Senator Stabenow, Alpena Community College Announce $500,000 to Expand Opioid Treatment in Michigan Rural Communities

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow, Ranking Member of the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry, today announced $500,000 in new funding for Alpena Community College to expand telemedicine opioid treatment at 25 locations throughout Northeastern Michigan. This new federal support will ensure patients can get the care they need without traveling long distances to seek treatment.

This investment comes through the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Rural Development Distance Learning and Telemedicine program in the 2018 Farm Bill, which Senator Stabenow co-authored. Senator Stabenow advocated for Alpena Community College’s grant application with the USDA.

“Families in rural Michigan have been hit hard by the opioid epidemic and face many barriers in getting treatment,” said Senator Stabenow. “Telemedicine uses state-of-the-art technology to help remove one of these barriers by allowing patients to get treatment closer to home.”

“We look forward to working with our partners to address a serious health issue in Northeast Michigan for the constituents we serve,” said Dr. Don MacMaster, President of Alpena Community College. “We thank the USDA and Senator Stabenow for their confidence and we look forward to contributing to the health of rural Americans.”

Alpena Community College will receive $500,000 to install interactive video equipment at 25 locations in 18 northeastern Michigan counties. This telemedicine equipment will connect rural patients struggling with opioid addiction to treatment and health care resources.