Media Releases

Reid Andress, MD joins the hospitalist team at Portage Health

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Andress, Reid imagePortage Health is proud to welcome Keweenaw native Reid Andress, MD to its hospitalist team. As an adult medicine specialist, Dr. Andress is board certified in Internal Medicine by the American Board of Internal Medicine, and will begin seeing patients in the Inpatient Unit starting August 1, 2014.

“After spending nearly a decade outside the Keweenaw, I’m excited to be returning home to care for our community.” Dr. Andress said.

Dr. Andress returns to the area with his wife Emily Kenny, MD, who will be practicing as a women’s health physician in our OB/GYN clinic.

Dr. Andress completed his residency and internship at the Maine Medical Center in Portland, ME after finishing medical school at the Michigan State University College of Human Medicine. After residency, Dr. Andress served as the Chief Medical Resident for the Department of Medicine.

“I am privileged to have the opportunity to develop relationships with patients and families during challenging periods in their lives, and enjoy involving them in the medical decision making process,” he said. “I practice evidence based medicine and believe in sharing scientific and medical evidence with patients to help inform their decisions.”

Dr. Andress joins fellow board certified hospitalists Dr. Abdul Mansoor Khokhar, Dr. Terry Kinzel and Dr. Lori Vaughan. Visit to learn more about Dr. Andress.

Portage Health Receives Governor's Award of Excellence

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MPro Governor's Award 2014

Pictured: Michigan Department of Community Health Director James Haveman, Portage Health Registered Nurse Kelly Aho, Portage Health Quality Manager Shannon Lahnala Bleau and MPRO CEO Robert Yellan

Portage Health is pleased to announce it has received MPRO’s 2014 Governor’s Award of Excellence for outstanding achievement in the Prevention Learning and Action Network. To receive this honor, Portage Health improved rates of breast cancer screenings. Portage Health also used electronic health records to effectively implement care management and patient self-management interventions.

“This award demonstrates Michigan’s deep commitment to providing high quality, safe and efficient health care,” said Snyder. “By using proven, evidence-based practices, these organizations are making sure individuals get the right care at the right time.”

This year, 188 Michigan hospitals, physician practices, nursing homes and community coalitions were honored with the award, which recognizes participants for their dedication to improve health care quality and patient safety in Michigan. To be eligible for the award, participating organizations must have achieved, maintained and continually improved in specific and rigorous milestones.

“We’re very fortunate to be able to partner with Portage Health and other dedicated organizations across the state of Michigan,” said MPRO President and Chief Executive Officer Robert Yellan, MPH, J.D, FACHE. “To be able to recognize these accomplishments with the Governor’s office underscores the importance of these efforts to improve health care quality in the state.”

The Governor’s Award of Excellence was developed in 2003. The current award is based upon work from 2012-2014 in the following areas:

  • Reducing health care associated infections
  • Reducing health care acquired conditions in nursing homes 
  • Reducing adverse drug events
  • Integrating care for populations and communities through improving care transitions and coordination
  • Improving preventive care and early diagnosis through immunizations and screening
  • Improving clinical quality measures associated with improving cardiac health
  • Improving clinical quality measures among acute care and critical access hospitals 
  • Reducing disparities of care in cardiac health

The award criteria are based on the National Quality Strategy, Partnership for Patients and Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Quality Improvement Organizations’ 10th Statement of Work. The preventive care metrics also align with the Governor’s Healthy Michigan 4X4 plan. 

Award recipients were honored May 9, 2014 at the Eagle Eye Golf Course in Bath Township, MI.

For more information about the Governor’s Award of Excellence, including a list of winners, go to


About MPRO 

MPRO is an independent nonprofit and a national leader in health care quality improvement and medical review. MPRO serves as the federally designated Quality Improvement Organization (QIO) for Michigan under contract with the U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). MPRO also provides consultative services, medical and utilization review, data analysis and health information technology education and technical assistance to federal agencies, state Medicaid and public health agencies, health care facilities, private health plans and other third party payers. For more information, visit

Portage Health welcomes Dr. Tim LaBonte to Lake Linden Family Health Center

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LaBonte, Timothy imageCopper Country native providing family medicine care beginning in August

We are pleased to announce that Tim LaBonte, MD will be joining our team of family medicine providers.

Dr. LaBonte is board certified in family medicine, and will be providing a full spectrum of family medicine care. He will be joining Tom McConnon, MD and Melissa Salani, PA at the Lake Linden Family Health Center.

“We are so excited with the addition of Dr. LaBonte to our team,” said Shannon Richter, director of operations for Upper Great Lakes Family Health Center. “He is highly skilled and is dedicated to creating long lasting relationships with his patients to create personalized care.”

Dr. LaBonte completed his undergraduate studies at Michigan Tech, earned his medical degree at Michigan State University College of Human Medicine and completed his residency through the Marquette Family Medicine Residency Program.

“It has always been a passion of mine to come back to the Copper Country to practice medicine,” Dr. LaBonte said. “Portage Health has an excellent group of dedicated professionals and state of the art facilities. I am excited to be a part of it.”

Dr. LaBonte is currently accepting new patients of all ages. Call (906) 483-1030 to make an appointment. Visit to learn more about Dr. LaBonte.

Emily Kenny, MD joins the Women’s Health team at Portage Health

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Upper Great Lakes Family Health Center and Portage Health are pleased to announce the addition of a new provider to their Women’s Health team. Emily Kenny, MD is joining the obstetrics and gynecology team in August 2014.

Kenny, Emily imageDr. Kenny is a native of Michigan, having grown up right here in the Copper Country. She received her undergraduate education from University of Michigan, completed her medical degree at the Michigan State University College of Human Medicine Rural Physician Program, and served her residency at the Maine Medical Center in Portland, Maine.

“We are so excited to have Dr. Kenny join our team,” said Shannon Richter, Director of Operations at Upper Great Lakes Family Health Center. “Dr. Kenny’s modern medical knowledge and excellent patient interaction will be a wonderful complement to our team.”

Dr. Kenny will be joining Julie Meyer, DO in the obstetrics and gynecology clinic at the main campus in Hancock. She will see patients in the clinic during normal business hours, which are Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.­–5 p.m. Dr. Kenny will also assist expecting mothers with deliveries in the Family Birthing Center and perform out-patient and in-patient surgery.

“I’m honored to come back and serve in the community where I grew up,” Dr. Kenny said. “I look forward to creating meaningful relationships with both patients and the community.”

For more information about Dr. Kenny, please visit

Portage Health recognizes volunteers

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HANCOCK - Volunteers provided more than 16,000 hours of service to Portage Health in 2013, and those 90 dedicated individuals received acknowledgment during Portage Health's 23rd Annual Volunteer Recognition Dinner May 6th at the Shelden Grill in Houghton.Volunteer Diner 2014

Portage Health President and CEO Jim Bogan distributed pins and flowers to volunteers recognized for service milestones, ranging from 500 to 1,300 hours of service.

“You are all champions of healthcare,” Jim Bogan said. “What you do each day for the patients we serve is simply outstanding.”

Guilded Rose Gift Shop Manager Ronda Bogan presented a check to the Auxiliary for $30,000. This donation came from proceeds at the gift shop, and will be used by the Auxiliary to fund their efforts to improve the health of our community.

Six local students were also announced Thursday as recipients of $1,000 Auxiliary scholarships funded through the annual Lights of Love tree-lighting project held every December and matched by Portage Health. They are Boris Busov, Joshua E. Hulkonen, Claire E. MacKenzie, Kathleen A. Moyryla, Amber L. Pakkala and Valerie Taglione.

For more information, please call Victor Harrington at (906) 483-1550.

Diabetes Program Receives Reaccreditation

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Aho, Kelly image 

After months of planning and hard work, the Portage Health Diabetes Self-Management Education Program has received accreditation from the American Association of Diabetes Educators (AADE). 

Our program is included as one of the quality diabetes education programs across the country. This accreditation shows that the Portage Health program has met ten standards:

  • Internal Structure
  • External Input
  • Access
  • Program Coordination
  • Instructional Staff
  • Curriculum
  • Individualization
  • Ongoing Support
  • Patient Progress
  • Quality Improvement

“Weare proud to receive this recognition for our diabetes program,” said Portage Health Health Education RN Kelly Aho. “Our team is dedicated to providing the best care to diabetic, as well as pre-diabetic, patients of the western Upper Peninsula.”

To learn more about the Diabetes Self-Management Education Program at Portage, or to congratulate its achievement, please contact Kelly Aho, ext. 1229 or

National Hospital Week celebrates dedication to making communities healthier

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On May 11, the American Hospital Association (AHA) will kick off National Hospital Week. This special, week-long commemoration brings healthcare professionals and their communities together to recognize the work of hospital employees who dedicate themselves to improving the health and wellbeing of people across the country. In the Western Upper Peninsula, Portage Health will join the celebration.

The first formal observation of National Hospital Week occurred in 1921, and AHA and its state affiliates and member hospitals have carried on the tradition of recognizing hospital employees each year for nine decades.

The theme of National Hospital Week in 2014 is “Compassion, Innovation, Dedication: The Commitment Continues.” This idea is alive and well at Portage Health.

“From our clinical team to our support team, everyone at Portage Health exemplifies this year’s National Hospital Week theme every day,” said Jim Bogan, CEO of Portage Health. “Our staff shows compassion for our patients, is driven to find innovative ways to improve the care we provide and enhance our patients’ experiences, and is dedicated to going above and beyond in serving the Copper Country. We are excited to recognize National Hospital Week here and take time to honor the unwavering commitment of the Portage Health team to our patients and community.”

One of the largest employers in Houghton County, Portage Health has more than 850 team members. Portage Health has been an integral part of the community since 1896, although known by many different names including St. Joseph’s, Portage View, and Portage Health System. Through these 118 years, we support the community through a range of healthcare services and programs including primary care, specialty care and ancillary services.

Bogan added, “Portage Health is proud to have been a part of this community, and we look forward to making the Western Upper Peninsula healthier in the future.”  
In addition to the services they provide, Portage Health employees support the community in several ways, contributing time, education and resources to organizations such as local schools, fundraising events and healthy lifestyle activities.
Please join Portage Health in celebrating National Hospital Week and recognizing the Copper Country residents helping to enhance the health of this region.


500 Campus Drive
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Houghton, MI 49931
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