Chairwoman Stabenow Announces Initiative to Expand Quality Health Care, Train New Doctors in Michigan

Thursday, November 20, 2014

U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow, Chairwoman of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry, today announced support for the Central Michigan University College of Medicine to help connect people in rural areas with quality health care. The $297,671 grant will help train doctors in rural clinics and hospitals across the state. 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 Michigan deserve access to quality health care services," said Stabenow. "It's critical that doctors are available to serve our rural communities now and in the future, and today's announcement will help make sure patients have access to highly-trained specialists no matter what their zip code is."

Central Michigan University's College of Medicine will use the funding to train 104 medical students in rural clinics and hospitals. The goal of the project is to encourage students to work in rural communities in order to increase the number of health care providers available in these areas.

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.