Senator Stabenow Applauds Initiative to Expand Quality Health Care in West Michigan

U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow, Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry, today announced support for Spectrum Health System to help connect people in rural areas with quality health care. The $254,884 grant will benefit five counties in West Michigan. The funding, which comes from the USDA’s Distance Learning and Telemedicine Grant program, was authorized by Senator Stabenow’s 2014 Farm Bill.
‘Families in West Michigan often don’t have access to the health care services they need in rural communities,’ 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.’
The support will be used to help connect five rural clinics – located in Mason, Kent, Newaygo, Montcalm and Osceola Counties – to Spectrum Health’s Butterworth Medical Campus in Grand Rapids. Connecting clinics and hospitals through telemedicine addresses physician and specialist shortages in the region while reducing the cost of travel and lost wages for patients. Today’s announcement is part of a $23.5 million investment in 75 projects across the country.
Senator Stabenow is Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry, which has jurisdiction over the USDA and its Distance Learning and Telemedicine Grant program.

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