$13M grant will help Michigan's rural hospitals battle COVID-19

Hospital medical doctor file photo.jpeg
Posted at 11:25 AM, Aug 26, 2021

LANSING, Mich. — Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services have secured a $13 million grant from the Health Resources and Services Administration for 51 small, rural hospitals in the state.

The hospitals will support COVID-19 testing and mitigation, according to a news release Thursday.

“Our top priority is supporting the brave professionals on the frontlines of our health care industry in every corner of our state to ensure that they have what they need to protect themselves, their family and their neighbors,” Whitmer said. “This funding will help rural hospitals continue serving their communities by expanding their COVID-19 testing capacity and mitigation efforts. I want to thank the nurses, doctors and all medical professionals who continue to go above and beyond to keep people safe each and every day.”

Rural hospitals with fewer than 50 staff will be able to use the funds for testing equipment, personnel, temporary structures or education.

Mitigation strategies must be part of the CDC community mitigation framework, including education, contact tracing, communication and outreach.

Each hospital will receive about $257,000, which must be used within 18 months of receipt.

The Michigan Center for Rural Health, which serves as the Michigan State Office of Rural Health, will distribute the funding to the hospitals.

“As the State Office of Rural Health, MCRH is dedicated to improving the health of rural Michigan residents and we are pleased to be able to distribute this funding to Michigan’s rural hospitals,” MCRH Executive Director John Barnas said. “Rural hospitals have long been the cornerstone of rural communities and have been vital and steadfast in their response to COVID-19. This funding will benefit the communities greatly, allowing the hospitals to continue their diligent work in the battle against COVID-19 by increasing testing capacity and implementing mitigation strategies to reduce the effects of COVID-19.”

Hospitals receiving the funding include:

Ascension AlleganMidMichigan Medical Center Gladwin
Ascension Borgess-Lee HospitalMidMichigan Medical Center Gratiot
Ascension StandishMidMichigan Medical Center West Branch
Ascension St. JosephMunising Memorial Hospital
Aspirus Iron River Hospital & Clinics, IncMunson Healthcare Cadillac Hospital
Aspirus Ironwood HospitalMunson Healthcare Charlevoix Hospital
Aspirus Keweenaw HospitalMunson Healthcare Grayling
Aspirus Ontonagon HospitalMunson Healthcare Manistee Hospital
Baraga County Memorial HospitalOSF St. Francis Hospital & Medical Group
Bronson Lakeview HospitalMunson Healthcare Otsego Memorial Hospital
Bronson South Haven HospitalPaul Oliver Memorial Hospital
Deckerville HospitalPortage Hospital, LLC
Dickinson County Healthcare SystemPromedica Coldwater Regional Hospital
Eaton Rapids Medical CenterPromedica Charles and Virginia Hickman Hospital (Bixby)
Harbor Beach Community HospitalSchoolcraft Memorial Hospital
Helen Newberry Joy HospitalSheridan Community Hospital
Hillsdale HospitalScheurer Hospital
Hills & Dales General HospitalSparrow Carson Hospital
Kalkaska Memorial Health CenterSparrow Clinton Hospital
Mackinac Straits Health SystemSparrow Eaton Hospital
Marlette Regional HospitalSparrow Ionia Hospital
McKenzie Health SystemSturgis Hospital
McLaren Caro Community HospitalThree Rivers Health
McLaren Central MichiganUP Health System-Bell
McLaren Thumb RegionWar Memorial Hospital
MidMichigan Medical Center Clare