Gov. Whitmer Obtains $13 Million for Michigan Rural Hospitals

Gretchen Whitmer
by Scott McClallen


Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) secured a $13 million grant from the federal government to support COVID-19 testing and mitigation in 51 small, rural hospitals.

“Our top priority is supporting the brave professionals on the frontlines of our health care industry in every corner of our state to ensure that they have what they need to protect themselves, their family, and their neighbors,” Whitmer said in a statement. “This funding will help rural hospitals continue serving their communities by expanding their COVID-19 testing capacity and mitigation efforts. I want to thank the nurses, doctors, and all medical professionals who continue to go above and beyond to keep people safe each and every day.”

Rural hospitals with fewer than 50 staff will be able to use the funds from the federal Health Resources and Services Administration for testing equipment, personnel, temporary structures, or education. Mitigation strategies must follow the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) community mitigation framework, including education, contact tracing, communication, and outreach. Each hospital will receive about $257,000 that must be spent within 18 months of receipt.

“The state’s rural hospitals have saved countless lives throughout the pandemic,” MDHHS director Elizabeth Hertel said in a statement. “We are pleased they will be able to use this funding to further help in the fight against COVID-19 as we all work together to end the pandemic.”

The Michigan Center for Rural Health (MCHR), 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,” John Barnas, MCRH executive director, said in a statement. “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 include:

  • 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

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Scott McClallen is a staff writer covering Michigan and Minnesota for The Center Square. A graduate of Hillsdale College, his work has appeared on and Previously, he worked as a financial analyst at Pepsi.
Photo “Gretchen Whitmer” by Gretchen Whitmer and photo “Beaumont Hospital campus bilingual sign” by Darren J. Prior CC BY-SA 4.0.



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