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  • University Center Expansion and Renovation Project

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    8/30/2012 Update - Construction Complete!

    After a year of construction, the Portage Health-University Center renovation and addition is complete.

    The number of exam and procedure rooms has doubled, the waiting room is more than double the size and offers a more comfortable experience, and the Apothecary has a modern look that allows patients easy access to pharmacists.

    “The University Center has been a vital healthcare link for members of our community for more than a decade, and this update ensures that access to healthcare will remain unabated for many more,” said Jim Bogan, president and CEO of Portage Health.

    Michigan Technological University students will be one of the largest beneficiaries of the update. Students will have easier access to medical professionals right where they spend most of their time.

    “Michigan Tech is pleased that Portage Health has made improvements and expanded their health clinic on our campus to better serve students, faculty, staff and the community,” said Glenn Mroz, president of the university.

    The total cost of the project is about $4.2 million. Construction included more than 75 local trades people, 700 cubic yards of concrete, 24,000 bricks, 280,000 pounds of structural steel, a new energy-efficient automated HVAC and lighting control systems, was completed ahead of schedule and, most importantly, involved zero injuries or safety violations.

    “When Portage Health invests in a community, it keeps jobs here and keeps people busy, which is what we all need and appreciate,” said Tom Moyle, CEO of Moyle Construction, the lead contractor throughout the project. “I’m very proud of Portage Health, Michigan Tech and all the contractors involved for bringing this project to completion so seamlessly.”

    The clinic and Apothecary are now open for regular business hours in the new space, including the Copper Country’s only drive-thru pharmacy.

    3/26/2012 Update - Phase 1 Complete

    UC Pano

    Phase one of the highly anticipated Portage Health-University Center expansion and renovation is now completed.

    This morning the expanded area of the clinic opened for patients in Houghton, including the new lobby area, exam rooms and a complete renovation of the Houghton Apothecary.

    “This new facility is wonderful,” said Dr. Bruce Trusock. “The patients and the staff will love it.”

    The opening marks the completion of phase one of the project, which included construction of the new space, and marks the beginning of the second phase, which includes renovations to the old clinic.

    Phase two should be completed in August, when the entire clinic will be open and a grand opening ceremony will be held.

    The $4.3 million project is more than doubling the square footage of the clinic, including doubling the amount of exam rooms and procedure rooms. The expansion will allow for three additional medical providers and a dozen new support positions.

    “It will be August before everything is finished, but already the clinic is worth a visit,” Trusock said. “It’s quiet, comfortable and spacious.”

    The clinic hours are still the same, 8:30 to 5:30 Monday through Friday. X-ray services and the pharmacy drive-up window are currently unavailable in Houghton. Both will be available mid summer. Currently, x-ray services are being sent to Hancock. Pharmacy delivery is available to most Houghton County residents by calling 483-1818.

    Clinic and apothecary customers will park in front of the new entrance, while rehab patients are still asked to use the SDC entrance.

    3/15/2012 Update

    Portage Health-University Center will be closed on Friday, March 23, 2012, as part of Portage Health’s $4.3 million renovation at the clinic.

    The clinic will reopen on Monday, March 26, 2012 for regular business hours in the newly constructed space.

    The new space features a more spacious and comfortable registration area/waiting room, state-of-the-art patient-care areas and a larger revamped pharmacy.

    All of these new areas will be open on March 26, when phase 2 of the renovation begins. Phase 2 includes renovating the current clinic, which was built in 2000. In August, the entire complex is expected to be open.

    Patients are being asked to either visit Portage Health Express Care in Houghton or Portage Health’s main campus in Hancock if they need to be seen that day.

    The Apothecary – Hancock will be open normal hours, and free delivery is available as usual. Call 483-1919 to reach the Hancock office, or to learn more about free delivery.

    1/26/2012 Update

    Major progress has been made over the past few months at Portage Health-University Center.

    The entire outside of the addition is up, drywall and painting is well on its way to being done, ceilings are going to be dropped in as early as next week, and there’s no doubt when walking through that this project is going to look great.

    “The project looks really good right now,” said Glenn Patrick, facilities director, as he walked through the new addition on Thursday afternoon. “You can really see what a great facility this is going to be.”

    The addition will be open this spring, with all nine new exam rooms, the 1,200-plus square foot lobby (featuring a beautiful fireplace) and a brand new pharmacy opening its doors for the first time.

    “Everything’s been smooth, right on schedule,” said Pat Pattison of Moyle Construction. “No big surprises have slowed us down much.”

    The project is going to make access to the north end of the SDC a little difficult on February 4th, 18th and possibly March 3rd, as crane lifts will make things dangerous for pedestrians, but other than those three Saturdays, construction activities have not had a negative impact on patient access.

    When the new area opens in the spring, the current facility will be closed off and completely renovated. When it’s all said and done the total square footage will be more than doubled, including twice as many exam and procedure rooms.

    “The lobby may seem a bit spacious right now, but the facility is designed for 6-7 providers, greatly improving patient access,” Patrick said.

    Access has been the key issue all along as Portage Health continues to do everything it can to improve the health of its community.

    11/08/2011 Update

    Most of the concrete floor slab has been poured and most of the of the structural steel has been set.

    The concrete roof deck will be poured this week.

    The installation of the metal stud exterior walls has started.

    We hope to have the new addition enclosed in a few weeks.

    08/25/2011 Update

    Today is Goundbreaking Day which is when we officially announce the intentions of the project and get the gold shovels out for a photo op. 

    UC-20110801The Portage Health University Center is going under a long-term expansion project. Currently, the construction is limited to the grounds surrounding the Houghton clinic and Apothecary.

    Patients and Apothecary customers should park in the gravel parking area to the left of University Center. Signs will direct patients to the proper parking location.

    Throughout the entire construction project normal business hours will be maintained for all services, including the medical practice, pharmacy and rehab.

    The pharmacy drive-up window will be unavailable during construction. Home delivery is still available, find more information at portagehealth.org/freedelivery.

    Original Project Press Release


  • HOUGHTON – With the total square footage more than doubling, the amount of exam rooms doubling and a staffing increase of more than 50 percent, the addition and renovation to Portage Health-University Center is a major step forward for healthcare in Houghton.

    “The building expansion will enable us to have more providers to meet our community’s healthcare needs as well as gain space for our existing providers,” said Jim Bogan, president and CEO of Portage Health.

    The upgrade comes as no surprise to those who work at, or use, the clinic.

    More than 100 patients come through the doors during an average day, including 22 students, up significantly from when the facility opened in 2000.

    “Over the last 11 years we have grown to capacity and beyond,” said Dr. Bruce Trusock, who has been at the clinic since it opened. “This expansion will allow us to continue serving the community, university faculty, staff and students.”

    The expansion fits into the future of healthcare.

    “This is a major step forward for our community,” said Diane Gadomski, vice president-Portage Health Medical Group. “This will increase access and provide the proper environment for a Patient Centered Medical Home model of care.”

    That model of care is focused on prompt access to the primary care provider. Coupled with electronic medical records, and a renewed focus on provider-patient interaction, Portage Health is meeting and exceeding the needs of sweeping healthcare reform.

    “The additional space will allow more patients to receive high-quality service,” said Dr. Allison Helman, who has also been at the clinic since the beginning. “The clinic is thriving and we couldn’t be happier to see it growing.”

    The University Center is the student health service center for Michigan Technological University. With student enrollment growing, university officials want a healthcare center that meets the students needs.

    “We are pleased to be working hand-in-hand with Portage Health to make healthcare services more accessible to the Michigan Tech community,” said Glenn Mroz, president of the university.

    Portage Health added a provider in 2008, but the demand remained, leading to today’s announcement.

    “I was hired three years ago to enhance the availability of healthcare to students through our walk-in clinic in the afternoons, said Melissa Becker, PA-C. “The added space with examination rooms will allow us to better serve both our patients in the community and the faculty, staff and students at Michigan Tech.”

    Michigan Tech’s Exercise Science Department and athletic teams are also served by the University Center as students work with Portage Health staff for research and internships, and student athletes receive all of their care from Portage Health staff.

    “It is a vital center for taking care of the university athletes through our Sports Medicine Institute,” said Trusock, who has been working with Michigan Tech athletes for 31 years.

    The combination of a dozen new jobs at the facility and a planned cost of $4.3 million, means the project is a major boost to the local economy.

    Moyle Construction of Houghton was awarded the bid for the construction, which should be completed by August of 2012.

    “We are very pleased Portage Health has selected the Moyle Construction team to help expand their presence in the community,” said Peter Dupuis, vice president of estimating at Moyle. “This building expansion is a marquee project for the area and we are thrilled with their selection. We look forward to delivering Portage Health a great building on Michigan Tech’s campus.”


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