Media Releases

UP Health System - Portage Earns ‘Top Performer on Key Quality Measures®’ Recognition from The Joint Commission

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UP Health System - Portage announced it has been recognized as a 2013 Top Performer on Key Quality Measures® by The Joint Commission, the leading accreditor of health care organizations in the United States. UP Health System - Portage was recognized as part of The Joint Commission’s 2014 annual report “America’s Hospitals: Improving Quality and Safety,” for attaining and sustaining excellence in accountability measure performance for Pneumonia and Surgical Care. UP Health System - Portage is one of 1,224 hospitals in the United States to achieve the 2013 Top Performer distinction.

The Top Performer program recognizes hospitals for improving performance on evidence-based interventions that increase the chances of healthy outcomes for patients with certain conditions, including heart attack, heart failure, pneumonia, surgical care, children’s asthma, stroke, venous thromboembolism and perinatal care, as well as for inpatient psychiatric services and immunizations.

To be a 2013 Top Performer, hospitals had to meet three performance criteria based on 2013 accountability measure data, including:

  • Achieving cumulative performance of 95 percent or above across all reported accountability measures;
  • Achieving performance of 95 percent or above on each and every reported accountability measure where there were at least 30 denominator cases; and
  • Having at least one core measure set that had a composite rate of 95 percent or above, and (within that measure set) all applicable individual accountability measures had a performance rate of 95 percent or above.

“Delivering the right treatment in the right way at the right time is a cornerstone of high-quality health care. I commend the efforts of UP Health System – Portage for their excellent performance on the use of evidence-based interventions,” said Mark R. Chassin, M.D., FACP, M.P.P., M.P.H., president and CEO, The Joint Commission.

“We understand what matters most to patients at UP Health System - Portage is the quality and safety of the care they receive. That is why we have made it a top priority to improve positive patient outcomes through evidence-based care processes,” said Betty MacInnes, VP of Quality at UP Health System - Portage. “Portage is proud to be named a Top Performer as it recognizes the knowledge, teamwork and dedication of our entire hospital staff.”

For more information about the Top Performer program, visit

Lights of Love ceremony scheduled for December 4

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HANCOCK – The Portage Hospital Auxiliary is hosting its annual Lights of Love ceremony on Thursday, December 4 at 5 p.m. in the UP Health System - Portage lobby. 

2010 Lights of Love Tree “It will be a lovely program,” said Barb Worrall, chair of the Portage Health Auxiliary. “We’ll read all the names of people the lights are dedicated to, the Hancock High School music ensemble will be playing Christmas music under the direction of Ryan Watt and afterwards we’ll have a charming reception in the UP Health System - Portage Conference Center.” 

The ceremony marks the beginning of the Lights of Love program for the season, which features a beautifully lit Christmas tree in the lobby of the hospital. Each light on the tree is either in memory of someone who has passed, or honoring someone still alive. 

The proceeds of the lights, which are sold $5 each, go toward scholarships for local students.

There are several $1,000 scholarships available, but students must have completed at least one year of college in a health-related field. Eligible students must also originally be from surrounding four counties of Houghton, Keweenaw, Baraga or Ontonagon.

Notices for the scholarships will be sent out in early 2015 and awarded in the spring. For more information on the scholarship, click here.

The public is invited to attend the reception. 

UP Health System combines clinical excellence with quality care, as Bell, Marquette and Portage hospitals unite

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Hospitals unveil new brand promise and underscore commitment to Michigan’s Upper Peninsula

ISHPEMING, Mich. (October 21, 2014) – Bell Hospital, Marquette General Hospital (MGH) and Portage Health celebrated their coming together as a regional health system focused on delivering exceptional patient care through the unveiling of a new name, logo and brand image representing the cohesive service of quality care that is the UP Health System. Bell Hospital and Portage Health are LifePoint Hospitals® and MGH is a part of Duke LifePoint Healthcare.

The unified messaging combines the experience and services of two historic community hospitals, Bell Hospital and Portage Health, with the tertiary care of MGH to provide exceptional healthcare and value to the UP community. Working together, the UP Health System will improve patient satisfaction and focus on delivering exceptional quality care in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.

The new logo represents a sense of teamwork and celebrates the opportunities created as Bell, Marquette and Portage facilities move forward with a resolute commitment to quality health services in the UP.

 UPHS Logo Color 300px w 

“These hospitals represent more than three centuries of combined service in the UP and, together as part of Duke LifePoint and LifePoint Hospitals, we see incredible potential for the long-term impact the UP Health System will have in the region as a unified system of care,” UP Health System President Jim Bogan said.  “Today, we are excited to unveil the visual representation of our hospitals’ partnership and celebrate the leaps forward we are all taking to provide exceptional care in our communities.”

The UP Health System boasts a proud history, built on a tradition of quality care in the UP. In the 1800s Bell, Marquette and Portage hospitals each made a promise to provide high-quality care for their communities. Today, that promise is reaffirmed as these hospitals combine to offer improvements both large and small – like new technologies, enhanced services and a deliberate focus on enhancing the delivery of healthcare to the region.

“Together, we are moving confidently into a future of unparalleled expertise, delivered to the communities we remain dedicated to serving,” said Bogan. “It’s not about big business; it’s about a big idea. With the changes happening in healthcare today, the best way for community hospitals to stay community hospitals is to work together to make our communities healthier.”

As a Duke LifePoint hospital, Marquette has announced improvements including a new $280 million, 279-bed hospital and 80,000-square-foot medical office building. In addition, Marquette announced earlier this year its affiliation with Duke Medicine in Heart and Cancer, home of the Duke Cancer Institute and Duke Heart Center, programs respected worldwide for their clinical excellence and research expertise. At Portage, a $60 million commitment to capital improvements from its joint venture with LifePoint Hospitals® is providing significant investments in technology, equipment and improved facilities. Inside Bell, also a LifePoint hospital, a $5 million commitment to capital improvements will result in investments for physician recruitment and retention, increased scope of medical service offerings and investments in hospital infrastructure.

Visually, the community will witness the impact of the UP Health System’s new logo and brand image in the coming months through new facility signage at each hospital, updated websites and a powerful campaign featuring local patients, doctors and community members highlighting the bright future ahead for the UP. More than an updated look and a new name, the new logo clearly demonstrates a bond with and commitment to the region.

About UP Health System

The UP Health System made up of Bell, Marquette and Portage hospitals, and in partnership with LifePoint Hospitals® and Duke LifePoint Healthcare, is a system dedicated to providing exceptional healthcare and value to Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. The UP Health System brings unparalleled expertise in clinical excellence and quality care to the UP. The UP Health System is making our communities healthier. For additional information, visit

About LifePoint Hospitals®

LifePoint Hospitals® is a leading hospital company focused on providing quality healthcare services close to home. Through its subsidiaries, LifePoint operates more than 60 hospital campuses in 21 states. With a mission of “Making Communities Healthier®,” LifePoint is the sole community hospital provider in the majority of the communities it serves. More information about the Company, which is headquartered in Brentwood, Tennessee, can be found on its website, All references to “LifePoint,” “LifePoint Hospitals®,” or the “Company” used in this release refer to LifePoint Hospitals®, Inc. or its affiliates.

About Duke LifePoint Healthcare

Duke LifePoint Healthcare, a joint venture of Duke University Health System, Inc. and LifePoint Hospitals® (NASDAQ: LPNT), was established to build a dynamic network of hospitals and health care providers. The joint venture, which brings together LifePoint's experience in community-based hospital management and Duke's world-renowned leadership in clinical service, is strengthening and improving health care delivery by providing community hospitals the clinical, quality and operational resources they need to grow and prosper. For additional information, visit 

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Portage Health and Upper Great Lakes Family Health Center need your help to increase awareness of respiratory disease in the community

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Portage Health has recently seen an increased rate of respiratory disease, especially in asthmatic children. The illness, being confirmed as enterovirus-D68 (EV-D68) can cause mild to severe respiratory illness. EV-D68 is a version of Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease resulting in respiratory illness and may or may not be accompanied by the common mouth sores that come with Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease. 

Children with asthma or occasional asthma symptoms, even if never diagnosed with asthma, are at higher risk for developing severe illness potentially leading to pneumonia and hospitalization.
This virus is already in our community. To keep your child from getting and spreading EV-D68,

  • Avoid close contact with sick people
  • Wash your hands often
  • Cover Your coughs and sneezes
  • Avoid touching your face with unwashed hands
  • Clean and disinfect surfaces
  • Stay home when you’re sick

If your child is asthmatic, or has had signs of asthma in the past, our pediatricians recommend,

  • Start taking controller medicine (i.e. inhaled steroids, Singulair), even if no symptoms are present.
  • Start taking rescue medicine as well (i.e. albuterol) if child is showing symptoms such as fever, runny nose, sneezing, coughing, body and muscle aches, difficulty breathing, wheezing

For more information, see the following related health articles:

Reminder: To continue to protect yourself, your family and your community, please plan on getting your flu shot at the following clinics:

  • Community Flu Shot clinic on September 27 at Hancock High School,
  • Hancock Family Health Center Pediatric Flu Clinics: October 3, October 10, October 21, October 28. Please call for an appointment by calling (906) 483-1700.
  • Or make an appointment for a flu shot by calling your doctor’s office after October 1.

Air Medical Base Opens In Houghton-Hancock

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Valley Med Flight recently opened a fixed-wing airplane air ambulance base in Houghton-Hancock to serve the citizens of the region with quick, high-quality air medical transportation. The airplane and crew will be able to respond to flight requests from Portage Health and other locations throughout the UP. The company also has a fixed-wing base in Iron Mountain and a rotor-wing helicopter base in Escanaba. 

“It is our goal to provide timely patient transportation to all areas of the UP. Although our aircraft in Iron Mountain and Escanaba can also respond to Houghton-Hancock, a permanent base in the area will decrease response times which is much better for the patients who require our services” stated Jake Keller, Valley Med Flight’s Program Director. 

The new air medical base in Houghton-Hancock began transporting patients from the area on July 31st and has been busy during its first few weeks of operation. “We have been very pleased with the support we have received from the hospitals here and look forward to working with them long into the future” explained Keller.

The base will decrease transport times from area hospitals to Marquette General and other receiving locations substantially. The two-hour drive between Houghton-Hancock and Marquette can be completed in just over 20 minutes in the now permanently stationed Valley Med Flight Pilatus PC-12 airplane. 

“The addition of a fixed-wing air ambulance in the Copper Country provides our communities with a critical service in the time of an emergency,” said Diane Torres, Interim CEO at Portage Health. “Our goal is to decrease transport times during these emergencies and we are proud to have Valley Med Flight as our partner.”

About Valley Med Flight

Air Medical Resource Group (AMRG) manages Valley Med Flight. AMRG owns and operates more than 70 aircraft and transports over 11,000 patients per year from 40 bases located in 11 states. More information about Valley Med Flight can be found at

Brianne Sable, PA joins the Cancer Care team at Portage Health

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Sable, Brianne imagePortage Health is excited to announce the addition of a full time provider to our Cancer Care clinic, Brianne Sable, PA. Brianne will be serving patients in the Cancer Care clinic alongside Dr. Lloyd Geddes.

Brianne has a diverse medical background, most recently providing care to patients at Aurora Advanced Healthcare/Aurora Cancer Care in Glendale, WI and Grafton, WI. She obtained her bachelor degree at Northern Michigan University and completed her Physician Assistant Studies at the Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences in Manchester, NH.

Brianne is excited to be in a team-oriented environment and strives for comprehensive healthcare for patients.

Portage Health offers a full spectrum of cancer care services, including outpatient chemotherapy, radiology, biopsies, blood transfusions, clinical trials and supportive therapy, pain management, support groups and counseling for patients and families, and nutrition and health education.

Learn more about the program at Learn more about Brianne at

Reid Andress, MD joins the hospitalist team at Portage Health

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Andress, Reid imagePortage Health is proud to welcome Keweenaw native Reid Andress, MD to its hospitalist team. As an adult medicine specialist, Dr. Andress is board certified in Internal Medicine by the American Board of Internal Medicine, and will begin seeing patients in the Inpatient Unit starting August 1, 2014.

“After spending nearly a decade outside the Keweenaw, I’m excited to be returning home to care for our community.” Dr. Andress said.

Dr. Andress returns to the area with his wife Emily Kenny, MD, who will be practicing as a women’s health physician in our OB/GYN clinic.

Dr. Andress completed his residency and internship at the Maine Medical Center in Portland, ME after finishing medical school at the Michigan State University College of Human Medicine. After residency, Dr. Andress served as the Chief Medical Resident for the Department of Medicine.

“I am privileged to have the opportunity to develop relationships with patients and families during challenging periods in their lives, and enjoy involving them in the medical decision making process,” he said. “I practice evidence based medicine and believe in sharing scientific and medical evidence with patients to help inform their decisions.”

Dr. Andress joins fellow board certified hospitalists Dr. Abdul Mansoor Khokhar, Dr. Terry Kinzel and Dr. Lori Vaughan. Visit to learn more about Dr. Andress.

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