Page 5 - Upper Peninsula Business Today -- March 2020
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 UP Health System Home Care & Hospice Portage Named As A Top Agency In The 2019 Ability Homecare Elite
Hiawatha Receives Regional Honor
HANCOCK – UP Health System Home Care & Hospice Portage announced that it has been named a top agency of the 2019 Home- Care Elite, a recognition of the top-performing home health agencies in the United States. For 14 years, HomeCare Elite has annually iden- tified the top 25% of Medicare-certified agen- cies and highlighted the top 100 and top 500 agencies overall.
UP Health System Home Care & Hospice Portage, a local provider of home health serv- ices in Hancock, is a home health partner of UP Health System – Portage and part of a joint venture partnership with LHC Group, a national provider of in-home healthcare serv- ices operating in 35 states and the District of Columbia.
“HomeCare Elite status is one of the in- home healthcare industry’s most respected and meaningful indicators of excellence, and we congratulate our team members at UP Health System Home Care & Hospice Portage for achieving this distinction,” said Keith G. Myers, LHC Group’s chairman and CEO.
“Every day they deliver high-quality, compas- sionate, and efficient care to patients and fam- ilies in their community. Their unwavering dedication to service is the reason LHC Group continues to lead our industry as the in-home care provider of choice for patients and our hospital partners around the nation.”
The ranking is developed by ABILITY® Network, a leading information technology company helping providers and payers simpli- fy the administrative and clinical complexities of healthcare. It is sponsored by Decision- Health, part of the H3.Group.
HomeCare Elite agencies are determined by an analysis of performance measures in qual- ity outcomes, best practices implementation, patient experience (HHCAHPS), quality improvement and consistency, and financial health. In order to be considered, an agency must be Medicare-certified and have data for at least three outcomes in Home Health Com- pare. Out of 8,818 agencies considered, 2,207 are recognized on the 2019 HomeCare Elite winners list overall.
Gladstone, MI — On Wednesday, Febru- ary 5, 2020, United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Forest Service’s Eastern Region hosted its annual Regional Forester Honor Awards “virtual” ceremony in Milwau- kee, WI. The Hiawatha National Forest Land- scape Treatment Design Team was one of 11 teams recognized for outstanding work.
“The interagency team is being recognized with an Honorable Mention for the work they to more effectively manage fire to sustain pro- ductive forests and protect local communi- ties,” said Acting Regional Forester Bob Lueckel.
Members of the 10-person team include:
USDA Forest Service Hiawatha National Forest employees Eric Rebitzke (Fire Man- agement Officer) and Sam Adams (Geograph- ical Information Systems);
• USDA Forest Service Hiawatha Naitonal Forest retire and USDA ACES program par- ticipant, Tim Baker (Silviculturist);
• The Nature Conservancy’s Randy Swaty;
•Wisconsin Deparment of Natural Resources employee Jed Meunier;
• University of Wisconsin - Madison’s Dr. Colleen Sutheimer;
• Michigan Technological University’s Rod Chimner, Evan Kane, and Dominic Uhelski;
• Josh Cohen of MSU Extension/ Michigan
Natural Features Inventory.
The Landscape Treatment Design Team,
which includes employees of Hiawatha National Forest and partners, is using a multi- proxy approach to reconstruct forested peat- land fires by comparing tree-ring based data to radiocarbon dating of char within peat cores.
“Basically, we are collecting peat cores as well as slicing “cookies” of wood from old burned stumps. Then in the lab, our partners are analyzing the samples and the growth rings for evidence of historic fires,” said Hiawatha Fire Management Officer.
The Regional Forester Honor Awards are presented annually to recognize significant accomplishments that support the strategic goals of the USDA and the USDA Forest Service.
“We’re very proud of this team of employ- ees and partners. The results of their work will help us better manage the health and produc- tivity of upper peninsula forests,” said Hiawatha Forest Supervisor Cid Morgan.
For more information about this project and overall management of Hiawatha National Forest, please visit our webpage (

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