Having distributed $50 million of Recovery funds among more than 700 recipients, and with all projects now complete, the NEA becomes the second federal agency to conclude its Recovery Act activities. (The Smithsonian Institution was first, in July 2011.)
As it normally does with program funding, the NEA divided its awards into two categories:
- 60 percent were grants awarded on a competitive basis to nonprofit arts and related organizations
- 40 percent was awarded to state arts agencies and regional arts organizations.
637 grants were made to nonprofit art and related organizations for a combined $30 million. State/regional arts commissions received a total 56 grants involving approximately $20 million.
All grants were specifically intended to help the nonprofit arts sector weather declines in philanthropic and other support during the recession.
The Department of the Navy’s largest Recovery funded project is a new hospital under construction at Camp Pendleton on the California coast. When completed in January 2014, the hospital will support approximately 151,000 active duty and retired military personnel and their families.
The 500,000 square-foot facility will include:
- Inpatient services
- Emergency care
- Primary care
- Specialty care
The $394 million contract was awarded to the Costa Mesa firm Clark/McCarthy, which in turn has engaged the services of 49 sub-recipients. The new hospital replaces one constructed in 1969.
As of the end of September, 2011 work on the foundation, including installation of below-ground mechanical, electrical, and plumbing systems, was complete. Workers are now erecting the structural steel for the seven-story building.
The newly constructed Cheyenne River Health Center in South Dakota, is a 138,542 square foot facility that will provide health services for 9,300 American Indians. The hospital was built with $84.5 million from the Recovery Act, broke ground in May 2008 and is set to open in December. The facility replaces the former Eagle Butte Indian Health Services (IHS) Hospital, which was unable to meet the needs of the community. New staff quarters for health care providers are also being built as part of this project.
The Recovery Act has provided $500 million through the IHS for the construction of priority health care facilities, building maintenance and improvement, water and wastewater sanitation projects, the purchase of medical equipment and health information technology. IHS projects include, the replacement of the Eagle Butte Health Center and also the Norton Sound Regional Hospital in Nome, Alaska. The new facility in Nome will serve 10,000 Alaska Native spread across 44,000 miles. Together the projects have been funded with $227 million in Recovery Act funds.
You can learn more about this project by visiting the HHS website.
View a description of quarterly activities related to the construction of the Cheyenne River Health Center, or see the recipient summary for the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe.
Cleaning up contaminated groundwater at the Lowell, Massachusetts site of a former chemical plant has been accelerated as a result of $20 million in Recovery Act funds from the Environmental Protection Agency.
When Silresim Corporation went out of business in 1977, it left behind 30,000 decaying drums and large storage tanks filled with toxic chemicals, which leaked into the groundwater. The drums and tanks have since been removed, but state and federal officials have been working to clean up the contamination for almost 30 years.
Using advanced technology, which Recovery funds helped to buy, officials expect to remove more than 50 tons of chemicals from soil and water within nine months – a process that would normally take much longer.
Nobis Engineering, Inc., a local firm, is prime contractor for the work.
Diabetes afflicts nearly 24 million Americans, and another 79 million have an increased risk for the disease. It is the seventh leading cause of death among all Americans and is a major cause of other deadly diseases. Annual healthcare costs associated with diabetes total $174 billion.
Because of these concerns, the Department of Health and Human Services has provided more than $500 million in Recovery Act funds to universities, hospitals, and related institutions to conduct research into diabetes. The goals are two-fold:
- Increase understanding of causes and treatments of the disease
- Invest in health information technology that can lead to better and more efficient care and prevention
Type 2 diabetes accounts for at least 90 percent of all cases. Two Recovery funded research projects – by University of Michigan and University of Virginia, respectively – are exploring the genetics of diabetes:
- A study building on recent discoveries of common genetic variants that contribute to type 2 diabetes
- A study to identify genetic contributors to diabetes and cardiovascular risk factors in African Americans, who are at elevated risk for type 2 diabetes and heart disease
Construction of a new railroad bridge funded by the Recovery Act in San Jose, California is almost complete. The new bridge will replace an older lower bridge that blocked floodwater and often caused the Guadalupe River to flood and is scheduled to be completed in November 2011. This is the last piece of a decades-long U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) project to reduce flood risk for the city.
Visit the USACE Sacramento District Flickr page to view photos of the project’s progress as of October 5, 2011.
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) projects that approximately $18 billion will be paid in incentive payments nationwide from 2011-2012 through the Recovery Act’s Medicare and Medicaid Electronic Health Records (EHR) Incentive Programs. Healthcare professionals and hospitals who adopt and use certified EHR technology will be eligible to receive these funds.
The Office of National Coordinator for Health IT has set up Regional Extension Centers across the country to help providers choose and adopt the certified EHR best suited for their practices. These Regional Extension Centers have also received Recovery Act awards.
Read the full story about the effects of the EHR incentive funds on a small business in Arkansas by visiting the Health and Human Services website. You can also view the list of certified EHR products and their vendors and developers here.
Using Recovery funds, the General Services Administration (GSA) recently completed upgrades to improve energy efficiency at the Robert C. Byrd U.S. Courthouse in Charleston, West Virginia. The renovations included the installation of a new roof and 315 photovoltaic solar panels, upgrades to the parking garage, and adjustments to the heating, ventilation and cooling systems. Learn more about this project and read the full story by visiting the GSA website.
The Department of Energy’s Environmental Management program recently completed five ARRA-funded projects at the Oak Ridge site.
The projects included: expansion of 2 landfills at the Oak Ridge Reservation, a 385,000 cubic yard expansion of the Sanitary Landfill (a designated area for non-hazardous waste), and the addition of another disposal cell with a capacity of 465,000 cubic yards. The expansion allows for the local disposal of waste generated by environmental cleanup initiatives, eliminating costly shipping expenses.
Pre-demolition and demolition projects at the East Tennessee Technology Park and the Y-12 National Security complex were also recently completed.
Read more about the completion of these Recovery Act projects on the Department of Energy’s website.
University programs across the U.S. have received $32 million through the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act — part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act– to develop specific IT capabilities for health-care professionals. HITECH funding is supporting training programs at 82 community colleges, curriculum development for use in community colleges and other higher education institutions, and the development of competency examinations. Totaling $118 million, this funding is intended to supply health-care providers with highly skilled experts needed for the adoption and meaningful use of electronic health records.
Over the next 3 years approximately 1,700 graduate-level students will receive tuition assistance for nine university programs nationwide. To date, about 650 students have enrolled and more than 400 will graduate between May and August 2011.
Visit the Health and Human Services website to find out more about HITECH Act funding and read the stories of professionals who have received assistance.