The world is experiencing hardships across different industries. Two industries that are top of mind for everyone right now are education and healthcare. Both industries have immediate needs. Classes need to be available for children of all ages including higher education. Healthcare institutions need to stay operational.
Beyond the classroom, this also impacts parents. They want the assurance that their children can receive a valid education (from home or in the classroom). They need to have access to the right tools to make this work. For full-time workers, they need to balance work and education for their child(ren).
Quick access to a healthcare provider (telehealth or otherwise) is a desire for all. Healthcare professionals need to keep things running efficiently wherever they are practicing.
Many organizations in education and healthcare are in need of various solutions to help accommodate these unusual times. The biggest issue is that many may not have the budget available.
There is Federal funding available. Many have acted on this and have already received their allotted amount. There’s also the possibility that many (including institutions) aren’t knowledgeable about who and what qualifies for the CARES Act.
On March 27th, the CARES Act was signed into law. The United States Treasury set aside $150 billion. Through the Coronavirus Relief Fund, the CARES Act provides for payments to State, Local, and Tribal governments navigating the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak.
The CARES Act requires that the payments from the Coronavirus Relief Fund only be used to cover expenses that—
This funding can include Technology infrastructure maintenance, laptops for children for in-home education, telehealth and improved bandwidth capacity. There is a significant demand for institutions to keep up with the necessary technology and bandwidth as remote working and schooling continue.
This funding covers K-12, higher education, Telehealth and Healthcare providers at the state and local levels. Many organizations may ask how can this funding be used.
In healthcare, there is the need for never-ending storage for electronic versions of X-rays. These are typically very large files and will take up a significant amount of space in one’s current storage environment. This is one example in healthcare where funding is needed.
Another case is schools who store online educational software, student’s online reports, projects, etc. More and more file space is a need. Data centers will need to expand and costs for storage will increase. These type of funds can help education and healthcare institutions expand their storage to accommodate the forthcoming Terabyte avalanche. There are cases where these funds could pay for the entire storage upgrade.
Providing children with the necessary equipment to learn as much at home as they are in the classroom is expensive. However, like the potential storage costs being covered under the CARES Act, State or local funding, the same could be said for laptops. Below is an example of funding available from a fund titled, “Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund (ESSER).”
However, much like annual budgets prior to COVID-19, if funds are not used, then the next round results in a smaller financial injection. There are also local and state funds available for educators and healthcare providers. These have their own deadlines for application and expenditures. Below is a timeline of the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund (ESSER) ($13.2 billion). This is just an example of what to be aware of when researching and applying for funds. There’s a ‘shot clock’ for obtaining these funds.
Recipients of the CARES Act, State and local funding must all meet the requirements. At Zunesis, we can help identify funds and grants which would be applicable to an education or healthcare institution. We have done this for several of our SLED and Healthcare customers. It can be overwhelming, but we’re very good at identifying these opportunities.
Being an IT Solutions provider, we can identify the optimal infrastructure for your Education or Healthcare organization. And once the funding is available, we will make the applicable hardware order, track it, install it and provide documentation for reference.
We are all in this fight together. Let’s work together to help one another out during these times of need.