Media Releases

Upper Great Lakes Family Health Center opens health center in Calumet

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Below is an announcement by Upper Great Lakes Family Health Center. Learn more at

The Calumet Family Health Center is now open in the Mine Street Station in Calumet with primary care providers Dr. Sharon Stoll and Guy Pellegrini, PA.

UGLFHC Logo“Our goal is to expand access to primary care services in Houghton County to help underserved populations,” said Don Simila, Chief Executive Officer of Upper Great Lakes Family Health Center. “This health center will help us do that by reaching out to more people within our community. We’re proud to have two talented and passionate providers ready to see patients immediately.”

Both providers are now accepting new patients.

The Calumet Family Health Center is a full-service clinic that will see all patients, regardless of ability to pay. The health center is being operated in partnership with Portage Health, which is leasing staff to UGLFHC.

Visit to learn more about Upper Great Lakes Family Health Center’s focus on affordable healthcare. To make an appointment with Dr. Stoll or Pellegrini, call (906) 483-1177.

Federal funding helping expand healthcare in Houghton

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Upper Great Lakes Family Health Center has secured funding from the Federal Bureau of Primary Health Care to improve access to quality healthcare in Houghton. This funding is helping form a unique partnership with Portage Health that will transition Portage Health’s existing primary care practice in Houghton into a Family Health Center that is designated as a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC).

UGLFHC Logo“It was incredibly competitive to get this funding,” UGLFHC Chief Executive Officer Don Simila said. “More than 600 projects nationwide were up for this funding, and we were one of just 30 who received it.”

The FQHC designation allows the health center to accept all patients and insurances, including Medicare, regardless of ability to pay. The Houghton Family Health Center will provide services on a sliding fee, based on federal poverty guidelines.

“Everyone should be able to afford an office visit at the health center,” said Jim Bogan, President and CEO of Portage Health. “The goal here is to have a healthier community, and we’re doing that by offering patients the ability to pay a fee that they can afford.”

Established patients at the health center will continue to have the same relationship with their provider that they have come to expect. For the vast majority of patients, there will be no visible change. For many patients, this transition will lead to lower fees for care.

“There are a high number of patients in our community who need help managing their chronic diseases, or simply need to get into a health center for the first time in a long time to establish a medical home,” Bogan said. “Portage Health and UGLFHC are focused on population health management as partners in a clinically integrated system of care.”

“This is the right thing for our community,” Simila added.

Learn more about UGLFHC, and this partnership at, or by visiting




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, a 60-bed skilled nursing unit and related health care services in Hancock-Houghton, Michigan. More information about Portage Health can be found at

About Upper Great Lakes Family Health Center 

Upper Great Lakes Family Health Center is a community-based primary care center. It is designated as a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC), dedicated to providing high quality primary care throughout the lifecycle to everyone regardless of his or her ability to pay. The UGLFHC operates family health centers in Gwinn, Sawyer and Houghton. More information about UGLFHC can be found at

Visitor restriction now in place for birthing center

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HANCOCK – Due to high occurrences of illness to children in the area, the Portage Health Family Birthing Center will be temporarily closed to visiting children, including siblings.

Although we recognize the inconvenience of this necessary and temporary change in policy, the change in visitation is effective immediately and is being put in place to protect the health of our newborns. This is effective for children under the age of 12, and anybody experiencing any respiratory illness symptoms.

Healthy adults are still allowed to enter the birthing center during regular visiting hours (daily, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 4 to 8 p.m.), but until Portage Health officials feel the number of local illnesses is significantly lowered, children will not be allowed to enter.

Visit for the latest updates.

Let’s kick off National Hospice Month in November with “Bells for Hospice”

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The following is a letter to the editor written by Marianne Berghefer, hospice volunteer and bereavement coordinator at Portage Health Hospice. 

To the editor:

With the calendar flipping to November shortly, it’s once again time to recognize National Hospice Month.

Hospice care is considered to be the model for quality and compassionate end-of-life treatment. Hospice involves a team-oriented approach of expert medical care, pain management, emotional, spiritual and bereavement support expressly tailored to the patient’s wishes.

Hospice care is provided in the patient’s home, a nursing facility or an adult foster care home such as Omega House. Healthcare professionals who specialize in hospice care work closely with staff and volunteers to address all the symptoms of the terminal illness, with the aim of promoting comfort and dignity. Emotional, spiritual and bereavement support is also extended to families for 13 months after the death of their loved one.

On November 1, at noon, hospice and palliative care agencies across the state will be ringing bells in honor of all who have died under hospice care during the last year, and also in respect for their families and loved ones. We hope you will join us this year in ringing a bell at your home, office or wherever you happen to be at noon as we honor those who have passed in hospice.


Marianne Berghefer, Hospice Volunteer & Bereavement Coordinator

Schedule your mammogram during breast cancer awareness month

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October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and Portage Health is hoping women across the Copper Country will take the time to have a mammogram this month. All patients who schedule a mammogram appointment during the month of October will receive a free gift from the hospital.

Although many great strides have been made in breast cancer awareness and treatment, there remains much to be accomplished. Portage Health is dedicated to educating and empowering women to take charge of their own breast health.

Portage Health offers a complete women’s health team of physicians, digital mammography, a compassionate, full-time cancer care team and a state-of-the-art cancer care center right here in Hancock.

Patients can schedule an appointment to see a physician for a breast exam and mammogram by calling the Portage Health Women’s Health Team at (906) 483-1050, or by contacting their family practice physician.

Community Flu Clinic to be hosted Sept. 28 at HCH

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Don’t let the flu bug get you or your family this flu season, join your local healthcare organizations on Saturday, Sept. 28 from 9 to 11 a.m. at Hancock Central High School and be amongst the first in the area to get the flu shot this year.

Aspirus Keweenaw, Portage Health and the Western U.P. Health Department host the annual Community Flu Shot Clinic. The clinic is a unique opportunity for health partners to work together and with local nursing students and volunteers to test emergency response capabilities. The end result is a clinic that features more than a dozen healthcare professionals providing quick and easy access to the flu shot.

Each flu shot is $25. Curbside service is available to those with limited mobility. Cash, check, Medicare Part B and Michigan Medicaid Card are all acceptable payment methods. The flu shot is recommended for anyone 6 months old or older.

For more information on the flu clinic call the Western U.P. Health Department at (906) 482-7382.

Portage Health Fitness Center adds online booking

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The Portage Health Fitness Center is now offering online booking for group fitness classes and personal training sessions via computer or iOS device.

Portage Health Fitness Center Online Booking“We’re always looking for ways to add efficiency and control,” said Angela Luskin, community health coordinator at Portage Health. “We tested this system all summer, and we’ve found that many of our clients love its ease of use.” 

The new fall group fitness schedule is available for online booking. An Android app is also in development and should be available soon.

“We’re working to make this as easy as possible,” Luskin said. “Our staff is educated on the platform, and available to help.”

A full instructional on how to use the device is available at, or by talking to the staff at the fitness center. For those without Internet access, an iPad is available for registration at the fitness center.


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


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

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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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