Marquette Mining Journal: Bay Mills, Upper Great Lakes Family Health Center receive funding from American Rescue Plan

MARQUETTE — Over $4 million in funding from the American Rescue Plan will be distributed to two Upper Peninsula entities to help fight COVID-19, United States Sens. Debbie Stabenow and Gary Peters announced Friday.

Almost $4.9 million in funding will go to the Bay Mills Indian Community and Upper Great Lakes Family Health Center. Bay Mills will receive $1,044,500 in funding, while UGLFHC will receive $3,840,000. The funds can be used by health centers for staffing, personal protective equipment, screening, testing or other needs for battling the pandemic, according to a news release.

The funding comes directly from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and was included in the American Rescue Plan signed into law by President Joe Biden on March 11. The $1.9 trillion economic relief package was designed to aid the country in its ongoing COVID-19 relief and recovery efforts.

Stabenow and Peters both said the funding was necessary in helping the Upper Peninsula in its ongoing battle against the pandemic.

“While working on the relief package, I fought to increase funding for health centers to help them meet the needs of the communities they serve during this crisis,” Stabenow stated in the release. “The nurses, doctors and health care providers in these centers are on the front lines of this public health crisis and have been challenged like never before. This funding will help meet the urgent need for personal protective equipment, test kits and staffing in these centers. I’m grateful for their work keeping Michigan families safe.”

 “As more Michiganders become eligible to receive COVID vaccines, it is critical that health care centers in under-served communities have the resources needed to accelerate vaccination efforts,” Peters added. “I am pleased that this robust funding — which I helped pass and enact as part of the American Rescue Plan — will help these centers increase vaccinations, bolster testing, expand treatment and provide preventive medical care to Michiganders at higher risk of infection. I will keep working to ensure Michigan has the resources and support needed to get through this crisis and beyond.”

Michigan Primary Care Association CEO Dennis Litos said the funding will assist Bay Mills and UGLFHC to expand their COVID-19 vaccination efforts.

“These funds will allow Michigan community health centers to expand COVID-19 vaccinations for vulnerable populations in an equitable manner, while at the same time providing preventive and primary health care services to those at high risk,” he said.

Marquette County Board of Health meeting Wednesday

The Marquette County Board of Health will hold its regular monthly meeting on Wednesday at 6 p.m.

Agenda items include a discussion regarding future face-to-face Board of Health meetings, along with the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services’ appointment of a new medical director for the Marquette County Health Department. Current medical director Dr. Robert Lorinser announced his resignation from the position in January, with his tenure officially set to end on April 11. Lorinser is also stepping down from the Western Upper Peninsula Health Department, Public Health Delta Menominee Counties and the Dickinson-Iron District Health Department.

The Board of Health meeting will be held electronically via Zoom at https://us02web.zoom.us/j/83441180082, and by telephone at any of the following numbers:

≤ 1-646-558-8656;

≤ 1-301-715-8592;

≤ 1-312-626-6799;

≤ 1-669-900-9128;

≤ 1-253-215-8782;

≤ or 1-346-248-7799.

The Zoom webinar I.D. is 834 4118 0082.

The video and phone conference lobby will open at 5:50 p.m. Wednesday.

To participate in the public comment portion of the meeting, webinar participants should click on the “raise hand” feature in Zoom or press the “ALT” and “Y” keys on Windows computers, or “OPTION” and “Y” keys on Apple computers.

Phone participants should wait for the prompt that their line has been “unmuted” to begin speaking.

Public comment will be limited to three minutes per person, with one public comment session near the beginning of the meeting and one near the end. Any hands raised after the chair ends the public comment period will not be able to speak at the meeting.

If deaf or hearing impaired, call into Michigan Relay by dialing 7-1-1 with your TYY. Upon connecting with a communication assistant, provide the phone number for the teleconference and/or Zoom webinar ID and the assistant will connect the call and type what is said by the speaking parties.

Anyone with a disability who needs a special accommodation to participate in the meeting should contact MCHD administrative assistant Sara Galvin at 906-315-2610 or sgalvin@mqtco.org no later than noon Tuesday.

For the latest statewide COVID-19 data and information, visit Michigan.gov/coronavirus.

By:  Ryan Spitza
Source: Marquette Mining Journal