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Biden-Harris Administration and U.S. Department of Agriculture Announce $1.2 Million to Support Rural Michigan Health Care Providers

Alec Lloyd
East Lansing
Release Date

U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced the establishment of a program under President Biden’s American Rescue Plan to expand rural hospitals and providers’ access to COVID-19 vaccines, testing, and supplies, while helping rural health care providers stay financially solvent in the long-term. Michigan has three projects with a total investment of $1.2 million.

“Under the leadership of President Biden and Vice President Harris, USDA mobilized our staff and resources to respond in record time to improve the long-term viability of rural health care providers and services across this nation,” Vilsack said. “USDA used an all-hands-on-deck approach to create the Emergency Rural Health Care Grants program to address a variety of immediate health care needs and services in rural communities. The American Rescue Plan Act and this program are examples of the government’s ability to respond quickly to ensure every person and family has access to high-quality health care no matter their zip code.”

The Biden-Harris Administration made these funds available through its historic legislative package, the American Rescue Plan Act. Within months after the Act’s passage, USDA responded quickly by making this funding available to ensure the long-term availability of rural health care services. In total, the program will use up to $475 million in grants provided by President Biden’s American Rescue Plan to expand rural hospitals and providers. Additional awards will be announced in the coming months.

“These grants are only the beginning of how USDA can help Michigan communities,” said USDA Rural Development State Director for Michigan Brandon Fewins.  “I urge rural healthcare providers to contact us to see how we can provide assistance.”

The grants USDA is awarding will help rural hospitals and health care providers implement telehealth and nutrition assistance programs, increase staffing to administer COVID-19 vaccines and testing, build or renovate facilities and purchase medical supplies.

  • Munson Healthcare Grayling, in Crawford County, will use a $1 million grant to supplement lost revenue experienced as a direct result of the COVID-19 global pandemic. The primary cause of lost revenue was COVID-19 testing and vaccination in the community. More than 2,000 seniors and essential workers were vaccinated in the winter of 2021 at Munson Healthcare's Grayling clinic. 
  • Otsego County Ambulance will use a $37,485 grant to purchase ambulance equipment that saw extensive use during the COVID19 pandemic. Previous electrocardiogram units underwent increased strain during the pandemic, directly related to the Ambulance Corps' significant increase in call volume and COVID transports. The new equipment will replace the older machines and allow the grantee to align with new telehealth standards.
  • Munising Memorial Hospital Association, in Alger County, will use a $195,680 grant to purchase a computed tomography (CT) scanner. The new CT scanner will allow for enhanced care for COVID-19 patients and benefit the community by offering tests that were previously unavailable.

Under the Biden-Harris Administration, Rural Development provides loans and grants to help expand economic opportunities, create jobs and improve the quality of life for millions of Americans in rural areas. This assistance supports infrastructure improvements; business development; housing; community facilities such as schools, public safety and health care; and high-speed internet access in rural, tribal and high-poverty areas. For more information, visit www.rd.usda.gov. If you’d like to subscribe to USDA Rural Development updates, visit the GovDelivery subscriber page.