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Federal grant funds head to rural Michigan hospitals

McLaren Health Care
Caro Community Hospital is one of 51 rural hospitals in Michigan getting federal grant funding for COVID-19 testing and mitigation.

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services said this week that more than 50 hospitals in rural parts of the state will receive federal grant funds for COVID-19 testing and mitigation.

The grants are headed to 51 hospitals, all of which have fewer than 50 employees, according to the state health department.

Some of these hospitals have been hit hard by a recent spike in COVID-19 cases. Several are in counties in the Upper Peninsula where there are no intensive care beds.

Public health officials said those hospitals have been sending patients who need high-level care to neighboring counties -- or, in some cases, neighboring states.

Each hospital will get about $257,000, which must be used within 18 months, said the state’s center for rural health.

Michigan health department director Elizabeth Hertel said in a statement that despite their small size, “the state’s rural hospitals have saved countless lives throughout the pandemic.”

Brett joined WCMU in February, 2021, as a general assignment reporter. He was previously the health reporter at WXXI Public Broadcasting in Rochester, N.Y., and has filed stories for National Public Radio, IEEE Spectrum, The Village Voice and other outlets.