Media Releases

Harrington appointed Marketing Director at Portage Health

(Staff) Permanent link

Victor Harrington has been appointed Marketing Director at Portage Health.

Harrington-Victor“Victor has been an integral part of our marketing team for the past seven years,” said Jim Bogan, President and CEO of Portage Health. “I look forward to working with him in this new capacity.”

Harrington is taking over the role from Kevin Store, who is transitioning to his new role as Executive Director of the reconstituted Portage Health Foundation.

“We want to thank Kevin for his many years of service at Portage Health,” Bogan said.

Harrington was raised in the Copper Country, and is an graduate of Finlandia University. His transition to Marketing Director is already underway.

“In the Marketing Department at Portage Health, our priority is to accurately and effectively promote our services in an effort to keep healthcare delivery right here at home,” Harrington said. “I look forward to continuing this effort, while working with the excellent staff and providers we have at Portage Health.”

For more information about the marketing department at Portage Health, contact Victor Harrington at or (906) 483-1550.

Federal funding helping expand healthcare in Houghton

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Upper Great Lakes Family Health Center has secured funding from the Federal Bureau of Primary Health Care to improve access to quality healthcare in Houghton. This funding is helping form a unique partnership with Portage Health that will transition Portage Health’s existing primary care practice in Houghton into a Family Health Center that is designated as a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC).

UGLFHC Logo“It was incredibly competitive to get this funding,” UGLFHC Chief Executive Officer Don Simila said. “More than 600 projects nationwide were up for this funding, and we were one of just 30 who received it.”

The FQHC designation allows the health center to accept all patients and insurances, including Medicare, regardless of ability to pay. The Houghton Family Health Center will provide services on a sliding fee, based on federal poverty guidelines.

“Everyone should be able to afford an office visit at the health center,” said Jim Bogan, President and CEO of Portage Health. “The goal here is to have a healthier community, and we’re doing that by offering patients the ability to pay a fee that they can afford.”

Established patients at the health center will continue to have the same relationship with their provider that they have come to expect. For the vast majority of patients, there will be no visible change. For many patients, this transition will lead to lower fees for care.

“There are a high number of patients in our community who need help managing their chronic diseases, or simply need to get into a health center for the first time in a long time to establish a medical home,” Bogan said. “Portage Health and UGLFHC are focused on population health management as partners in a clinically integrated system of care.”

“This is the right thing for our community,” Simila added.

Learn more about UGLFHC, and this partnership at, or by visiting




About Portage Health 

Portage Health’s mission is to improve the health of the community by providing high quality, safe and compassionate healthcare. Portage Health owns and operates a 36-bed acute-care hospital, a 60-bed skilled nursing unit and related health care services in Hancock-Houghton, Michigan. More information about Portage Health can be found at

About Upper Great Lakes Family Health Center 

Upper Great Lakes Family Health Center is a community-based primary care center. It is designated as a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC), dedicated to providing high quality primary care throughout the lifecycle to everyone regardless of his or her ability to pay. The UGLFHC operates family health centers in Gwinn, Sawyer and Houghton. More information about UGLFHC can be found at

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.

Rehab hires pediatric occupational therapist

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Portage Health Rehab is proud to welcome Elizabeth Miller, OTRL, to its staff. Miller is providing pediatric outpatient services at Portage Health Rehab’s Houghton clinic, and contracted services through the Copper Country Intermediate School District.

Miller, Liz image“I believe occupational therapy is a profession that requires compassion, sensitivity and understanding to better help improve the quality of life for all individuals,” Miller said. “My goal is to provide innovative therapies to help promote quality of life, and to inspire and motivate patients and their families.”

Prior to joining Portage Health’s staff Miller worked at the White Pine Rehabilitation and Care Center in Howell, Michigan, and at Hillsdale Community Health Center in Hillsdale, Michigan. She also spent time working at Ann Arbor Public Schools.

Miller has experience in inpatient rehab, school systems and outpatient clinics specializing in children with sensory processing dysfunction. She completed her post-graduate studies at Western Michigan University, and is an active member of the American Occupational Therapy Association.

Learn more about Portage Health Rehab services at, and see Miller’s provider profile at

Visitor restriction now in place for birthing center

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HANCOCK – Due to high occurrences of illness to children in the area, the Portage Health Family Birthing Center will be temporarily closed to visiting children, including siblings.

Although we recognize the inconvenience of this necessary and temporary change in policy, the change in visitation is effective immediately and is being put in place to protect the health of our newborns. This is effective for children under the age of 12, and anybody experiencing any respiratory illness symptoms.

Healthy adults are still allowed to enter the birthing center during regular visiting hours (daily, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 4 to 8 p.m.), but until Portage Health officials feel the number of local illnesses is significantly lowered, children will not be allowed to enter.

Visit for the latest updates.

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

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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

Hines named VP of Medical Affairs and Chief Medical Officer

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Jim Bogan, President and CEO of Portage Health, is pleased to announce the appointment of Mary Beth Hines, DO, FACOEP, FACEP, to Vice President of Medical Affairs and Chief Medical Officer of Portage Health as of January 1, 2014.

Dr. Mary Beth HinesIn her new role, Dr. Hines will work closely with the medical staff leadership and the executive management team.

“Mary Beth brings to Portage Health her experience in different areas of healthcare,” said Bogan. “We look forward to working with her as we move forward with our partnership with LifePoint Hospitals.”

Dr. Hines has been serving patients in the Portage Health Trauma Center for more than a decade, including time spent as the department’s director. She is board certified in emergency medicine and medical toxicology, and will continue to serve patients at the Portage Health Trauma Center.

Prior to signing on at Portage Health, she served as the director of the emergency department at the former Keweenaw Memorial Hospital, and as the director of education for the emergency medicine residency program at Michigan State University.

“This is an exciting opportunity for me, and an exciting time for the hospital and our community,” Dr. Hines said. “We have already initiated the process with LifePoint Hospitals to craft new services for our community. These expanded services will lead to opportunities for care that our community hasn’t had before.”

Dr. Hines will join the Portage Health executive management team, which includes Bogan, recently appointed Vice President of Finance and Chief Financial Officer Susan Binkley, Vice President of Quality Management Betty MacInnes, and Vice President of Patient Services Deb Young.

Portage Health Rehab Lecture Series: Cancer Care Rehab

(Events) Permanent link

Receiving treatment for cancer is a fight for life. Those in the midst of that fight need to get every advantage they can get. That includes the addition of rehab specialists into their life.4

RehabLectureCancerCare“The day-to-day life of many patients battling cancer could be improved drastically by proper rehab before, during and after treatment,” said Darlene Blough, PT.

Blough will be one of three rehab specialists leading a free lecture on Thursday, January 16 at 6:30 p.m. at Portage Health Rehab in Hancock.

The emergence of rehab’s role in cancer care has been a benefit for many patients throughout every stage of their battle.

“Depending on the type of cancer and treatment, rehab can help patients from diagnosis right through recovery,” said Blough. “Rehab can be a vital tool to help ease the side effects, or after effects of treatments like chemotherapy and radiation.”

Joining Blough for the lecture will be Tiffany Paavola, OTRL, ATP, CHT, and Amy Haske, MA, CCC-SLP.

RSVP to the event on Facebook for updates on this event. Learn more about the Portage Health Rehab Lecture Series, visit


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