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UP Health System – Portage has new Chief Executive Officer

A Copper Country native has taken the reins at Upper Peninsula Health System – Portage Hospital. Ryan Heinonen has served in the role on an interim basis since October and the organization made his title permanent this week.

Heinonen has been with the facility since 2010. He started out as a registered nurse and became Chief Nursing Officer in 2019. According to the release, “Heinonen was responsible for strategic growth and development of key service lines, quality and patient safety, survey readiness, and compliance,” while in that role.

UP Health System Market President Gar Atchinson says, “Ryan is a great healthcare leader. He has tremendous clinical expertise paired with a strong operational background and a dedication to this community. We are confident that he is the right leader to take Portage into the future.”

The full release is below.

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UP Health System – Portage today announced that Ryan Heinonen has been named as permanent chief executive officer (CEO). He has served as the hospital’s interim CEO since October.

“We are thrilled to welcome Ryan into his new role as CEO of Portage,” said Gar Atchison, market president of UP Health System, of which Portage is a part. “Ryan is a great healthcare leader. He has tremendous clinical expertise paired with a strong operational background and a dedication to this community. We are confident that he is the right leader to take Portage into the future.”

A Copper Country native, Heinonen began his career at Portage as a staff registered nurse in 2010. He has held several leadership roles over the last ten years, most recently being promoted to Chief Nursing Officer (CNO) in May 2019. During his tenure as CNO, Heinonen was responsible for strategic growth and development of key service lines, quality and patient safety, survey readiness, and compliance. Under Heinonen’s leadership, Portage has earned six consecutive Leapfrog A grades, a Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Five-Star Quality Rating, American College of Cardiology (ACC) Chest Pain Center Accreditation, and several other quality awards and achievements.

“In addition to his unique combination of operational and clinical experience, Ryan brings to Portage a genuine commitment to our hospital, patients, and community,” said Dr. Timothy Labonte, chair of the Portage Board of Trustees. “We’re excited to see what Portage will achieve with Ryan’s leadership and to partner with him to create the next chapter in our future.”

Heinonen earned his bachelor’s degree in nursing, a master’s degree in nursing administration, and a master’s degree in business administration from Grand Canyon University, in Phoenix, Arizona. He is a member of the American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE).

“I am grateful for the opportunity to work alongside these amazing people and continue serving the healthcare needs of the community I grew up in,” said Heinonen. “Portage has a rich history of providing quality care to the people of the Copper Country, and I look forward to our next chapter as we continue to seek new and greater ways to advance our mission of Making Communities Healthier.”

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