meet patients where they are,” said Javon R. Bea, President and CEO of Mercyhealth.