Media Releases

High school students hear presentation from Dr. Smoot

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HOUGHTON – Portage Health sleep medicine physician Dr. Carl Smoot was a Keynote speaker for the Student Leadership Conference today at Michigan Tech.

Dr. Smoot presenting to CCISD studentsDr. Smoot presents to area high school students.

The conference is put on by the Copper Country Intermediate School District Student Leadership Committee, and was open to high school students from area schools.

“I want you to be ambassadors for sleep to your families, friends and future employers,” Dr. Smoot told the students.

The presentation aimed to help students develop healthy sleep patterns. Creating and developing a healthy sleep schedule can make a sizable different for adults at any age.

“Sleep has always been a key element for a human’s well being,” Dr. Smoot told the students. “Some of the greatest human civilizations, such as the Greeks and Romans had a focus on sleep that we don’t seem to have anymore.”

His presentation was the opening keynote address to the students, who were involved in several breakout sessions throughout the day before finishing up with another keynote speaker, Kim Cameron, head coach of the Michigan Tech women’s basketball team.

To learn more about Dr. Smoot and the Portage Health Sleep Disorders Center, visit If you’re interested in having Dr. Smoot talk to your group, contact the Portage Health Communication Department at 483-1566.

Local law enforcement agencies participating in prescription take-back initiative

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HOUGHTON – On Saturday the Drug Enforcement Administration is organizing a National Take Back Initiative Day by partnering with local law enforcement agencies across the nation to collect expired or unneeded prescription pills.

Locally, pills will be accepted at the Houghton County Sheriff’s Office and Michigan State Police Post in Calumet from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

“The community has really been taking advantage of the National Take Back Initiative,” said Detective/Sergeant Thomas Rosemurgy of the Houghton County Sheriff’s Office. “We’ve been taking anywhere from 10 to 20 pounds of assorted unwanted prescriptions in just one day of disposal.”

Nationally, Americans turned in 377,080 pounds during a collection last October. Pills can also be dropped off at the Sheriff’s office in a drop box.

“If you’re not able to drop off your unwanted prescriptions this Saturday, feel free to drop it off anytime that is convenient for you,” Rosemurgy said.

This initiative addresses a vital public safety and public health issue. Medicines that languish in home cabinets are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse and abuse. Rates of prescription drug abuse in the U.S. are alarmingly high, as are the number of accidental poisonings and overdoses due to these drugs. Studies show that a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including from the home medicine cabinet. In addition, Americans are now advised that their usual methods for disposing of unused medicines—flushing them down the toilet or throwing them in the trash—pose potential safety and health hazards.


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