Media Releases

Portage Health employees donate more than $50k through Jeans Day

(Acheivements and Accolades, Foundation) Permanent link

The Portage Health Blue Jean Friday Fund has yielded more than $50,000 in donations since its inception in 2006, including more than $6,400 in 2013.

Portage Health Logo Vertical“Our employees are deeply invested in improving our community,” Marketing Director Victor Harrington said. “The Blue Jean Friday Donations are completely voluntary, and we see great participation from our employees.”

Employees are asked to donate $2 in order to wear blue jeans each Friday. The funds are collected, and donated to a local non-profit organization each quarter.

In 2013, donations ranged from $1,331.85 to $1,794.35. Beneficiaries included Copper Country Relay for Life, Copper Country United Way, Portage Health Foundation and Western U.P. Healthcare Access Coalition.

Since the Blue Jean Friday was implemented, Portage Health employees have donated more than $10,000 each to the United Way, Relay for Life and Portage Health Foundation.

Tear Drop Study: A research project on infant nutrition

(Acheivements and Accolades) Permanent link

Volunteers are needed for an ongoing infant nutrition study. The study is being done in partnership with Portage Health Pediatrics, Michigan Technological University and the Gerber Foundation.

“This research could change infant care and ensure the wellbeing of the youngest members of our society,” Adrienne R. Minerick, Ph.D., Michigan Tech. 

Learn more about the study, including watching an introduction video, by visiting

If you or someone you know has an infant, and would be willing to participate in the study, contact your Portage Health Pediatrician at (906) 483-1700, or Minerick at (906) 487-2796 or

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

Portage Health Trauma Center one of two in state verified as Level III

(Acheivements and Accolades) Permanent link

The Portage Health Trauma Center has once again been verified by the American College of Surgeons (ACS) as a Level III Trauma Center. Portage Health is one of only two trauma centers in Michigan to receive this verification, and is the only one in the Upper Peninsula.

Portage Health Trauma Center“Our focus has always been, and will continue to be, on quality,” said Jim Bogan, president/CEO of the hospital. “The ACS recognizes this, and has once again validated our efforts to provide the highest quality healthcare possible.”

The re-verification comes from the ACS’s committee on trauma, and is meant to recognize the trauma center’s dedication to providing optimal care for injured patients. All ACS verified trauma centers complete an on-site review by an experienced team who use the latest ACS guidelines.

“This isn’t something we have to do, this is something we choose to do” Bogan said. “This proves to ourselves, and our patients that we’re providing top-level care.”

There are a total of 32 trauma centers in Michigan recognized by the ACS, which includes three levels. Marquette General (Level II) is the only other verified U.P. hospital.

“We spend a lot of time making sure everything we do will help us provide optimal care for our patients,” said Vicki Peterson, unit manager of the emergency department. “The guidelines are strict, and everyone in our department, along with every member of our trauma team is proud to see that we continue to be recognized by the ACS.”

The trauma center was originally verified on Jan. 7, 2007. At the time, it was the only verified Level III Trauma Center in the state. The ACS verification is for three years. Portage Health has now been verified three times, 2007, 2010, 2013. Learn more about the verification process and see a full list of verified hospitals nationwide at

Portage Health earns “A” Grade from The Leapfrog Group

(Acheivements and Accolades) Permanent link

Portage Health’s commitment to excellence was recognized with an “A” in the latest Hospital Safety Score grading by The Leapfrog Group.

The Leapfrog Group
“Receiving the highest grade possible from a credible and neutral source is tremendously rewarding for us,” said Jim Bogan, president/CEO of Portage Health. “Our staff is committed to providing the best possible experience for our patients, and ratings like this validate our efforts.”

The “A” ranking was awarded to 37 Michigan hospitals, including two others in the Upper Peninsula.

The Leapfrog Group is an independent not-for-profit organization focused on improving safety, quality and affordability of healthcare in the United States by promoting transparency and value-based hospital incentives.

The group manages a database called The Hospital Safety Score, which compiles reported data from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, and Leapfrog Hospital Survey. The database is accessible at, or by downloading the mobile app “Hospital Safety Score” on iOS or Android devices.

$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

Portage Health wins recruitment award from MHC

(Acheivements and Accolades) Permanent link

OKEMOS – Portage Health received the Michigan Health Council’s “Building Michigan’s Health Care Workforce Award for Employee Recruitment” this week.

Recruiting Award

Portage Health Director of Marketing and Communications Kevin Store and Director of Human Resources Robbyn Lucier post for a photo with their plaque for winning the Michigan Health Council's “Building Michigan’s Health Care Workforce Award for Employee Recruitment.”

The award recognizes the hospital’s improved provider-recruitment strategy. The strategy has increased the number of new medical-provider hires by an average of eight per year, while reducing expenses by more than $90,000 annually and all but eliminating the need to hire outside recruitment firms.

“Recruitment of well-trained, highly qualified medical providers is vital to Portage Health’s ability to provide the excellent level of care we offer,” said Kevin Store, director of marketing and communications. “This award is a testament to the hard work of many people at Portage Health and recognizes the quality and innovation that truly is at our core.”

The Michigan Health Council’s criteria evaluates and recognizes innovative, successful strategies used by a health care organization to recruit health professionals to meet patient-care needs. Programs receiving awards must be replicable and cost effective. In order for Portage Health to have success, the organization launched three key initiatives: 1. hired a full-time medical-staff recruiter; 2. executed a thorough community needs assessment; 3) expanded clinical rotations for medical students.

“Finding medical professionals, especially board-certified physicians, physician assistants, and nurse practitioners can be costly and difficult, especially in smaller rural communities.” said Michigan Health Council President and CEO Anne Rosewarne. “By completely rebuilding their recruitment program, Portage Health demonstrates organizations can improve recruitment while saving costs.”

Portage Health has welcomed twenty six new providers in the past three years, and has identified several medical providers that will join them in the near future.

“These highly qualified medical providers are what elevates Portage Health,” said Robbyn Lucier, director of human resources.

For more information on Portage Health, visit Additional information on the Michigan Health Council can be found at


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