Chairwoman Stabenow Announces Initiative to Expand Quality Health Care in Saginaw, Shiawassee Counties

Thursday, November 20, 2014

U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow, Chairwoman of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry, today announced support for Memorial Hospital in Owosso to help connect people in rural areas with quality health care. The $110,000 grant will be used to provide telemedicine between the hospital and five primary and specialty care office sites in Saginaw and Shiawassee Counties. The funding, which comes through the USDA's Distance Learning and Telemedicine Grant program, was authorized by Sen. Stabenow's 2014 Farm Bill.

"Families in Saginaw and Shiawassee Counties deserve access to quality health care services," said Stabenow. "With telehealth, patients are able to get important checkups and medical care even though the doctor is hundreds of miles away, thanks to state-of-the-art equipment and technology. Today's announcement will help make sure patients have access to specialists no matter what their zip code is."

The funding will help medical professionals at Memorial Hospital serve patients at five rural clinic sites by enabling the hospital and clinics to share digital radiology images and records.

Today's funding comes as part of a larger USDA announcement, which allocated $10 million in grants to improve access to health care and treat chronic illnesses like diabetes, heart disease, and high blood pressure, conditions that are higher in rural areas.

Senator Stabenow is Chairwoman of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry, which has jurisdiction over the USDA and its Distance Learning and Telemedicine Grant program.