Media Releases

Scholarship available for local students studying healthcare

(Foundation) Permanent link

The Portage Hospital Auxiliary is once again accepting applications for $1,000 scholarships. The scholarships are awarded annually to students from Baraga, Houghton, Keweenaw or Ontonagon county studying healthcare.

Scholarship“This is an investment in future healthcare in our region,” said Barb Worrall, president of the auxiliary. “Each year we see return on this investment as these students often come back to the Copper Country as highly trained professionals in their given field.”

Interested students must have completed one year of higher education before the fall of 2014, be pursing a career in healthcare, be a registered resident of Baraga, Houghton, Keweenaw or Ontonagon County, and have a GPA of at least 3.0.

Upon meeting these requirements, students must submit an application, transcript of grades and a letter stating their career interest.

This year the auxiliary will award six scholarships, including three made possible by matching funding by Portage Health. The scholarship is funded by money raised during the auxiliary’s annual Lights of Love event in early December.

To learn more about the scholarship, and download an application, visit

Portage Health employees donate more than $50k through Jeans Day

(Acheivements and Accolades, Foundation) Permanent link

The Portage Health Blue Jean Friday Fund has yielded more than $50,000 in donations since its inception in 2006, including more than $6,400 in 2013.

Portage Health Logo Vertical“Our employees are deeply invested in improving our community,” Marketing Director Victor Harrington said. “The Blue Jean Friday Donations are completely voluntary, and we see great participation from our employees.”

Employees are asked to donate $2 in order to wear blue jeans each Friday. The funds are collected, and donated to a local non-profit organization each quarter.

In 2013, donations ranged from $1,331.85 to $1,794.35. Beneficiaries included Copper Country Relay for Life, Copper Country United Way, Portage Health Foundation and Western U.P. Healthcare Access Coalition.

Since the Blue Jean Friday was implemented, Portage Health employees have donated more than $10,000 each to the United Way, Relay for Life and Portage Health Foundation.

$32 Million dollar initial deposit made to Portage Health Foundation

(Foundation) Permanent link


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.

Auxiliary kicking off new year with initial meeting Friday

(Foundation) Permanent link

The Portage Hospital Auxiliary is kicking off a new year of activities with their initial meeting Friday, Sept. 6 at 10 a.m. in conference room 1 at Portage Health’s main campus in Hancock.

The auxiliary works in support of Portage Health to meet the healthcare needs of the community by raising funds and providing volunteer services. New members are welcome, those interested should attend a meeting.

The initial meeting is this Friday at 10 a.m., but typical meetings will be on the first Thursday of every month at 10 a.m. from October through May.

Grants available through the Portage Community Health Endowment Fund

(Foundation) Permanent link

The Keweenaw Community Foundation would like to inform interested organizations of a grant available through the Portage Community Health Endowment Fund. These funds will be granted according to the guidelines established by the Keweenaw Community Foundation Grant Committee. The total amount available for grants from the Portage Community Health Endowment Fund is $27,000.

Keweenaw Community FoundationGrants must support health initiatives for any or all ages in Portage Health’s service areas of Houghton and Keweenaw counties. Grants will be made to organizations, programs previously demonstrating successful outcomes, to new, innovative organizations, or programs with clear potential for positive outcomes.

Grant applications are due at the Keweenaw Community Foundation (236 Quincy Street; Hancock, MI 49930) no later than noon on Friday, September 27, 2013. Grant decisions and disbursements are to be completed by late October/early November 2013. Details of grant requirements are included in the grant application, which is available on the KCF website (PDF). To apply for this grant opportunity, please download and complete the grant application.

Any questions regarding the KCF, the Portage Community Health Endowment Fund or the current grant opportunity should be directed to Patricia Lins, or (906) 482-9673.

Portage Health signs letter of intent to form joint venture with LifePoint Hospitals

(Services, Foundation) Permanent link

Potential partnership will help strengthen healthcare delivery in the Western Upper Peninsula 

Hancock, Michigan (February 28, 2013) – The Portage Health Board of Directors today announced it has signed a letter of intent to form a joint venture with LifePoint Hospitals®. The proposed partnership will provide Portage Health with additional resources to expand the healthcare services provided in its communities and invest further in the growth of the hospital.

The letter of intent is a non-binding agreement that authorizes Portage Health and LifePoint to move forward with pursuing the proposed joint venture. Following due diligence and a negotiation process, which is projected to take 60 to 90 days, the parties would enter into a definitive agreement. The agreement would then be subject to review by of the Attorney General of Michigan before being finalized.

“We selected LifePoint as a partner because of its commitment to physicians, employees, and community,” said Steve Zutter, chairman of the Portage Health board. “As part of this joint venture, Portage Health would share ownership and governance of our system while benefiting from financial resources, clinical and quality programs, and management expertise of one of the leading hospital companies in the nation. Together with LifePoint, we have a great opportunity to enhance the outstanding, innovative care provided throughout the Western Upper Peninsula.”

Under the terms of the proposed partnership, Portage Health and LifePoint would share ownership and governance of the hospital. Portage Health and LifePoint would share ownership of the hospital, with LifePoint obtaining the majority ownership interest. Governance would be equally shared between Portage Health and LifePoint, giving the community a long-term voice in the strategic direction of the hospital. The retained assets of Portage Health and the proceeds from the transaction would be used to create a locally-governed charitable foundation that would fund organizations that support crucial community needs.

“Portage Health is known for its quality service, commitment to patients and dedication to its communities. We are delighted at the prospect of partnering with Portage,” said LifePoint Chairman and Chief Executive Officer William F. Carpenter III. “We look forward to working with the Portage board, management, employees and medical staff to explore new ways to expand and enhance healthcare services in the Western U.P. and strengthen the healthcare delivery system throughout the region.”

LifePoint is a leading hospital company focused on providing quality healthcare close to home. The joint venture with Portage Health will expand LifePoint’s presence in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. In September 2012, Duke LifePoint Healthcare, the innovative joint venture partnership between LifePoint and Duke University Health System, acquired Marquette General Health System in Marquette.

“LifePoint has shown a tremendous commitment to strengthening healthcare delivery in the U.P. and partnering with providers to enhance the services we provide and ensure patients have access to the care they need and deserve locally,” said Jim Bogan, Portage Health President and CEO. “We are eager to explore this joint venture further and more closely examine the benefits it can offer our hospital and the future of healthcare in our communities.”

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 health care 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 

PDF of Press Release 

Visit for the latest updates.

Portage Health receives grant for cancer patients

(Foundation) Permanent link

HANCOCK – The Keller Family Community Foundation has awarded a $1,550 grant to Portage Health. The grant will allow the hospital to provide financial assistance to cancer patients who need to travel out of the area for radiation therapy.

“We are pleased to be working with the Keller family in an effort to provide financial assistance for patients who are on their path to health recovery,” said Kevin Store, director of Portage Health marketing and communications.

This is the second year Portage Health has received support from the foundation.

“We recognize the many challenges our cancer patients face, and appreciate the Keller family working with us to help our patients,” said Store.

The KFCF raises awareness, resources and money to help cancer patients and their families. The foundation was formed about five years ago in Richmond, Minnesota. Every year the foundation hosts a snowmobile event called the Snowball Cancer Challenge. Learn more at

Families who are interested in using the grant to help offset travel costs should talk to the staff at Portage Health Cancer Care by calling (906) 483-1730.


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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