Media Releases

Portage Health Hospice Recognizes Hospice Volunteers

(Acheivements and Accolades, Events) Permanent link

Thursday night the Portage Health Hospice staff recognized its Hospice Volunteer of the Year, awarded two volunteers with the President’s Volunteer Service Award, and recognized 32 hospice volunteers during their annual appreciation dinner.


Hospice Volunteer of the Year Delores Kotajarvi accepts her award as the 2013 Hospice Volunteer of the Year. Kotajarvi volunteer more than 300 hours in the past year, and was also recognized with the Bronze Level President's Volunteer Service Award.

“We’re extremely grateful for everything our volunteers do,” said Marianne Berghefer, Portage Health Hospice Volunteer and Bereavement Coordinator. “Tonight is all about thanking these volunteers and recognizing the work they do for our hospice patients and their families.”

Portage Health Hospice volunteer Delores Kotajarvi was named the Portage Health Hospice Volunteer of the Year because of her dedication to her patients. She also received the Bronze Level President’s Volunteer Service Award for volunteering more than 300 hours.

“Delores connects so well with our patients,” Berghefer said, “Her service has been invaluable to Portage Health Hospice. She is an inspiration to her fellow hospice volunteers.”

Kristen Gabby was also recognized Thursday with the Bronze President’s Volunteer Service Award for her 250 hours of volunteer work. In total, Portage Health Hospice volunteers have given more than 1,000 hours of service during the past year.

“Each and every one of them does amazing things,” Berghefer said. “We want to thank them and all of the volunteers in our community that make the Copper Country such a wonderful place to call home.”

Learn more about Portage Health Hospice at

ATV Safety Clinic being held in Calumet on May 4

(Events) Permanent link

ATV season is right around the corner. To make sure you start your season off right, the Keweenaw ATV Club, Portage Health Trauma Center and Calumet Township Fire Department are joining forces to host an ATV Safety Clinic on Saturday, May 4, at 9 a.m. at Calumet Colosseum.

ATV Safety Clinic 2013“We know riders are anxious to get out on these trails,” said Mike McMahon, president of the Keweenaw ATV Club, the largest club of its type in Michigan. “We just want to give everyone a reminder of what they should and shouldn’t do as the first one on the scene at an accident.”

The clinic will include presentations by experts from the Portage Health Trauma Center and Mercy EMS.

“We want to give people the knowledge to do the right thing no matter where they are,” said Vicki Peterson, unit manager of the Portage Health Trauma Center. “This will be a great event to help riders prepare themselves for another year out on the Keweenaw’s beautiful trail system.”

The event is free and open to the public. The first 150 people will receive a free first aid kit for their ATV. No RSVP is required, but riders are welcome to RVSP to the Facebook event for the latest updates on the event.

21st annual Spring Ball and Auction set for May 11

(Events) Permanent link

The Portage Health Foundation is excited to announce details of its annual Spring Ball and Auction, which is scheduled to take place on Saturday, May 11, 2013 at Continental Fire Company in Houghton.

Spring Ball and AuctionThe event will feature a live and silent auction, casino games, dancing, and live music throughout the night. Along with the entertainment, guests will be treated to a fine array of delicious food from around the world prepared by Portage Health Executive Chef Mark Pittillo.

“We’re anticipating a very fun and memorable evening,” said Kevin Store, executive director of the foundation. “We have a lot of exciting things planned and the venue will fit really well with our Copper Rush theme.”

The event is the premiere fundraising activity for the Portage Health Foundation, which invests in healthcare equipment and services at Portage Health, as well as provides healthcare resources to the community.

“All of the money goes toward improving healthcare, and access to it, in the Copper Country,” said Store. “We hope to have a great crowd on hand to enjoy a fun night of raising money for a great cause.”

This year, the net proceeds of the Spring Ball and Auction will be directed to the Portage Health Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation Center to upgrade and acquire new equipment.

Tickets are $80 each, with 50 percent of the ticket price being tax deductible. The foundation is a 501c3 public charity. Registration is currently open on the Portage Health website at

An invitation is not required to attend the ball. If you have any questions, or would like to register or donate by phone or mail, call (906) 483-1507.

PortagePointe adds a specialty rehab gym in Pewabic House

(Services) Permanent link

Rehabilitation services at PortagePointe have recently been improved because of a strengthened partnership between PortagePointe and Portage Health Rehab. The rehab team designed a specialty gym inside of the Pewabic House, which makes rehabilitation more convenient for PortagePointe elders.

PortagePointe Rehab“We have always provided services to PortagePointe elders,” said Mark Randell, director of rehab at Portage Health. “This addition increases our emphasis on providing rehabilitations services right in their home.”

The rehab room includes exercise equipment and treatment tables. It also adds the capabilities for therapists to work hand-in-hand with elders, and their usual caretakers in a comfortable and convenient location.

“The on-site gym has truly enhanced the rehabilitative services we’re able to provide at PortagePointe,” Randell said.

For PortagePointe elders, it has meant a more comfortable place to regain their strength and function.

“Many of our elders prefer the privacy and location of the new gym,” said Elaine Archambeau. “Since the gym has been installed, we have seen an increased satisfaction in the elders going home after rehab. It’s been a very positive addition to our facility.”

Find out more about PortagePointe online at, and see a full list of rehab providers and services at

Free, family-friendly Sisu Shuffle scheduled for April 27

(Events) Permanent link

Some run, some skip, some walk and some even shuffle. While participants have many different ways to get through the 5k event, one thing is for sure at the annual Sisu Shuffle, everyone’s having fun.

Sisu ShuffleThis year’s Sisu Shuffle is scheduled for 11 a.m. on Saturday, April 27 at Portage Health. As usual, the shuffle is free for all, and there are some great prizes available to several lucky participants. Six brand new bikes will be given away at the event, five to children and one adult bike.

Portage Health is a new location for the event, which was previously hosted at Houghton County Fairgrounds.

Registration for the free event will open at 10:30 a.m. with the non-competitive 5k walk, jog, run, trot or shuffle starting at 11 a.m.

Visit for all of the information, including a link to preregister. You can also RSVP to the event on Facebook to get the latest updates and reminders as the event nears.

Canal Run adds half marathon and opens 2013 registration

(Events) Permanent link

Registration is now open for the 2013 Portage Health Canal Run, which will include a half marathon for the first time in race history.

2013 Portage Health Canal RunWith tremendous growth over the past five years, the Portage Health Canal Run continues to be the premier running event in Michigan’s Keweenaw Peninsula. The organizing committee believes adding a half marathon will allow the Canal Run to continue growing.

“We’re continuing to move forward as a race,” said Angela Luskin, race director and community health coordinator at Portage Health. “We’ve heard from many participants that a half marathon is a positive step for our race.”

The 38th annual Canal Run will be put on by volunteers from Portage Health, Finlandia University and Citizens Bank. It is slated for the morning of Saturday, July 20.

The race had more than 650 participants last year, with runners and walkers participating in five- and 10-mile races along Highway M-203 finishing in downtown Hancock. Both of those distances will also remain for the 2013 event, and the new race will follow the same course, with a start on Koskela Road.

Registration is now open for the 2013 event, with new rates and a new registration partner, The new registration partner will save racers 20 to 30 percent on processing fees, and is an easier system for participants to register.

Visit to register and learn more about the race.


500 Campus Drive
Hancock, MI 49930
(906) 483-1000


921 W. Sharon Avenue
Houghton, MI 49931
(906) 483-1777

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945 Ninth Street
Lake Linden, MI 49945
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Ontonagon, MI 49953
(906) 884-4120


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Houghton, MI 49931
(906) 483-1860

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