Sawtooth Mountain Clinic Receives Major Funding For The Fight Against COVID-19 As A Part Of The American Rescue Plan

Sawtooth Mountain Clinic Receives Major Funding For The Fight Against COVID-19 As A Part Of The American Rescue Plan

The incremental federal funding will be applied to expenses related to COVID-19 vaccinations, testing, and treatment in Cook County


(GRAND MARAIS, MN – March 31, 2021) – Sawtooth Mountain Clinic (SMC) announced today it will receive more than $1.1 million in federal funding to aid in COVID-19 vaccinations and treatment in Cook County from the American Rescue Plan. Those funds are uniquely available to Federally Qualified Community Health Centers (FQCHCs) and were announced by the White House.

“Today we can celebrate as a community not only a financial infusion to aid the fight against COVID-19, but the leaders, providers and staff of SMC for delivering the quality healthcare to meet the rigorous standards required to be a Federally Qualified Community Health Center (FQCHC),” said SMC Board President Clare Shirley, “These federal dollars would not be possible without the dedication of the staff that has allowed SMC to maintain this important status for more than forty years.”

The American Recuse Plan was proposed by U.S. President Biden’s administration and approved by a majority of Congress.  Community health centers will be able to use the money to support and expand COVID-19 vaccination, testing, and treatment for vulnerable populations; deliver needed preventive and primary health care services to those at higher risk for COVID-19 and expand health centers’ operational capacity during the pandemic and beyond.

“This funding will very helpful as we meet the challenge to further expand vaccinations to all persons eligible in our area,” said SMC CEO Kate Surbaugh, “We are so proud of the partnership between SMC, North Shore Health and Cook County Public Health and Human Services ­­­– along with all our providers and volunteers – to deliver the state’s leading vaccination rate.  Nearly 55% of the population of Cook County has already received their first dose and that continues to grow.”

Another key objective of the American Rescue Plan is to address health inequities across America.  “Rural residents face major health disparities compared to their urban counterparts,” said Surbaugh “This financial award will allow SMC to continue address such inequities in a rural setting and supports our mission to offer to offer high-quality health care to everyone who walks through the door, regardless of their ability to pay.”

Last week Minnesota Governor Walz expanded vaccine availability to all persons 16 or older in the state.  Cook County Public Health determines priority criteria for the vaccination events on Thursdays at the Community Center based on the expected number of doses to be delivered and community health priorities.  The eligibility priorities and registration requirements are released each Monday.


Erin Watson

Sawtooth Mountain Clinic


More Posts