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News & Press: Health Centers in the News

Community Health Centers Receive $800,000 in Telehealth Grants

Tuesday, April 14, 2020  
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BRIGHTON, Mich.  Sixteen community health centers around the state were recently awarded $800,000 in grants by the Michigan Health Endowment Fund (MHEF) to increase their telehealth capacities. 

The grants are intended to help health centers implement new procedures, acquire new technology, and ensure their telehealth services are HIPAA compliant. They were directed toward rural areas and areas impacted by COVID-19. Each health center will decide the best way to use the funds to serve their patients.

As an example, Northwest Michigan Health Services, Inc., which was awarded $50,000, plans to upgrade its technology so it can monitor patients at home who have chronic diseases like high blood pressure. 

“Telehealth is a critical tool for us during the COVID crisis because it is one way we can wrap our arms around our patients to make sure they’re continuing to do well,” said NMHSI Chief Executive Officer Heidi Britton. “Our telephone and video visits are the best way to make sure they stay home, stay safe, and stay well. Our COVID stress warm line connects the community to a behavioral health provider who can provide counseling sessions by phone or video too, which is a new service we’re able to provide during this stressful time.”

This funding comes after Michigan’s health centers have rapidly transitioned to telephonic care to help patients access the medical or behavioral health services they need from home.

“As telehealth technology advances, health centers around the state are able to provide medical services to their patients virtually, saving them time and money,” said Dr. Faiyaz Syed, MPCA’s chief medical officer. “Although it’s tragic that it took a pandemic for these services to proliferate, we’re confident that telehealth will expand access to care to many people in the long run.”

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