Following Sinema’s Urging, FCC Extends Deadline for the Rural Health Care Program, Allowing Arizona Health Care Workers on the Front Lines to Focus on Fighting Coronavirus

Apr 1, 2020

WASHINGTON – Following Arizona senior Senator Kyrsten Sinema’s urging, the FCC extended the deadline for health care providers to apply for rural health care and telehealth resources, allowing Arizona health care providers on the front lines to focus on fighting coronavirus in their communities. The FCC has extended the deadline for the 2020 Rural Health Care Program, which supports telehealth at urban and rural locations to improve patient care and reduce health care costs for Arizonans, until June 30th.
“Rural health care and telehealth are all the more important during the coronavirus pandemic. Extending the deadline for rural health care providers in Arizona to apply for critical resources will help fight this public health crisis and keep Arizonans safe,” said Sinema.
Sinema recently cosponsored the bipartisan Immediate Relief for Rural Facilities and Providers Act, which works to support Arizona’s rural hospitals and providers to keep their doors open, pay their workers, and continue serving our communities. Open beds in rural hospitals will become essential to accommodate patient transfers from overwhelmed urban hospitals. Many rural facilities are also equipped to accommodate patients in need of ventilators, which experts predict will be essential to the nation’s pandemic response in the weeks ahead.
Sinema recently urged the Small Business Administration (SBA) to approve Arizona’s application requesting a SBA Disaster Declaration. This declaration allows Arizona businesses to apply for Economic Injury Disaster Loans to help small businesses handle the economic losses caused by COVID-19.
Sinema voted for three Congressionally-approved packages to address the coronavirus. These bills included Sinema’s provisions ensuring respirators used by patients and health workers have liability coverage and are available for Arizona communities, that COVID-19 tests are free, and that health care workers and Arizona cities and towns have increased resources to fight coronavirus.  
Sinema wrote to Vice President Pence and the White House Task Force about the government’s need to implement a single online webform that would allow the CDC to directly collect information from travelers and provide a more complete, accurate, and timely collection of data. Sinema also wrote VA about steps it’s taking to protect the health of veterans and staff. Sinema also wrote to the Vice President to ensure tribal leaders have the resources they need through the Indian Health Service, tribal health departments, and urban Indian health programs to keep their communities safe.
Sinema has also added a resources page to her website,, for Arizonans looking for the latest information on coronavirus.
Click HERE for Sinema’s letter.
Click HERE for the Spanish version of release.