Media Releases

Ring bells on Nov. 1 for National Hospice Month

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HANCOCK – November is National Hospice Month, and Portage Health Home Care & Hospice is inviting you to join them in celebrating by ringing bells at noon on Thursday, Nov. 1.

The annual “Bells for Hospice” is a nationwide moment that’s meant to honor all who have died under hospice care during the last year, and also in respect for their families.

“This is a special moment for all of us, and we hope you’ll join us this year,” said Marianne Berghefer, Portage Health Hospice volunteer and bereavement coordinator.

Considered to be the model for quality, compassionate care at the end of life, hospice care involves a team-oriented approach of expert medical care, pain management, and emotional and spiritual support expressly tailored to the patient's wishes. Emotional and spiritual support is also extended to the family and loved ones. Generally, this care is provided in the patient's home or in a home-like setting operated by a hospice program. Medicare, private health insurance, and Medicaid in Michigan cover hospice care for patients who meet certain criteria.

Work places, religious institutions, schools and any other place where people are gathered are invited to ring bells at noon.

“This is a great chance to create awareness for hospice, and a chance for people to think about hospice as a plan for care for themselves or someone close to them,” Berghefer said.

Learn more about hospice by visiting the Hospice and Palliative Care Association of Michigan at, or by visiting

2012 Lights of Love program kicks off campaign

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HANCOCK – The Portage Hospital Auxiliary is once again recognizing and honoring loved ones with its annual Lights of Love program at the hospital.

Each year, the Portage Hospital Auxiliary decorates and lights a Christmas tree in honor or memory of our relatives and friends, and places the tree in the Portage Health lobby.

Lights of Love Photo

The Lights of Love Tree last year with the list of names either honored or remembered next to it.

“Every year this tree truly brightens our staff and community’s experience in our lobby,” said Robbyn Lucier, director of human resources. “We hope you’ll consider supporting our effort by reserving a light in your loved one’s name.”

Each light is in memory or honor of a loved one or organization. Each light requires a minimum $5 donation, which funds a healthcare education scholarship fund.

“This scholarship fund has helped local young people realize their dream of becoming a healthcare provider,” said Lucier.

All recipients of the scholarship must be attending college for a healthcare-related field and be from the four-county area.

In order for your names to be displayed in the lobby of the hospital, donations must be received no later than Friday, Nov. 23.

On Wednesday, Dec. 12 at 4:30 p.m. the Portage Hospital Auxiliary will be hosting a tree-lighting ceremony and social. At the event all of the names will be read, refreshments will be served and all in attendance will enjoy seasonal music performed by local youth.

For more information, visit, or contact Connie Greenleaf at (906) 483-1507 or Robbyn Lucier at (906) 483-1514.


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