WEST FELICIANA PARISH, La (BRPROUD)- As COVID-19 cases rise in Louisiana, rural hospitals are receiving grants to support Covid response efforts.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services through the Health Resources and Services Administration is providing Louisiana with $10,335,040, this funding through the Small Rural Hospital Improvement Program will go to 40 small rural hospitals — one of them is West Feliciana Parish Hospital.

CEO Lee Chastant says the fund will allow the hospital to expand.

“Rural hospitals are small by definition and because of that resources are limited so having that money we really were not expecting has really helped us to do projects we probably would have had to put on the shelf or wait until later to do,” says Chastant.

The grant will allow the hospital to increase its capacity to do vaccinations and lab work. Many people would otherwise have to travel half an hour to neighboring parishes for medical care.

“We’re the only parish in the area and we’re the only rural health clinic in the area,” says Chastant

West Feliciana Parish Hospital can expect this grant in a few months.