Media Releases

Halloween Hustle to raise money for SKY

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HOUGHTON – The second annual Portage Health Halloween Hustle will be held Saturday, Oct. 29, at 11 a.m. at the Ray Kestner Memorial Park on the waterfront in Houghton.

The event, which is a fundraiser for Simple Kindness for Youth (SKY), is a 5k or 10k walk or run. It’s $10 for participants with ages 12 and under free.

“This is a fun event specifically designed to create some family fun over Halloween weekend,” said Angela Luskin, the event’s organizer.

Educators interested in giving back to youth in local school districts formed SKY in 2010. Funds are used to help educators provide better in-school opportunities. 

“SKY is a great upstart organization for our community,” said Luskin. “Supporting this organization is helping to support all of the youth in our community.

No time will be kept on the course, which will start at the park and follow the waterfront trail before turning around at the 2.5-kilometer and 5-kilometer marks.

Preregistration is not required. Participants will receive a free water bottle, snacks after the race and will be entered into a raffle for donated prizes. Registration will open at 10:30 a.m. at the park.

Visit the event's website or RSVP to our Facebook event.

American Heart Association names Portage Health as Platinum workplace

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HANCOCK – Portage Health has just walked its way into Platinum Status as a Fit Friendly Company, according to the American Heart Association

Portage Health StaffIn past years, Portage Health has been recognized with a Gold Status, but this year the hospital stepped up to Platinum, a prestigious status that only 254 companies nationwide were awarded with in 2010. 

“We’ve worked hard to get this recognition, and every employee here can be proud of it,” said Joni Erkkila, wellness coordinator.

Platinum status is the highest level of recognition, and is earned not only by implementing comprehensive wellness opportunities, but also by proving success and results in these efforts.

“Our wellness program, myHealth, has been very popular amongst our employees, with more than 350 of them participating,” Erkkila said.

“Since the implementation of myHealth in 2009, Portage Health employees have shown improvement in many health indicators, including cholesterol, blood pressure and weight.”

On top of Portage Health’s comprehensive wellness program, other efforts include ensuring a smoke-free campus, offering discounts on fitness opportunities to employees and family members, and providing healthier options in the Café.

All of these efforts add up to help improve employee morale, increase productivity and show a positive return on investment.

“Keeping our employees healthy and happy is always something we strive to do,” said Jim Bogan, president/CEO. “A recognition like this lets us know we’re headed in the right direction, being a leader in our community."

U.P.'s only certified Infant Diagnostic Audiology Center

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HANCOCK — A new piece of equipment, and an expert staff have paved the way for Portage Health’s Audiology Department to become certified as an Infant Diagnostic Audiology Center by the Michigan Early Hearing Detection and Intervention program (EHDI).

Newborn Hearing TestingPortage Health is the only infant diagnostic center recognized by EHDI in the Upper Peninsula.

“Early diagnosis of hearing loss in infancy can make all the difference in the life of a hearing-impaired child,” said Melissa Collard, AuD, one of two Portage Health audiologists trained to perform full diagnostic tests on infants. “We’re proud of this distinction, and the fact that we can provide specialty care for the youngest of our patients right here in the Copper Country.”

Collard acquired expertise in the testing while spending time at Munson Medical Center in Traverse City, where she managed the newborn hearing screening program and follow up for a hospital with more than 2,000 births per year.

Fellow audiologist Nancy Reed, M.A., has been testing infants for more than 25 years and recently completed intensive training focused on pediatric testing and habilitation.

With both audiologists exclusively trained in the process, Portage Health further invested in the program by purchasing a Vivosonic and Integrity V500 diagnostic instrument, which provides a much more detailed look at a newborn’s entire auditory pathway.

The equipment has the advantage of allowing for testing, even when the child is not asleep or sedated.

The state-of-the-art equipment is coupled with fantastic follow-up care.

“We can fit hearing aids on children as young as 4-weeks-old,” Collard said.

Families from all over the Upper Peninsula have made the trip to Portage Health, seeking out the expert care needed to avoid or address lifelong issues. For more information visit the newborn hearing screening page on our website.


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