Media Releases

Portage Health Dialysis Center recognized as 5-Diamond

(Acheivements and Accolades) Permanent link
HANCOCK - The Portage Health Dialysis Center is one of two dialysis centers in the U.P. to be recognized as a 5-Diamond Patient Safety Program by the Renal Network of the Upper Midwest, Inc.

DialysisAward“This is a huge accomplishment that every person in our department can be proud of,” said Karen Kelley, director of the center. “It took hard work by every person on our staff to achieve this, and now we’ve got to work hard to keep it up.”

The program is designed to improve staff and patient awareness of specific patient safety areas, promote patient safety values and build a culture of patient safety in every facility.

“Each of us had to go through specific dialysis training to earn this,” said Elizabeth Check, RN, CDN. “It’s something that has brought us closer together as an organization, and it means our patients are getting the best care possible.”

The Portage Health Dialysis Center opened in 2000.

“I’ve been to several other dialysis centers and this one is by far the best,” said Margaret Noble, a patient since 2003. “Everyone here is so caring, they’re like family to me.”

Noble had treatment in other areas of the United States, and her daughter Terri Martin said the difference is huge.

“It’s obvious from the moment you walk in and are greeted by the wonderful volunteers,” she said. “Going through dialysis is a tough assignment in life, but the people here make my mother feel as comfortable as possible.”

The center will be officially recognized in October at the region’s annual meeting in Milwaukee, but has already received the certificate. A total of 59 dialysis centers were recognized between North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan.

Portage Health offers new physical therapy service for women

(Staff, Services) Permanent link
HANCOCK – Portage Health is pleased to announce a new service to its women’s health offerings in the form of physical therapy. This powerful and natural rehabilitation service helps women of all ages heal and regain strength naturally using specially designed exercises and stretches.

WomensPT2“Physical therapy is a natural solution to problems such as urinary leakage, pelvic pressure, or pelvic or lower-back pain,” said Stephanie Peterson, DPT, PT.

Peterson is specially trained in women’s health physical therapy and will begin seeing patients starting in early July.

“My goal is to provide care in a comfortable, non-intimidating environment, so patients can live without the fear of leakage or pain with daily activities.” said Peterson. “I truly believe in this alternative and look forward to getting to work.”

These problems are especially common in women who have given birth, and appear more commonly through aging.

“You can do something about these problems,” Peterson said.

The service is the latest addition to the Portage Health Women’s Health team, which also offers surgical- and medication-based solutions for many of these same problems.

For more information on the service visit Additional information on the Portage Health women’s health team can be found at Call 483-1050 to make an appointment today.

Portage Health donates $10,000 to Copper Harbor Playground Project

(Services) Permanent link

COPPER HARBOR – The Copper Harbor Playground Project summer 2012 fundraising campaign is off to a great start as Portage Health has donated $10,000 to the project.


Copper Harbor Playground Check

Kevin Store (left) presents a $10,000 check to Copper Harbor children at a check presentation ceremony today.

“This donation really puts some wind in our sails,” said Marty Faassen, one of the project’s organizers. “We hope organizations and businesses around the Keweenaw will be challenged by this donation to also contribute.”

The $10,000 donation should put the total funds raised at more than $25,000 by the end of June, and with a match from the Downtown Development Authority, the group will be more than a third of the way to their goal of raising $145,000 for the new playground. They hope to raise all of the funds by this fall.

“We should not expect another generation of children to have to play on equipment that was built for the baby boomers,” said Miranda K. Davis, another organizer of the project. “We need an environment that is up to code and will excite area youth to come out and play.”

The equipment will be safer, more fun and will provide the ultimate development opportunity for the children.

“Portage Health feels privileged to be part of this project,” said Kevin Store, director of marketing and communications at Portage Health. “We recognize the important role this new resource will provide children and visitors to the area.”

The resource is especially vital because the one-room schoolhouse in Copper Harbor doesn’t offer physical education classes.

“Our mission is to improve the health of our community,” said Store. “What better place to start than by developing and encouraging life-long health and physically active play habits within our children.”

Installation of the playground should begin next summer. Included in the dollar total are site prep, utility work, equipment, surfacing, fencing and installation. A large portion of the installation will also be done using volunteers.

“It may sound expensive, but after researching manufacturers and getting input from community members, we decided to go with slightly higher quality and a unique layout,” said Faassen. “We expect a lot from the next generation, what should they expect from us?”

For more information on the project visit and “like” the project on Facebook at


Registration open for 2012 Portage Health Canal Run

(Events) Permanent link
HANCOCK – Race day is set and registration is open for the 37th annual Portage Health Canal Run in Hancock, Mich. The run is set for July 21 with a start at McLain’s State Park and finish in downtown Hancock between Citizen’s Bank and Finlandia University.

CanalRun2011“This race has a long reputation of being an excellent experience for runners and walkers of all levels,” said Angela Luskin, race director. “Already we have people registered from Germany, Kentucky, Minnesota and Illinois.”

The race has grown to more than 500 participants between four different races: a 5-mile run, 5-mile walk, 10-mile run and 10-mile walk.

“We get everyone from veteran Boston Marathon runners to first-time walkers,” said Luskin. “Our USATF-certified race course is picturesque, uniquely challenging and a lot of fun.”

Registration can be done by either printing a PDF found on the website and mailing it in to the address provided or on-line at

The price for all races is once again $25 if done by July 14, and $35.00 after July 14. All participants will receive a bamboo 2012 Portage Health Canal Run t-shirt, Finlandia University clothing bag, a free shuttle to the starting location before the race, on-site medical attention, including five aid stations, and snacks at the finish line.

On Friday, July 20 participants and the community are invited to a pre-race pasta dinner at Finlandia Hall. The pasta dinner is all-you-can-eat for $10 and includes a variety of different foods prepared by the Keweenaw Co-op Natural Food Market and Deli. Also at the hall will be bib pickup and children’s events.

Upper Peninsula Road Runner Club members receive $2 off their fee, and team discounts are available. Visit for all the details, and watch for updates about the race on Facebook, Foursquare and Twitter!

Free athletic screenings for student athletes

(Events) Permanent link
HANCOCK – The Portage Health Sports Medicine Institute is offering free athletic screenings to student athletes on Tuesday, June 12.

These screenings are being offered to student athletes from Hancock, Jeffers, Dollar Bay-Tamarack City, Houghton and Chassell schools that are interested in playing school sports during the 2012-13 school year.

All students should bring a physical form with a completed health history and parent signature, eyeglasses or contact lenses for a vision test, and should be dressed appropriately (with a shirt that can be pulled up so the provider can listen to heart and lungs, and shoes that can be easily removed and put back on for walking test).

The schedule is as follows:

Portage Health Hancock (500 Campus Drive, Hancock)
8 a.m. – 10 a.m. – students from Hancock
10 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. – students from Jeffers or Dollar Bay

Portage Health University Center (600 MacInnes Drive, Houghton)
1 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. – students from Houghton
3 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. – students from Chassell

For more information, or if you have questions about the screenings, call 483-1012.

Relay for Life fundraiser set for Saturday night

(Events) Permanent link
HOUGHTON – The Continental Fire Company in Houghton is partnering with the Quincy Street and Friends Relay for Life Team and Portage Health to host a Relay for Life fundraiser on June 9.

Relay for Life LogoThere will be music upstairs in the Balcony Bar from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. with Tom Katalin and Keith Riley, and at 9:30 DJ Mitch Lake will be cranking out the tunes on the dance floor. All money brought in from cover charges will be donated to the Copper Country Relay for Life, which is scheduled for June 22-23 at the Houghton High School.

VIP passes are available for $10, and will include cover at the door and access to hors d’oeuvres in the lounge. The hors d’oeuvres are provided courtesy of Portage Health, with head chef Mark Pittillo creating a menu of incredible appetizers, including fresh sushi.

VIP passes can be purchased at the WMPL/Mix 93 studio, Favorite’s Silk Screening and Embroidery, Kukkakauppa Flower Shop or Nicholas Agency. For more information, or to RSVP to the event, visit


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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