Media Releases

Chef Mark to present Saturday at Celebrate the U.P.

(Staff, Events) Permanent link

“Chef Mark” Pittillo, nutrition services director at Portage Health, is one of more than a dozen expert speakers presenting this weekend at the annual Celebrate the U.P. event. The event begins Friday night, and continues Saturday with breakout sessions throughout the day, all taking place at the Jutila Center in Hancock.

Pittillo150px“This is an honor for me,” Pittillo said. “I’ll be talking about something I’m very passionate about – farm to school, hospital and restaurant.”

The presentation will be at 2:15 p.m. Saturday in room 722 of the Jutila Center. Pittillo will be talking about his experience bringing fresh produce to Portage Health, and local schools.

“One of the things I’m most excited to share is details on our new agreement with Adams Township Schools for next school year,” he said. “The agreement will provide a completely locally grown menu every Wednesday at the school district.”

That includes meat, produce, fish and more that was grown in the Keweenaw, delivered to the school and prepared by the staff at the district.

Learn more about the conference, including seeing a full list of activities by going to You can also RSVP to the event on Facebook.

A Day For Women 2014 to be hosted April 12

(Events) Permanent link


This year’s event to focus on stress management


Portage Health is proud to announce it will once again be hosting “A Day For Women.” This year’s event is Saturday, April 12 from 7:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at Hancock High School. Registration, and a complete schedule of speakers is available at

Day For Women 2014“We hear from people over and over again how much they look forward to this event each year,” said Angela Luskin, community health coordinator. “This year we’re really excited to be taking our usual program, and adding a theme to it. Every speaker and breakout session host is relating their topic to stress, and specifically how to improve stress management.”

This year’s keynote speaker is Mercedes Turino, a holistic health coach who will discuss accessing the power of intuition. Turino will be featured in the morning after registration is concluded, a healthy breakfast is served and a full suite of health screenings is administered.

“We’re excited to have Mercedes joining us from Marquette to jump start A Day For Women,” Luskin said. “Following her presentation we’ll have a wide variety of breakout sessions focused on helping women of the Copper Country improve their stress management abilities.”

The full schedule, registration and more can be found at Those with questions are invited to call (906) 483-1153.

Picky Eaters is the topic of March 27 rehab lecture

(Events) Permanent link

Back by popular demand, Portage Health Rehab will be hosting a lecture titled “How to Feed a Picky Eater” during its March 27 Rehab Lecture Series event. The lecture will begin at 6:30 p.m., and will be at Portage Health Rehab inside of Portage Health University Center on Michigan Tech’s Campus.

Picky Eater Rehab Lecture“This lecture is perfect for parents who are having trouble getting their children to eat a variety of foods,” said Elizabeth Martin, MA, CCC-SLP. “Along with offering solutions for parents with picky eaters in their family, we will also discuss typical feeding and swallowing development.”

Monica Aho, PT, PCS, will join Martin at the presentation. The two specialize in pediatric rehab.

“There’s a wide range of solutions,” Aho said. “Some kids only eat one kind of food over and over, some are frightened to try anything different and some have physical impairments that make certain foods more difficult. We’ll discuss solutions for all of these problems and more.”

After the presentation, there will be opportunities for free consultations with Martin and Aho regarding your specific situation.

Learn more about the Portage Health Rehab Lecture Series at, and RSVP to this event on Facebook to receive a free gift at the event.

Portage Health Fitness Center announces spring classes

(Events) Permanent link

It’s time to start thinking spring! At least that’s the idea at the Portage Health Fitness Center, which is set to begin its spring group fitness classes on March 3.

Spring Sessions of Fitness ClassesThe full list of available classes is available at You can also download the flyer here (PDF).

“We’ve kept many of our popular classes, and added TRX Blast, Core Yoga and a new Core Crunch sessions,” said Angela Luskin, community health coordinator. “This set of classes has something for everyone, including the continuation of our new Water Works class, which began midway through our winter schedule.”

The spring schedule also includes the continuation of Exercise Made Simple, a great class for those looking to get started in exercising.

The spring schedule will run through May 31, and once again includes the ability to book classes online. Learn more about online booking here.

Sessions are $6 each, or $4 for fitness center members. Sixteen-session punch cards are also available. As always, the first class is always free.

Portage Health Hospice hosting FREE volunteer training Feb. 20

(Events) Permanent link

Hospice VolunteeringWould you like to become a hospice volunteer? Portage Health Hospice will be offering a Hospice Volunteer Training Class on Thursday, February 20, 2014 in the organization's conference room at 821 West Water Street in Hancock, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

RSVP to the event on Facebook!

For more information or to reserve a spot, call Marianne Berghefer at (906) 483-1160. Seating is limited.

Effects of aging on hips and knees topic of Feb. 18 rehab lecture

(Events) Permanent link

The Portage Health Rehab Lecture Series is moving its focus to hips and knees for February as a panel of experts will lead a discussion on why hips and knees begin to ache as people age, and what can be done to manage the discomfort.

RehabLectureJointCampThe lecture is called Joint Camp, and it will be held at the Portage Health Conference Center inside of Portage Health’s main location on Tuesday, February 18 at 6:30 p.m. This event is free and will include a question-and-answer session at the end.

“The aches and pains of aging affect everyone,” said Derek Bustos, PT, DPT, one of the three experts who will be leading the lecture. “We’re going to discuss how and why these pains originate, and what can be to try to alleviate some of discomfort.”

Joining Bustos will be Fellowship Trained Orthopaedic Surgeon Jennifer Bow, MD, FRCSC, and Brian Jarvis, PT, Cert. MDT, OCS.

Visit for more information on this lecture and future lectures. RSVP to the event on Facebook for updates heading up to the event, and to receive a free gift when attending the lecture.

American Heart Month to be celebrated with Heart Health by the Numbers

(Events) Permanent link


Free screenings available Feb. 13-14, followed by presentation Feb. 19


February is American Heart Month, and to celebrate the occasion, Portage Health is offering a free lipid screening and presentation as part of the hospital’s Heart Health by the Numbers program. The screening is by appointment Feb. 13-14 from 7 to 10 a.m., and the presentation will be Feb. 19 at 5:30 p.m. 

HHBN“We hope people will take advantage of this free opportunity to examine their heart health,” said Joni Erkkila, wellness coordinator at Portage Health. “The results from these tests tell a story, and at the presentation we will help you to understand what the information means to you.”

The screenings will include a full lipid panel (total cholesterol, LDL, HDL, and triglycerides), blood glucose and blood pressure. To sign up for the free screening, contact Erkkila at (906) 483-1562 or

The results of the screenings will be available at the presentation, which will take place at Houghton High School. Dr. Thomas LeGalley from Upper Michigan Cardiovascular Associates will go through what each number means. He will also offer advice on how people can improve their heart health, including changes to diet and exercise routines. RSVP to the presentation on Facebook.

The presentation is open to anyone, even if they did not participate in the screenings. Healthy snacks will be provided. Learn more about the program by visiting


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