- Associated Press - Thursday, July 14, 2016

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) - Two institutions in South Dakota have received grants from the U.S. Department of Agriculture meant to help connect rural communities with medical and educational services.

Avera Health and Mount Marty College are each receiving one of the 81 grants that the USDA has awarded for distance learning and telemedicine projects.

Avera is receiving more than $494,000 to provide pharmacy services to 18 rural, understaffed hospitals through telemedicine. The agency says the grant will allow a pharmacist to provide prescription review and pharmacy support 24 hours a day.

Mount Marty College is getting more than $116,000 to buy video conferencing equipment to offer tribal colleges classes that are part of the curriculum of a master’s degree in education. The USDA says this project will help train current and future teachers.

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