CMU awarded $1.1M for community service initiatives

Federal funding supports telepsychiatry, historical preservation projects

| Author: Aaron Mills

Central Michigan University will receive nearly $1.1 million in federal funding to support two initiatives that will empower the university to serve residents and communities in the state of Michigan.

CMU President Bob Davies said U.S. Senators Gary Peters and Debbie Stabenow, and Congressman John Moolenaar were instrumental in securing funding and support for CMU and its efforts in the community.

“We are grateful for the continued leadership and engagement of our federal elected officials,” Davies said.

The CMU College of Medicine will receive $960,000 to fund telepsychiatry outreach for mental health services and suicide prevention in rural, medically underserved communities.

“Too many people living in small towns and rural communities in Michigan can’t access the behavioral health services they need close to home,” said Sen. Stabenow. “I’m glad to partner with Central Michigan University in their effort to make these critical services more accessible.”

CMU’s College of Medicine will work with local health care providers in Mid-Michigan, including primary care practices, federally qualified health centers and mental health agencies. The project will expedite and improve access to care while also providing education and training for health care providers in the region.

“This program will build upon existing rural provider practices, equipping them with essential telehealth resources to support Michigan families. The behavioral health capacity increase provided by this program through CMU’s medical school will greatly expand vital patient access for residents throughout our region,” said Congressman Moolenaar.

Dr. George E. Kikano, CMU’s vice president for health affairs and dean of the College of Medicine, said there is a hidden mental health crisis in the United States, and patients in rural Michigan desperately need care and services. Support for this program will help to address the crisis, he said.

“We are grateful to our government representatives who are meeting the needs of their constituents and supporting high-quality services,” Kikano said.

Clarke Historical Library will receive $135,000 to further its efforts to digitize historic Michigan newspapers for historical and educational use. The project will digitize — and make freely available online — approximately 250,000 pages of historic Michigan newspapers. In the past five years, Clarke Historical Library has digitized nearly a million Michigan newspaper pages, some available at CMU and others online by partner institutions, including the Library of Congress.

“I’m proud to have worked with my colleagues to secure critical federal resources for Central Michigan University to expand access to mental health care services,” said Sen. Peters. “This federal investment will help Michiganders in rural communities overcome barriers to care and ensure traditionally underserved communities receive the mental health care they need. I’m also pleased to have supported efforts to digitize Michigan newspapers that will allow Michiganders to easily access our state’s rich history.”
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