Media Releases

2014 Portage Health Men’s Health Tune-Up set for Jan. 11

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Portage Health is proud to once again be reaching out to the men of the Copper Country with its fifth annual Portage Health Men’s Health Tune-Up. The event will be hosted at Hancock High School from 7:30 a.m. until 1:30 p.m. on Saturday, January 11.

Registration is currently open at

Men's Health Tune-Up“This is a great opportunity for the men of the Copper Country to learn more about their health,” said Angela Luskin, community health coordinator at Portage Health. “We provide a comfortable atmosphere, and a passionate crew of experts that are eager to provide assistance and advice.”

The event includes a keynote presentation titled “The Truth About Your Weight,” by registered dietitian Lexie Weber and personal trainer Emily Kunnen. In addition, there will be nearly a dozen other health-related presentations and breakout sessions, breakfast and lunch prepared by Chef Mark, a massage room, and more than $200 worth of health screenings.

This year’s screenings include cholesterol panel, blood glucose, blood pressure, bone density, and, new for 2014, Vitamin D. Results from all of the screenings will be available to participants at the end of the event, and Dr. Todd Anderson will lead a discussion regarding the meaning of the results.

All of this is just $25 for participants. Registration, and a full list of happenings, is available at, or by calling 483-1153.

Support group dates, times and locations for first half of 2014 finalized

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Support group schedules for Bereavement, Caregivers and Women’s Cancer have finalized their schedule for the first half of 2014.

Below are short descriptions of each group, and a list of scheduled meetings during the first half of 2014.


Bereavement Support Group 

The bereavement support group offers a safe and welcoming environment for you to share wherever you are in the process of grieving. The group meets at 4 p.m. on the first Wednesday of every month at the Portage Health Home Care conference room on Water Street in Hancock.

  • Wednesday, January 8, 4 – 5 p.m., Portage Health Home Care office*
  • Wednesday, February 5, 4 – 5 p.m., Portage Health Home Care office
  • Wednesday, March 5, 4 – 5 p.m., Portage Health Home Care office
  • Wednesday, April 2, 4 – 5 p.m., Portage Health Home Care office
  • Wednesday, May 7, 4 – 5 p.m., Portage Health Home Care office
  • Wednesday, June 4, 4 – 5 p.m., Portage Health Home Care office 

Contract Marianne Berghefer at (906) 483-1160 with any questions about the bereavement support group.

*The January meeting was moved to Jan. 8 because of the holiday. 


Caregiver Support Group 

The caregiver support group offers a welcoming environment for you to share your experience with others and learn from others as well. The group meets on the third Wednesday of every month at 1:30 p.m. at the Bluffs Senior Living Community’s library on the second floor.

  • Wednesday, January 15, 1:30 – 2:30 p.m., The Bluffs
  • Wednesday, February 19, 1:30 – 2:30 p.m., The Bluffs
  • Wednesday, March 19, 1:30 – 2:30 p.m., The Bluffs
  • Wednesday, April 16, 1:30 – 2:30 p.m., The Bluffs
  • Wednesday, May 21, 1:30 – 2:30 p.m., The Bluffs
  • Wednesday, June 18, 1:30 – 2:30 p.m., The Bluffs

Contact Carol Olsen at (906) 483-1160 with any questions about the caregiver support group.


Women’s Cancer Support Group 

Hosted in conjunction with Aspirus Keweenaw, this group is for women living with cancer, newly diagnosed, in treatment or a long-term survivor. The support group will provide a place to laugh a little, and share or learn about resources and tips. It meets on the final Wednesday of each month at 7 p.m., alternating between Aspirus Keweenaw on the second floor, and Portage Health in the conference center.

  • Wednesday, January 29, 7 – 8:30 p.m., Aspirus Keweenaw, 2nd floor
  • Wednesday, February 26, 7 – 8:30 p.m., Portage Health Conference Center
  • Wednesday, March 26, 7 – 8:30 p.m., Aspirus Keweenaw, 2nd floor
  • Wednesday, April 30, 7 – 8:30 p.m., Portage Health Conference Center
  • Wednesday, May 28, 7 – 8:30 p.m., Aspirus Keweenaw, 2nd floor
  • Wednesday, June 25, 7 – 8:30 p.m., Portage Health Conference Center

Contact Angie Van Tassel at (906) 482-8221 or Anita Quinn at (906) 482-9675 with any questions about the women’s cancer support group.

This schedule can be accessed at any time by going to

Rehab lecture “How to Feed a Picky Eater” rescheduled to January 9

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The Portage Health Rehab Lecture Series event titled “How to Feed a Picky Eater,” had to be cancelled on its originally scheduled night of Dec. 5 because of the winter weather. It has been rescheduled to Thursday, Jan. 9 at 6:30 p.m. It will still be hosted at the rehab facility inside of Portage Health’s main location in Hancock. Below is the original announcement. 

Portage Health Rehab is hosting its next lecture series event, titled “How to Feed a Picky Eater,” on Thursday, January 9 at 6:30 p.m. at Portage Health Rehab inside of the University Center clinic 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.

$32 Million dollar initial deposit made to Portage Health Foundation

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Store named as executive director


[Hancock] The Portage Health Foundation Board of Directors announced recently that it has received an initial deposit of approximately $32 million dollars and has named Kevin Store of Houghton as the executive director of the reconstituted Portage Health Foundation.

“We are very pleased to begin moving forward with the Foundation,” said Lennon Mattila Hughes, chairperson of the foundation’s board of directors. “We have a lot of work ahead of us as we begin to reorganize the Foundation and prepare for it to reinvest into our community.” Hughes said that the Foundation is moving forward with caution and is taking appropriate steps to ensure the assets will be managed properly, as the foundation has potential capital-call responsibilities as the 20 percent minority owner of the recent joint venture. “The Foundation will have limitations as to how much it will be able to invest in the community, and those parameters have yet to be determined.” Hughes added.

The Portage Health Foundation received the proceeds when the joint venture partnership between Portage Health and LifePoint Hospitals closed earlier this month. Proceeds from the transaction were designated to benefit the health of the community via the Portage Health Foundation. The Foundation was started in 1990 and has supported the philanthropic activities of the hospital since that time.

Store was hired by the 10-member board of directors following a national search. The board said they felt it was best to appoint a person with strong ties and awareness to the community, plus a working knowledge of the health care environment.

When asked about the appointment of Store, Hughes responded, “Kevin knows this community well and has a lot of passion for it. He has a great vision for the Foundation, and its role within the community. We are all very excited to be working with him.” Store is moving to the new job after spending nearly five years with Portage Health.

“I am happy with the board’s decision, and feel honored to be part of this historic community development,” said Store. “There is a lot of community expectation for the Portage Health Foundation, and we intend to live up to those expectations.”

Store said the first few months will be spent getting the organization set up, and functioning independent from the hospital. “Once we do that, then we will begin looking at how we will be able to contribute to the community, and make a difference,” Store said.

For the time being, the board has taken efforts to review the Foundation’s investments, and will begin preparing a request for proposal to be issued to investment management firms. In addition, the foundation is currently setting up new offices in Hancock, and hopes to relocate sometime in January.

Sports Medicine Institute hosting concussion clinic at Colosseum Thursday

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The Portage Health Sports Medicine Institute is partnering with the Calumet Hockey Association and Calumet Wolverines Senior “A” Hockey Club to host a concussion clinic Thursday, December 19 at 7 p.m. in the ballroom of the Calumet Colosseum.

The clinic is free and open to parents, players, coaches or anyone else interested in learning about the ramification of concussions in athletics.

Dr. Bruce Trusock, medical director of the Sports Medicine Institute, and Certified Athletic Trainer Brian Brewster, will lead the clinic.

Chef Mark from Portage Health will provide free snacks for those in attendance. Attendees will also receive a free ticket to an upcoming Calumet Wolverines game.

Call John Carroll with any questions about the event at (906) 370-8822.

Fitness Center adds “Water Works” class

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The Portage Health Fitness Center, in partnership with the Magnuson Hotel Franklin Square Inn, has added a unique group fitness class: Water Works.

The class will be held at the hotel’s pool every Tuesday and Thursday from 11 to 11:45 a.m. A description of the class is below:

Immerse yourself in the latest addition to our group fitness class lineup. Join us in the warm water pool at the Magnuson Hotel. This workout uses low impact water resistance for full-body conditioning. For gentle-on-the joints exercise, Water Works. Changing area, shower and towels provided.

An updated group fitness class flysheet can be downloaded here (PDF). Visit for a full schedule online.

Binkley named VP of Finance and CFO at Portage Health

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Portage Health has named Susan Binkley its Vice President of Finance and Chief Financial Officer. Binkley, who has been at Portage Health for more than a decade, will officially take over the position on Jan. 1, 2014.

Susan Binkley“We welcome Susan to her new position after working at Portage Health since 1998,” said Jim Bogan, president and CEO of Portage Health.

Binkley has more than 25 years of experience in healthcare finance, accounting, reimbursement, budgeting and revenue cycle. She’s worked as the director of finance and decision support analyst at Portage Health.

“I’m honored to have received this opportunity to help make Portage Health a leader in healthcare delivery,” Binkley said. “I’m looking forward to working with our dedicated, and highly skilled staff to face today’s challenges in healthcare.”

Previous to joining Portage Health, Binkley worked at Hayes Green Beach Memorial Hospital in Charlotte, Michigan, University of Cincinnati Hospital in Cincinnati, Ohio, and at Abbott Labs in Chicago. She earned her bachelor’s degree at The University of Illinois.

Binkley is taking over for Brian Donahue, who has decided to pursue other career opportunities after nearly 15 years at Portage Health.

“We wish Brian the best of luck,” Bogan said. “He was a wonderful asset for our organization and our community.”

Learn more about Portage Health by visiting

Trusock once again recognized by American Board of Family Medicine

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Long-time Portage Health family medicine and sports medicine physician Bruce Trusock, MD, has successfully been awarded the certificate of added qualification in sports medicine from the American Board of Family Medicine, Inc.

TrusockDr. Trusock has had this certification for more than three decades, and was proud to once again earn the recognition.

“The American Board of Family Medicine is a great organization, and it’s truly an honor to be acknowledged by them with this recertification,” Trusock said.

Dr. Trusock has been serving the Copper Country community for 32 years. His time here has included being the team physician for Michigan Tech athletics the entire time, and expanding the Portage Health Sports Medicine Institute into what it is today. Learn more about Dr. Trusock at

Portage Health “Mo Bros” raise more than $250 during Movember

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Community members visiting Portage Health may have noticed an above average amount of mustaches during the past month, as dozens of Portage Health staffers participated in the annual Movember campaign, raising awareness and funds for men’s health issues by growing a little above-lip below-nose fuzz.

“I’ve grown a Movember mustache for a couple years now, so I was really happy to see my coworkers join me in the cause,” physical therapist Mark Kargela said. “We had a lot of fun, and I’m proud of the $250 plus we raised during our shave off event, and photo booth in the café last week.”

All of the money is being donated to the Movember Foundation, which uses the money to support mens’ health issues.

More than two dozen employees participated in the shave off on October 31, and 19 staffers competed in a Man of Movember photo contest during the holiday week. The winner was fellow therapist Adam Kerry, who was lauded throughout the hospital for his facial hair and was given a Movember Sash after being named Man of Movember.

“I was disappointed I didn’t win the contest, but that’s a credit to the incredible mustaches some of my co-workers were able to grow during the month,” said Kargela, who organized this year’s festivities. “We had fun this year, and we’re looking forward to raising more money and involving the community more for Movember 2014.”

Today's weather-related cancelations

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A winter storm has hit Michigan's Keweenaw Peninsula, and because of that Portage Health had to have a couple cancelations today. Below is information on our cancellations.

  • Tonight’s rehab lecture, titled "How To Feed a Picky Eater" is postponed due to inclement weather. It will be rescheduled for a future date. Watch our rehab lecture website, and Portage Health's social media outlets to learn when it will be rescheduled to.

  • Allergy Injections administered through Ear, Nose and Throat Associates of Marquette at Portage Health are cancelled today.

Stay tuned to to find out about any other Portage Health weather-related cancellations or closings today.

“Exercise Made Simple” program beginning December 2 at Portage Health Fitness Center

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The Portage Health Fitness Center is starting a program called “Exercise Made Simple,” to help people who may not feel comfortable taking the first step towards a healthier lifestyle.

ExerciseMadeSimple“We want people to feel comfortable, we want them to succeed,” Community Health Coordinator Angela Luskin said. “This class is specifically designed for those interested in starting an exercise program, expanding into newer areas or those unsure of how to get started.”

The program includes working with a professional that will ease people into an active lifestyle. The class is offered Mondays and Wednesdays from noon to 12:45 p.m. Each month the class will dive into a different topic with one of Portage Health’s personal trainers.

Exercise Made Simple is $25 / month, or $60 for an entire three-month program. The program is being limited to the first 12 people to sign up. The winter session includes strength training from Dec. 2 to Dec. 23, gentle yoga from Jan. 6 to Jan. 29 and indoor cycling from Feb. 3 to Feb. 26.

To sign up, call the fitness center at (906) 483-1149. Visit to learn more about the Portage Health Fitness Center, and for more information on the new program.

Portage Health and LifePoint Hospitals form joint venture

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Final partnership will enhance healthcare delivery and bring $60 million in capital improvements to Upper Peninsula hospital


Hancock, Michigan (December 2, 2013) – The Portage Health Board of Directors and LifePoint Hospitals® (NASDAQ: LPNT) have finalized their joint venture agreement to share ownership and operation of Portage Health. The joint venture will bring $60 million in capital improvements to Portage Health and approximately $40 million to fund a charitable foundation to support critical needs in the community.

“We are pleased to finalize this joint venture and become part of LifePoint,” said Steve Zutter, chairman of the Portage Health board. “As we considered Portage Health’s future, our board vetted a number of strategic partner options. This joint venture with LifePoint offered us a unique opportunity to share ownership of Portage Health and gain access to significant resources to grow and expand our services. We are excited for the future.”

As part of the final joint venture agreement, LifePoint and Portage Health will jointly own and operate Portage Health. LifePoint will own 80 percent of the joint venture and Portage Health will have a 20 percent ownership stake. Governance will be equally shared, and an eight-member board with equal representation from Portage Health and LifePoint will be established to ensure that the community has an active voice in Portage Health’s future.

“Portage Health plays an important role in healthcare in the Upper Peninsula, and LifePoint is delighted to be its partner,” said LifePoint Chairman and Chief Executive Officer William F. Carpenter III. “We look forward to working with Portage Health’s leadership, physicians, employees and volunteers as we continue to find new ways to enhance healthcare delivery in Hancock-Houghton and throughout the Copper Country region.”

Over the next decade, the joint venture will invest $60 million in capital improvements at Portage Health, including significant investments in technology and equipment and improved facilities. The proceeds from the transaction and retained assets from Portage Health, approximately $40 million, will be used to support the retained businesses of Portage Health and create a locally governed charitable foundation. Also, Portage Health will become a local taxpaying organization, which will bring additional revenue to Hancock and help support local projects.

“Our team is excited to partner with LifePoint to strengthen Portage Health for the future,” said Jim Bogan, Portage Health president and CEO. “As part of the LifePoint system, we have great opportunity to make Portage Health an even better place to come for care, practice medicine and work. Together, we can transform healthcare across the Upper Peninsula.”

The joint venture agreement was reviewed and approved by the Attorney General of Michigan, Bill Schuette.

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 and a 60-bed skilled nursing unit and related healthcare services in Hancock-Houghton, Michigan, along with nine other locations throughout the Copper Country, each offering a variety of services provided by a full spectrum of healthcare professionals. More information about Portage Health can be found at

About LifePoint Hospitals 

LifePoint Hospitals® is a leading hospital company focused on providing quality healthcare services close to home. Through its subsidiaries, LifePoint operates 60 hospital campuses in 20 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.


500 Campus Drive
Hancock, MI 49930
(906) 483-1000


921 W. Sharon Avenue
Houghton, MI 49931
(906) 483-1777

Express Care 


945 Ninth Street
Lake Linden, MI 49945
(906) 483-1030


751 S. Seventh Street
Ontonagon, MI 49953
(906) 884-4120


600 MacInnes Drive
Houghton, MI 49931
(906) 483-1860

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