Vital Healthcare Workforce Funding Passed by Michigan Legislature

capitol building

capitol buildingThe Michigan Legislature passed Feb. 9 House Bill 5523, a supplemental spending bill that includes $300 million for healthcare facilities for recruitment and retention of healthcare workers. While this funding will not solve the long-term healthcare staffing crisis, it can provide some immediate relief to hospitals and their employees. This achievement comes after extensive advocacy efforts by the MHA and members to ensure funding resources to improve workforce sustainability in the short term.

The bill will now be sent to Gov. Gretchen Whitmer for signature. Of the total $300 million appropriated, $225 million is dedicated specifically to acute-care hospitals and inpatient behavioral health providers. The MHA will serve as the fiduciary of the funds, which may be spent on healthcare recruitment and retention including, but not limited to, student loan repayment assistance, tuition assistance, training programming or a limited amount for cash bonuses. The MHA is encouraging the governor to sign this bill quickly and will keep members apprised of future progress on distributions.

The MHA published a media statement expressing gratitude to the Michigan Legislature for prioritizing this funding. Media coverage referencing the MHA include stories from the Associated Press and MiBiz.

Work will continue on a variety of other efforts to help members overcome healthcare workforce shortages. Members with questions may contact Adam Carlson at the MHA.

Headline Roundup: Pfizer COVID-19 Vaccine Eligibility Expands to 12- to 15-Year-Olds

MHA CEO Brian Peters

MHA CEO Brian PetersMHA CEO Brian Peters provided a statement May 12 expressing the MHA is pleased that the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices recommended 12- to 15-year-olds can receive the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine.

Portions of the statement were included in stories by several news outlets across Michigan, including The Associated Press, Detroit Free PressMLive and MIRS.

“This vaccine proved to be 100% effective in trials of this age group, and even more importantly, extremely safe – meaning young people who get vaccinated can return to doing so many things they’ve missed over the last year,” said Peters. “We want these kids back in school, back in sports, back to seeing friends – but doing so safely. The best way to get your child back to their normal activities is to get them vaccinated as quickly as possible.”

Peters also appears in a story by the Michigan Advance discussing the importance of the COVID-19 vaccine.