Michigan Tech, Portage Health Foundation Form Community Health Partnership

By Jennifer Donovan | Published

Strength training in Michigan Tech's kinesiology lab.
Strength training in Michigan Tech's kinesiology lab.

Michigan Technological University has entered into a community health partnership with the Portage Health Foundation. The partnership combines both organizations’ missions, existing strengths and financial resources to create a collaboration focused on improving the health of the community.

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.”

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.

“We believe this partnership will contribute to a sustainable community of health, wellness, education and economic growth,” said Kevin Store, executive director of the Portage Health 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.”

In other action, the 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 FY 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.
  • Granted professor emeritus rank to Thomas Snyder from 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.
  • Appointed two new faculty members with tenure.
  • Made committee assignments and appointment to the Michigan Tech Fund Board of Directors.
  • 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, 2015.

Michigan Technological University is a public research university, home to more than 7,000 students from 54 countries. Founded in 1885, the University offers more than 120 undergraduate and graduate degree programs in science and technology, engineering, forestry, business and economics, health professions, humanities, mathematics, and social sciences. Our campus in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula overlooks the Keweenaw Waterway and is just a few miles from Lake Superior.