DCHS holds public hearing regarding $24.6M federal loan

A community member voices their opinion.
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IRON MOUNTAIN, Mich. (WLUC) - Dickinson County Healthcare System welcomed public comments Wednesday, during an open hearing regarding the application for the $24.6 million federal loan.

Questions filled the conference room as community members were able to ask about the USDA Rural Development loan.

"I think this went extremely well. I'm very pleased with the outcome,” said Interim Chief Financial Officer Jerry Worden.

There wasn't an empty seat in the room.

One person asked if this loan is really necessary. Worden said this is needed for the future of the hospital.

Half of the $24.6 million loan will be used to refinance the hospital's current debt. The other half will be used for new technology.

One community member stated it is necessary to upgrade technology because that is what keeps the hospital moving forward. DCHS members agreed.

"I am very pleased with the questions, the statements, the support that we heard from the community,” said Worden.

Another community member stated DCHS needs to focus more on their care and less on competition. Worden said this was a great statement.

"I couldn't agree more that we need to be more focused on delivering and maintaining good quality care here."

Community member Henry Wender said he thinks the public is very worried about the future of the hospital, but they hope for the best.

"We're all hoping that the USDA loan goes through."

Former Congressman Bart Stupak said the meeting seemed to be a success.

"We appreciate all the support in the community, the county board, the board of trustees for the hospital have really worked hard at this. Yesterday the State Director Jason Allen was here and he said of all the application loans he's seen this is one of the best he's ever seen."

They plan to submit the loan application by August 26. The DCHS Board hopes to hear back from the USDA about this loan by the fall. This would allow it to be on the current fiscal period.

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