Use $1.4B to expand health access, build facilities

LANSING — Gov. Gretchen Whitmer on Tuesday proposed spending $1.four billion in federal pandemic funding to develop well being care and infrastructure, together with to bolster entry to psychological well being companies, exchange state psychiatric hospitals and construct a brand new public well being lab.

The proposal, if authorized by the Republican-led Legislature, would account for greater than a fifth of Michigan’s $6.5 billion in discretionary rescue funding authorized by Congress and President Joe Biden six months in the past. Lawmakers might take into account it — and different spending plans beforehand outlined by the Democratic governor — this fall after finalizing the state price range this month.

Whitmer referred to as for $335 million in grants to enhance entry to therapies for autism, behavioral well being and substance abuse. A further $325 million would fund the development of a brand new psychiatric facility within the Detroit space to switch each the Hawthorn Middle in Northville Township and the Walter P. Reuther Psychiatric Hospital in Westland.

The governor needs to make use of $220 million to switch the general public well being lab in Lansing and $115 million to replace well being data know-how methods that monitor immunizations, illnesses and join well being suppliers with one another. State officers have mentioned outdated or disparate knowledge methods have hampered the response to COVID-19.

The pandemic, Whitmer mentioned, “uncovered and exacerbated vital gaps in our well being system.” The plan would make “long-overdue investments to place Michigan households first,” she mentioned.

Elizabeth Hertel, director of the state Division of Well being and Human Companies, mentioned greater than half of residents with a behavioral well being analysis and almost 70% with a substance abuse dysfunction don’t obtained remedy.


Whitmer proposed $45 million in grants to native well being departments that consultants have mentioned are underfunded, $20 million to fund telemedicine rooms in public locations comparable to state social service workplaces, $77 million to assist retain direct care employees, $40 million to supply dwelling restore and plumbing help to lower-income households, and $39 million to enhance an infection controls inside nursing houses.

Different funding would go to foster dad and mom, homeless shelters and supply grants to handle coronavirus-related trauma.