Michigan Tech In $2.5M Community Health Partnership

HOUGHTON — Michigan Technological University has entered into a community health partnership with the Portage Health Foundation.

The partnership will include three endowed professorships at Michigan Tech, health research, and health scholarships, internships and fellowships. Portage Health Foundation will invest $2.5 million over five years, with the university investing approximately twice that amount.

Michigan Tech President Glenn Mroz announced the partnership at the University’s Board of Trustees meeting on Thursday, Aug. 6.

“This partnership is the product of a shared vision,” said Mroz. “It leverages the strengths of the University and the Portage Health Foundation for the benefit of everyone who lives here. It will improve health care and create jobs. It will have a strong, positive impact on the community.”

“We believe this partnership will contribute to a sustainable community of health, wellness, education and economic growth,” said Kevin Store, executive director of the foundation. “This is a collective investment in the community and its residents. It is a partnership that we believe will have long-term benefits for the people of our region.”

The Portage Health Foundation was founded in 1990 to support charitable and philanthropic activities within the Portage Hospital system. When Portage Health was acquired by LifePoint Hospitals in 2013, it converted from a non-profit hospital foundation to a 501(c)(3) chariable organization supporting the health needs of Baraga, Houghton, Keweenaw and Ontonagon counties.

In other action, the Michigan Tech board
* Welcomed new provost and vice president of academic affairs Jackie Huntoon, who was appointed to her new position in July. She had been dean of the Michigan Tech Graduate School.
* Heard a report that funds raised by the Michigan Tech Fund during the fiscal year that ended June 30 totaled $33.7 million, exceeding the goal by more than $1 million.
* Learned that grants and industry-sponsored research during the 2015 fiscal year that ended June 30 totaled $58.7 million, more than $10 million higher than the prior fiscal year 2014.
* Recognized two university employees for their years of service. Thomas Snyder has worked for Michigan Tech for 38 years. Brian Aho has 36 years of service. Snyder was also granted professor emeritus rank in the department of biological sciences.
* Voted to grant an honorary Doctor of Philosophy degree to alumnus Townsend H. Porter Jr., who will be Tech’s December 2015 Commencement speaker. Porter worked for more than 30 years at IBM and was responsible for approximately 20 inventions that were eventually patented, including the 3.5 inch floppy disk that became the industry standard.
* Heard a report on the outlook for fall enrollment, which includes a predicted 28.3 percent female students and a projected retention rate of 86.3 percent.

The next scheduled Board of Trustees meeting is Oct. 16.

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