U.S. Interior Assistant Secretary for Insular Areas Esther Kia’aina recently approved nearly $850,000 in grants to help with improvements to the St. Thomas East End Medical Center, provide at-risk youth with apprenticeship opportunities, strengthen V.I. Water and Power Authority capacity, and underwrite a survey, according to the Interior Department.
“It is important that the Virgin Islands have the resources to update economic indicator data for the territory,” Kia’aina said in a statement announcing the grants. “Accurate and timely data is critical for investors and decision-makers with respect to the economy and in seeking fair treatment by the federal government in its allocation of federal funding to the Virgin Islands.”
“The additional federal funding provided will also help strengthen capacity within the Virgin Islands Housing Authority and USVI Water and Power Authority as well as increase healthcare access provided by the St. Thomas East End Medical Center Corporation,” she added.
The new funding will break down as follows:
– St. Thomas East End Medical Center: $201,500 to support the only existing federally qualified health center in the St. Thomas-St. John district, which provides health services to more than half of the total population of the U.S. Virgin Islands. Funding will be used to upgrade, improve, and enhance existing information technology infrastructure and to help the clinic continue to provide high-quality health care to the residents of the community without regard for their ability to pay.