11 Rural Michigan Communities Score Federal Cash to Boost Health Care

(Michigan Association of Ambulance Services via Facebook)

By Kyle Kaminski

July 28, 2023

Thanks to President Joe Biden’s American Rescue Plan Act, millions of dollars in federal funding just landed in Michigan—and it’s all going to help improve health care in rural communities.

MICHIGAN—The US Department of Agriculture this week unleashed nearly $130 million in federal grant funding to nearly 200 rural health care organizations across the country.

The only goal: Improve health care facilities—and expand access to health care—in rural towns across the nation, including in Michigan, where 11 health care organizations will receive a total of about $4.5 million in funding, the US Department of Agriculture announced on Tuesday. 

The funding for the program—part of President Joe Biden’s “Investing in America” agenda—was wrapped into the American Rescue Plan Act, which was passed by Congress in 2021. The legislation was designed to deliver immediate economic relief to people impacted by the pandemic, while also providing long-term investments in areas like healthcare and housing.

All told, this week’s grant funding to 172 health care facilities is estimated to expand access to care for more than 5 million people in rural areas across 39 states, in addition to Puerto Rico. 

Here’s where the cash is going to work in Michigan, and how many people will benefit from it, according to the federal government:

City of Owosso — $152,500

Estimated # of Michiganders Benefitted: 15,194

This grant will be used to replace an ambulance and three new heart monitors/defibrillators—all of which got some “heavy use” during the pandemic and have outlived their useful lifespans.


Covered Bridge Healthcare of St. Joseph County — $1,000,000 

Estimated # of Michiganders Benefitted: 28,425

This grant will buy new equipment that will improve telehealth services and allow for precautionary surge preparation programs, should another pandemic ever break out.


Crawford County — $249,100 

Estimated # of Michiganders Benefitted: 14,074

This grant will be used to make various improvements to the county senior center, which was identified as a need during the pandemic. It will also support continued in-home food deliveries.


Gogebic-Ontonagon Community Action Agency — $35,000 

Estimated # of Michiganders Benefitted: 23,207

This grant will cover a vehicle that will be used to transport meals to homebound people. 


Harbor Beach Community Hospital — $1,000,000 

Estimated # of Michiganders Benefitted: 2,303

This grant will be used to buy an X-ray machine, a portable X-ray machine, and other equipment—as well as upgrade heating, ventilation, and air conditioning at the hospital. A new food storage area will also be added to increase surge capacity for future public health events.


Rogers City Area Senior and Community Center — $100,500 

Estimated # of Michiganders Benefitted: 2,827

This grant will be used to replace a collapsed roof at the senior and community center. 


Roscommon County — $69,100 

Estimated # of Michiganders Benefitted: 24,449

This grant will be used to buy new communications equipment for the county central dispatch. The current equipment has outlived its useful lifespan and is no longer reliable, officials said.


Schoolcraft Memorial Hospital (Manistique) — $349,685 

Estimated # of Michiganders Benefitted: 8,485

This grant will be used to buy new equipment—like an X-ray machine and other imaging tools that experienced significant wear-and-tear during the pandemic and are in need of replacement.


Tri-Township Ambulance (Atlanta) — $92,700 

Estimated # of Michiganders Benefitted: 3,386

This grant will be used to cover a new ambulance to transport patients with infectious diseases.


United Way of Northwest Michigan (Traverse City) — $1,000,000 

Estimated # of Michiganders Benefitted: 113,422

This grant will be used to buy new equipment and renovate a Traverse City office building, which will serve as a dental clinic for children and veterans who have been unable to receive treatment due to behavioral conditions, autism, and post-traumatic stress disorder.


United We Smile (Traverse City) — $455,000 

Estimated # of Michiganders Benefitted: 113,422

This grant will be used to support a new community center associated with the new Traverse City dental clinic, which will include office spaces, rooms for group therapy, and a food pantry.

For the latest Michigan news, follow The ‘Gander on Twitter.

Follow Political Correspondent Kyle Kaminski here.


  • Kyle Kaminski

    Kyle Kaminski is an award-winning investigative journalist with more than a decade of experience covering news across Michigan. Prior to joining The ‘Gander, Kyle worked as the managing editor at City Pulse in Lansing and as a reporter for the Traverse City Record-Eagle.

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