$13 Million in grant funding coming to rural Michigan hospitals


A healthcare worker fills a syringe with Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine at a community vaccination event in a predominately Latino neighborhood in Los Angeles, California, August 11, 2021. – All teachers in California will have to be vaccinated against Covid-19 or submit to weekly virus tests, Governor Gavin Newsom announced on August 11, as authorities grapple with exploding infection rates. The number of people testing positive for the disease has surged in recent weeks, with the highly infectious Delta variant blamed for the bulk of new cases. (Photo by Robyn Beck / AFP) (Photo by ROBYN BECK/AFP via Getty Images)

LANSING, Mich. (WJMN) – A grant from the Health Resources and Service Administration for $13 million will be divided between 51 small, rural hospitals in Michigan to support COVID-19 testing and mitigation efforts.

According to a release from Governor Whitmer and the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS), rural hospitals with less 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,” said John Barnas, MCRH executive director. “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 funding are:

Ascension Allegan  MidMichigan Medical Center Gladwin 
Ascension Borgess-Lee Hospital MidMichigan Medical Center Gratiot 
Ascension Standish MidMichigan Medical Center West Branch 
Ascension St. Joseph Munising Memorial Hospital 
Aspirus Iron River Hospital & Clinics, Inc Munson Healthcare Cadillac Hospital 
Aspirus Ironwood Hospital  Munson Healthcare Charlevoix Hospital  
Aspirus Keweenaw Hospital  Munson Healthcare Grayling 
Aspirus Ontonagon Hospital  Munson Healthcare Manistee Hospital 
Baraga County Memorial Hospital  OSF St. Francis Hospital & Medical Group 
Bronson Lakeview Hospital  Munson Healthcare Otsego Memorial Hospital 
Bronson South Haven Hospital Paul Oliver Memorial Hospital  
Deckerville Hospital Portage Hospital, LLC 
Dickinson County Healthcare System Promedica Coldwater Regional Hospital 
Eaton Rapids Medical Center Promedica Charles and Virginia Hickman Hospital (Bixby) 
Harbor Beach Community Hospital Schoolcraft Memorial Hospital  
Helen Newberry Joy Hospital Sheridan Community Hospital  
Hillsdale Hospital Scheurer Hospital  
Hills & Dales General Hospital  Sparrow Carson Hospital  
Kalkaska Memorial Health Center Sparrow Clinton Hospital  
Mackinac Straits Health System  Sparrow Eaton Hospital 
Marlette Regional Hospital Sparrow Ionia Hospital 
McKenzie Health System Sturgis Hospital 
McLaren Caro Community Hospital  Three Rivers Health 
McLaren Central Michigan UP Health System-Bell 
McLaren Thumb Region War Memorial Hospital 
MidMichigan Medical Center Clare 

War Memorial Hospital in Sault Ste. Marie which is included in the above list, sent us the following response.

“War Memorial Hospital is grateful for the additional funding.  Our plan, at this time, is to utilize the funds for purchasing additional testing resources and to help support the additional staff needed to run these tests.”

WMH President & CEO, David Jahn

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