Population: 4,223 :: Service Area: 53,461
Quality healthcare and patient satisfaction are the keys to Portage Health’s success. As a small rural healthcare organization in the northern most region of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, we know that local access to care is critically important and an obligation that is met with all of our resources and attention.
The Keweenaw Peninsula is the Northwestern four-county area of Michigan’s ruggedly beautiful Upper Peninsula. This scenic peninsula jutting out into Lake Superior is home to a warm, family-oriented community with excellent schools, a thriving arts scene and world-class year-round outdoor recreation.
Portage Health has been serving the Western Upper Peninsula of Michigan since 1896. The hospital and its outlying clinics support a multi-specialty group of over 40 physicians and over a dozen allied health professionals. The main campus is a 36-bed hospital with ancillary services including the area’s only Open Bore MRI, 64-slice CT scanner, PACS, nuclear imaging, digital mammography and other radiological and laboratory services. Other services include cardiopulmonary, certified sleep disorder center, regional dialysis unit, pharmacy, rehab, audiology, a 12/7 hospitalist program, home care and hospice, and a 60-bed senior living community. Portage Health is home to the first Level III ASC-verified trauma center and emergency department in the state, as well as an Express Care walk-in clinic.
Our community brings together small-town values and cosmopolitan diversity. Combined with the natural beauty of the area, it is a perfect place for people to explore their many and varied interests. Additionally, the institutions of higher education compliment the rich and rugged history of the area and create a vibrant community that benefits from being active, educated, and engaged.
The Keweenaw is home to two universities — Michigan Technological University and Finlandia University — and the community is influenced and benefits from the diversity, culture and high standards of living contributed to our small community.
The Keweenaw Peninsula is often called the “Copper Country” because of the amount of natural “float” copper found beneath the surface. In fact, at 90 percent pure, much of this copper is the purest in the world. The geographical heritage includes a copper boom from 1845 to 1910. This era brought many immigrants, including Finnish, Swedish, Danish, Norwegian and Italian. Finnish and Cornish traditions left marks still prominent today, such as saunas and the pasty.
Take a look at our facts-at-a-glance about the four-county community we call home:
- Land area: 3,768 square miles
- Average temperatures in January: 8 degrees Fahrenheit to 20 degrees Fahrenheit
- Average temperatures in July: 55 degrees Fahrenheit to 75 degrees Fahrenheit
- Average yearly snowfall: 180 to 250 inches
- Highest elevation: 1,979 feet at Mount Arvon
- Length of Quincy Mine shaft: 9,260 feet deep
- Clearance of Portage Lake Lift Bridge, the widest double-decked vertical lift bridge in the world: 100 feet
- Biggest annual event: Winter Carnival at Michigan Technological University
- Largest employers: Michigan Technological University (approximately 1,500 employees) and Portage Health (approximately 700 employees)
The Keweenaw is a four-season wonderland for outdoor enthusiasts. Camping, fishing and hunting are popular year-round. Hundreds of miles in trail systems are developed for off-road motorized recreation such as ATVing and snowmobiling. Additionally, there are hundreds of miles of trails for the avid silent sports culture including hiking, mountain biking, snowshoeing, and Nordic skiing. Because of the endless miles of shoreline offered by Lake Superior and many of the inland lakes, water sports and recreation are a mainstream activity in the warmer months. Although brave surfers have been known to conquer the epic winter waves of Lake Superior. The area celebrates the silent sports with several athletic events — runs, bike races, triathlons and ski races.
The two university communities offer a wide range of events for the community at large. Art galleries are constantly overflowing with exhibits and the fine arts centers bring in music, theatrical, comedic and intellectual acts year-round.
With NCAA division I, II, & III athletics, there is always a sporting event to attend, with hockey being a local favorite. The area is home to two of the oldest indoor ice arenas in the United States, and was the first place in the U.S. to have a professional hockey team.