Media Releases

Visitor restriction put in place at PortagePointe

(Services) Permanent link

HANCOCK – Due to high occurrences of respiratory illness in the area, PortagePointe is restricting visitors.

Designated guests with no signs of illness will be allowed to visit. PortagePointe staff is contacting representatives of elders with more information.

“While we recognize the inconvenience this temporary change in policy may have, the change is effective immediately,” said Elaine Archambeau, head coach at PortagePointe. "This restriction is being put in place to protect the health of PortagePointe elders."

Visit for updates as they become available.

Fourth annual Portage Health Men's Health Tune-Up slated for Jan. 12

(Events) Permanent link

HANCOCK – The Portage Health Men’s Health Tune-Up is right around the corner, and men all over the Copper Country should be marking their calendars for Saturday, Jan. 12 from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Hancock High School.

Mens Health“This event will be up-tempo, fun and informational,” said Angela Luskin, the event’s coordinator. “A lot of these topics aren’t something men usually talk about. This event allows men an opportunity to talk about their health in a relaxing, non-intimidating environment.”

There are nearly a dozen presentations and breakout sessions, including a healthy cooking demonstration, fitness tips for the normal guy, yoga for men, and presentations from Portage Health physicians Dr. Stacey Carpenter, Dr. Christian Dinsmore and Dr. Jonathan Brueggeman.

The fourth annual Men’s Health Tune-Up is just $25. Included is more than $200 in health screenings (cholesterol, HDL, LDL, triglycerides, blood glucose, bone density, blood pressure and skin cancer checks), breakfast, and a wild-game lunch served featuring elk, boar and Alaskan salmon. Because the event maxed out in participants the first two years, it will be held at Hancock High School this year.

“Men from all over the four-county area have made this an annual event,” said Luskin. “The additional space available at the high school should allow a lot more men to learn about their health.”

The first 125 men to register will receive a gift. Visit or call 906-483-1153 to register or learn more.

Hockey for Health raises $5,000 for youth hockey foundations

(Foundation) Permanent link

HANCOCK – The Keweenaw Health Foundation and Portage Health Foundation presented a $5,000 check to the Keweenaw Community Foundation on Tuesday, Dec. 18, for the Copper Country Junior Hockey Association and Calumet Hockey Association after the inaugural Hockey for Health.

Hockey for Health Check Presentation 2012

Matt Vertin, executive director of the Keweenaw Health Foundation, left, and Kevin Store, executive director of the Portage Health Foundation, present a $5,000 check to Barb Rose from the Hockey for Health event. Rose is the executive director of the Keweenaw Community Foundation, which overseas the Copper Country Junior Hockey Foundation and C-L-K Youth Hockey Foundation. The two youth hockey foundations are splitting the $5,000, which was raised at Hockey for Health.

“The community support we received for this event was unprecedented,” said Matt Vertin, executive director of the Keweenaw Health Foundation.

It’s estimated that about 800 people attended the event, which featured an open skate, community expo and for-fun hockey game featuring employees from Portage Health and Aspirus Keweenaw.

“This was a great collaborative effort,” said Kevin Store, executive director of the Portage Health Foundation. “We had a lot of encouraging feedback and people were really pleased to see our organizations working together for this cause.”

The $5,000 donation will be split evenly between the CHA’s C-L-K Youth Hockey Fund and the Copper Country Youth Hockey Fund, specially allocated for use by the CCJHA.

“The event was extremely successful,” said Vertin. “We couldn’t be happier to make such a large contribution to these organizations.”

The event was on Nov. 10 at Michigan Technological University’s Student Development Complex. More information on the event can be found at

Support group schedule for first half of 2013 finalized

(Services, Events) Permanent link

HANCOCK – Portage Health is continually looking to improve the health of our community. In these efforts Portage Health offers a bereavement support group and a caregiver support group. The schedule for these support groups for the first half of 2013 has been finalized.

“The bereavement support group provides a safe and supportive space where an individual can share, be supported and cared for as they learn to live without their loved one,” said Carol Olsen, medical social worker with Portage Health Home Care.

The bereavement group meets on the first Wednesday of every month at 4 p.m. at the Portage Health Home Care office on Water Street in Hancock. The caregiver support group meets at 1:30 p.m. on the third Wednesday of every month, at The Bluffs.

“The caregiver support group provides a safe and supportive place to share feelings, frustrations and concerns,” said Olsen.

All support groups are free and open to anyone. No reservations are needed. A schedule for the first six months of 2013 is below. Additional information, and a full schedule can always be found at

Bereavement Support Groups (first Wednesday, 4 p.m.) 

  • January 2nd – 4 p.m.
  • February 6th – 4 p.m.
  • March 6th – 4 p.m.
  • April 3rd – 4 p.m.
  • May 1st – 4 p.m.
  • June 5th – 4 p.m.

Caregiver Support Groups (third Wednesday, 1:30 p.m.) 

  • January 16 – 1:30 p.m.
  • February 20 – 1:30 p.m.
  • March 20 – 1:30 p.m.
  • April 17 – 1:30 p.m.
  • May 15 – 1:30 p.m.
  • June 19 – 1:30 p.m.

During the Holiday season additional bereavement support group meetings are taking place each Thursday through Jan. 3. Meetings are at 10:30 a.m. at the Kangas Café. See our press release about the added sessions for more information.

Lights of Love raise thousands, remember and honor hundreds

(Events) Permanent link

HANCOCK – The Portage Hospital Auxiliary held its annual Lights of Love Tree-Lighting Ceremony Wednesday in the Portage Health Conference Center. Each year, community members are invited to honor or memorialize loved ones by reserving a light in their name. Names are displayed in the hospital’s lobby during the holiday season, and read aloud during the tree-lighting ceremony.

All proceeds fund scholarships designated for students from Houghton, Baraga, Keweenaw or Ontonagon counties studying in a healthcare field. This year more than $3,000 was raised through the program. Portage Health is donating an additional $2,000, allowing the auxiliary to award $5,000 in scholarships.

“This year Lights of Love was received well,” said Fayth Wolfe, chair of the Lights of Love committee within the Portage Hospital Auxiliary. “We’re extremely excited to be help local students who are pursuing careers in healthcare.”

More than 300 people were honored or remembered at the ceremony.

“This is a very spiritual moment for many people in our community,” said Wolfe.

To see photos from the ceremony and a full list of those honored or remembered, visit

$40,000 donated to auxiliary from gift shop in 2012

(Acheivements and Accolades, Services) Permanent link

HANCOCK – The Guilded Rose Gift Shop, located in the Portage Health lobby, donated $40,000 to the Portage Hospital Auxiliary in 2012.

2012 Gift Shop Donation to Auxiliary

Ronda Bogan (left) presents a check for $40,000 to Portage Hospital Auxiliary President Barbara Worral. The donation is from the Guilded Rose Gift Shop, which has donated more than $400,000 to the auxiliary since 1998.

“This money is used to improve services for our community,” said Ronda Bogan, who manages the gift shop while serving on the Portage Hospital Auxiliary. “Since 1998, we’ve donated more than $400,000, which allows Portage Health to continue to grow, funding things that the hospital usually wouldn’t be able to do.”

Recently, auxiliary funding has gone to remodeling the Infusion Center, purchasing Stryker beds for the emergency department and new radiation equipment for mammograms.

“We’re focused on bettering our community,” said Bogan.

On Wednesday, Bogan presented a check for $15,000 for the auxiliary. This is the final gift for 2012. $25,000 was donated in September. The gift shop is a non-profit organization with no paid employees. Volunteers staff all shifts, including a Saturday shift from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. that was added this year.

To learn more about the Guilded Rose Gift Shop visit

Resitricted Visitation for Family Birthing Center

(Services) Permanent link

HANCOCK – Due to high occurrences of illness to children in the area, the Portage Health Family Birthing Center will be temporarily closed to visiting children.

Although we recognize the inconvenience of this necessary and temporary change in policy, the change in visitation is effective immediately and is being put in place to protect the health of our newborns. This is effective for children under the age of 12, and anybody experiencing any respiratory illness symptoms.

Healthy adults are still allowed to enter the birthing center during regular visiting hours (daily, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.), but until Portage Health officials feel the number of local illnesses is significantly lowered, children will not be allowed to enter.

Visit for the latest updates.


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