Media Releases

Portage Health in top 18 percent nationwide, according to The Joint Commission

(Acheivements and Accolades) Permanent link
HANCOCK – Portage Health was named one of the “2011 Top Performers on Key Quality Measures” by The Joint Commission, the leading accreditor of health care organizations in America.

This recognition places Portage Health in the top 18 percent of hospitals nationwide. The Hancock-based hospital is one of only three hospitals in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula to receive the honor and one of 13 statewide. Of those hospitals, Portage Health was one of nine in the state and the only in the U.P. to be recognized in multiple categories. The full report is available here. (PDF)

“We understand that what matters most to our community is having access to safe, quality health care,” said Jim Bogan, president/CEO of Portage Health. “This national recognition proves that our efforts are paying off.”

Top-performing hospitals met two 95 percent performance thresholds. First, they achieved performance of 95 percent or above on the composite score that includes all the accountability measures for which data are reported to The Joint Commission. Second, recognized hospitals met or exceeded a 95 percent performance target for each and every accountability measure for which they report data.

“When we raise the bar and provide the proper guidance and tools, hospitals have responded with excellent results,” said Mark R. Chassin, M.D., FACP, M.P.P., M.P.H., president, The Joint Commission. “This capacity for continual improvement points toward a future in which quality and safety defects are dramatically reduced and high reliability is sought and achieved with regularity.”

In addition to being included in The Joint Commission’s “Improving America’s Hospitals” annual report, Portage Health will be recognized on The Joint Commission’s Quality Check website,

“Having also recently realized very high HCAHPS scores in the areas of overall service excellence and patient satisfaction, we are especially proud of our employees and the quality health care we provide to our community,” said Bogan.

Learn more about Portage Health’s commitment to providing high-quality health care services at

Portage Health scores above region, state and national averages in patient satisfaction

(Acheivements and Accolades) Permanent link
HANCOCK – Portage Health’s commitment to service excellence was recognized in the most recent data from the HCAHPS survey, with the highest ratings in the region. 

“These results are a reflection of our commitment to service excellence and the priority we place on providing the highest level of customer service to our patients,” said Elizabeth MacInnes, vice president of quality. “Portage Health is extremely proud of our staff, physicians and volunteers for all the hard work and effort that goes into providing a positive experience.”

The HCAHPS (Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems) Survey(PDF) is the first national, standardized, publicly reported survey of patients’ perspectives of hospital care. The survey collects answers to 10 questions from patients, and compares hospitals nationwide.

Portage Health averaged 79.2 percent with best possible answers, which is considerably higher than region (72.2 percent) state (71.1 percent) and national (70.7 percent) averages.

HCAPHS Average Scores 09-2012

“Comparing ourselves against our peers in the nation and state is important to us,” said Jim Bogan, president/CEO. “Seeing scores like this is rewarding, and makes us all proud to say we work here.”

Portage Health staff was particularly strong in communication, with 88 percent of our patients reporting that our nurses and doctors “always” communicated well. No other hospital in the region was above 82 percent.

“It is extremely rewarding to see results such as this,” MacInnes said. “Both the community and our staff can point to these statistics with pride in our community hospital.”

Data is from the most recently published HCAPHS survey. For more information on Portage Health’s commitment to service excellence, visit

Community flu shot clinic planned for Sept. 29

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HANCOCK – Local health agencies will once again join forces at a September community flu shot clinic at the Hancock High School.

Western U.P. Health Department, Aspirus Keweenaw, and Portage Health, will provide flu shots at a fast, convenient vaccination clinic, Saturday Sept. 29 from 10-1 at the Hancock High School Gymnasium.

“This clinic provides local health care partners an opportunity to exercise emergency plans,” said Pete Baril, Western U.P. Health Department preparedness coordinator. “With staff from three health care organizations and nursing students, the clinic is quick and efficient.”

Annual flu shots are recommended for everyone 6 months and older. Certain groups including; young children, those over the age of 65, pregnant women, and individuals with asthma, diabetes, and chronic lung conditions are at the greatest risk of flu-related complications.

“It’s difficult to predict how severe each flu season will be, however, we do know that getting vaccinated is the best line of defense against influenza,” said Western U.P. Health Department Medical Director, Dr. Terry Frankovich.

Flu Shots will cost $25 per person, with no charge to clients who present a current Medicare or Medicaid card. Many children qualify for free or reduced rates through the Vaccines for Children Program. Those with private insurance will be given receipts and billing forms to submit for reimbursement. Drive-thru service will be available for those with limited mobility.

For more information, call the health department in Hancock at (906) 482-7382.

Free breast cancer clinic on Sept. 25

(Events) Permanent link
HANCOCK – The Marquette General Cancer Center is coming to Portage Health and hosting a free breast cancer risk clinic on Tuesday, Sept. 25.

“This is a free clinic that will offer women invaluable information,” said Amanda Altobelli, who's organizing the clinic. “If you’re interested in seeing where you stand, and what you can do to reduce your risks, this is an excellent opportunity.”

Women will have 30-minute appointments with an oncology nurse practitioner or breast cancer coordinator. A breast health history will be taken and personalized breast self-exam instruction will be offered.

The clinic will go from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Portage Health hospital in Hancock. Space is limited, and appointments are required. Call (906) 483-1149 to make an appointment.

Nutrition services teams up with Hancock Public Schools

(Services) Permanent link

HANCOCK – Students at Hancock Public Schools are getting a new look at school meals this school year as the district’s dining services staff has teamed up with Portage Health Nutrition Services to revamp its food menu with more fruits, vegetables, and nutrient-rich foods.


Portage Health Chefs

Portage Health Nutrition Services staff prepare a pizza for Hancock Public Schools. The department will regularly be providing the schools with a wide range of healthier food options, including this pizza, which is made with a multi-grain crust.

“We were looking to get healthier foods in here for our students, and we’ve seen first hand what Portage Health has done in the past 18 months,” said Renee Salani, food services director at the school.

Salani contacted Mark Pittillo, nutrition services director at Portage Health, and the two set off to improve students' experiences and eating habits.

"Portage Health has made childhood obesity a focus for this year, so working to make school lunches healthier seemed like a great place to start," said Mark Pittillo, director of nutrition services. "Besides, healthy doesn't always have to be boring.”

In fact, it’s not boring. Pittillo worked with Tara Lasilla, registered dietitian, to create a menu that will keep the students excited about school lunches.

Fresh fruits and vegetables will change every day, and each menu item will have twists, such as the spaghetti made with whole-wheat pasta and homemade turkey meat sauce, or pizza made with a multi-grain crust and fresh toppings.

“This was a challenging project because schools don’t have a lot of money to spend on providing high-quality lunches,” Pittillo said. “We’ll continue working with Renee and her staff throughout the year by providing training and guidance. We also have focus groups planned with students to see how they feel about the new food.”

The project fits into First Lady Michelle Obama’s mission of fighting childhood obesity called “Let’s Move, America's Move to Raise a Healthier Generation of Kids.” Pittillo registered himself as a local chef on that website, and Salani adopted him into Hancock’s kitchen.

“We’re all working together now, and we’re excited to see what reaction we get from our students and staff,” said Salani.

Learn more about the program at, and learn more about the healthy food in schools movement by reading Sara Salo’s wellness column in the Aug. 16 print of The Daily Mining Gazette.

June 2013 Health Article image    



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