Senator Stabenow Announces over $544,000 to Expand Quality Health Care to Rural Communities in Michigan

Thursday, July 14, 2016

U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow, Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry, announced over $544,000 for Munson Medical Center and Central Michigan University – College of Medicine to expand telemedicine to rural communities by helping patients in Northern Michigan receive specialty care as well as training medical students and physicians. The funding will ensure patients get the care they need without having to drive long distances to seek medical attention. This grant comes from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Development Distance Learning and Telemedicine program.

“Families in rural Michigan deserve the same access to high-quality healthcare as the rest of the State,” said Senator 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.”

Munson Medical Center will receive $407,676 to connect nineteen rural medical clinics to the Munson Medical Center and Grand Valley State University in order to provide specialty care to rural areas in Grand Traverse, Ottawa, Wexford, Charlevoix, Benzie, Otsego, Crawford, Kalkaska, Manistee, Mackinac, Cheboygan, Roscommon, Chippewa, and Leelanau Counties.

Central Michigan University – College of Medicine will receive $137,010 to offer community based training to its medical students in order serve rural areas in Isabella, Saginaw, Clare, Houghton, Lake, Mackinac, Lapeer, Gratiot, Huron, Ostego, Tuscola, and Baraga Counties. In addition, the project will allow existing rural physicians to take continuing medical education courses from the College of Medicine to enhance healthcare in these areas.

The Distance Learning and Telemedicine program helps rural communities use the unique capabilities of telecommunications to connect to each other and to the world, overcoming the effects of remoteness and low population density. For more information on other programs administered by RUS Telecommunications please visit: