HOUGHTON — A new partnership in the Keweenaw could lead to advances in community health.

Two powerhouses in the Keweenaw…Michigan Technological University and the Portage Health Foundation…are teaming up for a healthier community. The foundation will invest $2.5 million over five years with Michigan Tech investing about twice as much to enhance health and medical programs at the university. Money will also go toward education in the form of scholarships in health–related fields. These investments will lead to advancements in local community health.

Portage Health Foundation Executive Director Kevin Store said, “This is not, in our mind, a direct investment in the university. It is a direct investment, or reinvestment, into our community.”

Though widely known as an engineering school…for the last several years Michigan Tech as been laying the groundwork for expanding human health education and research. The partnership with the Portage Health Foundation is key to making that happen.

MTU’s Associate Dean of the College of Science & Arts Jason Carter said, “We deliver education in health that is applicable to medical school, to PT school, to industry and a lot of people just don’t know what we offer here and so this is really going to bring some of that to the forefront.”

This could lead to some major changes on campus. The university’s top capital outlay request to the state is a new Medical Engineering and Health Sciences Complex building…a $50 million project that would have to be approved by the legislature before moving forward.