Author Archive

UPHP Update on Sunny 101.9: Healthy Kids, Healthy Futures
Posted on July 14, 2021
Chelsea Ely, LPN at Sunny 101.9 Studio

Upper Peninsula Health Plan Clinical Coordinator Chelsea Ely, LPN, joined Mark and Walt in the Morning on Sunny 101.9 this month to promote our annual Healthy Kids, Healthy Futures campaign! The campaign, which runs July 6 through Sept. 30, puts a spotlight on the importance of preventive health care for kids, teens, and young adults, and encourages yearly well-care visits and immunizations. Ely discussed that when kids see their primary care provider regularly, there’s a higher chance that physical or emotional health issues can be caught early when they’re more treatable. She added that well-care visits help promote lifelong health for kids by starting healthy habits early and showing them it’s important to take care of their health.

UPHP members ages three to 21 who complete their annual well-care visit at participating provider offices will be entered into a drawing for prizes at each practice!

UPHP Update on Sunny 101.9: Oral Health and Dental Access
Posted on June 07, 2021
Krystina Gwinn and Steve Rudness

Krystina Gwinn, customer service manager, and Steve Rudness, LMSW, clinical coordinator-program lead, Upper Peninsula Health Plan, joined Mark and Walt in the Morning on Sunny 101.9 in June to talk about the importance of oral health and dental coverage. Rudness discussed the connection between oral health and overall health and how to maintain good oral hygiene, while Gwinn touched on how UPHP members can go about finding a dental provider and accessing covered services.

UPHP Update on Sunny 101.9: Marquette County Community Resource Fair
Posted on May 05, 2021
Katrina Keough, UPHCS Project Director

Upper Peninsula Health Care Solutions Project Director Katrina Keough, MPA, joined Mark and Walt in the Morning on Sunny 101.9 this month to discuss our upcoming Marquette County Community Resource Fair. Keough explained that the fair is taking place June 4, 2021, at Lakeview Arena/YMCA in Marquette from noon to 4 p.m. The fair will be held in a drive-thru “Express Style” format due to the continuation of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Feeding America Mobile Food Truck will be onsite to provide attendees with groceries, and additionally, tote bags will be distributed containing essential items and resource handouts from local community-based organizations.

3rd Annual Marquette County Community Resource Fair to be Offered “Express Style”
Posted on May 03, 2021

Updated 5/20/2021

MARQUETTE, Mich. – Citizens of Marquette County are invited to join Upper Peninsula Health Plan (UPHP) and Upper Peninsula Health Care Solutions (UPHCS) for the third annual Marquette County Community Resource Fair, taking place Friday, June 4, in Marquette. Due to the current pandemic and the need to adhere to social distancing guidelines, this year’s event will again be held in a drive-through “Express Style” in the parking lot of Lakeview Arena/YMCA.

Free and open to the public, the fair will connect residents with resources from local organizations that are available to assist and support their day-to-day health and social needs. Informational handouts will be distributed in tote bags, along with essential items. The Feeding America Mobile Food Truck will also be onsite again this year to provide groceries to those who attend. Additionally, 200 doses of the one-dose Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine will be available for attendees who wish to receive it. No appointments or pre-registration are necessary; doses will be administered on a first-come, first-served basis. Individuals must be 18 years or older to be eligible.

“Due to the major impact that COVID-19 continues to have on our community, now more than ever, people need help,” said UPHP Chief Executive Officer Melissa Holmquist. “Many people have lost their jobs and livelihood as a result of the pandemic and may be unaware of the community resources available to help them. We hope this event will help make that connection, and provide people with the goods and services they need to get through this difficult time.”

Individuals planning to attend should enter into the Lakeview Arena parking lot from Pine Street. From there, traffic will flow through the main parking lot of the YMCA in front of the building, where the food truck will be parked and resource bags will be distributed. Items will be pre-boxed and placed in individuals’ trunks. Attendees should exit the arena parking lot onto Fair Avenue.

Although the drive-through method is preferred, individuals without vehicles will be allowed to walk through the event, following social distancing guidelines of maintaining a six-foot distance from others. Masks are strongly encouraged. Several volunteers will be onsite to help direct traffic and distribute the food and resource bags. All volunteers will be taking precautions to make sure this event is as safe as possible.

Additionally, UPHP and UPHCS are seeking donations from area community-based organizations to help support this event; please contact UPHP at 1-800-835-2556 if your organization is interested.

Event Information:

  • When: June 4, 2021, from noon to 4 p.m.
  • Where: Lakeview Arena/YMCA Parking Lot
    401 East Fair Avenue
    Marquette, MI 49855


MQT CO Resources Fair Flyer
Resource Fair Map Updated
UPHP Names Steve Wiig Employee of the Year
Posted on April 14, 2021
Steve Wiig, Employee of the Year

Marquette, MI – Upper Peninsula Health Plan (UPHP) proudly names Steve Wiig the 2020 Employee of the Year. Each year, UPHP names an Employee of the Year from a pool of Employee of the Quarter and “Caught ‘Cha” candidates. Each Employee of the Quarter is nominated by their manager. The nominees are then reviewed and a winner is selected by the senior management team. UPHP employees also participate in a peer recognition program called “Caught ‘Cha.” This is an employee-driven incentive program in which all employees can write a “Caught ‘Cha” note and give it to someone they caught doing something great. Along with each Employee of the Quarter, the two highest “Caught ‘Cha” recipients each year are entered as candidates in a company-wide vote for Employee of the Year. Steve was one of those “Caught ‘Cha” winners, as well as Employee of the First Quarter.

When asked what it meant to receive this honor, Steve responded, ” I am very grateful to have been voted for  UPHP’s Employee of the Year. It was a challenging year, but I’m glad I was able to contribute to UPHP’s continuing service to our community throughout the pandemic.”

Much of Steve’s success can be attributed to his work ethic. “Steve always goes above and beyond in his duties, often working off-hours to ensure our network infrastructure is working properly,” said UPHP IT Network and Infrastructure Manager Brad Perala. “This was especially evident during March when we moved 90% of UPHP staff to a telecommuter work setting. Steve put in many long hours getting equipment set up and assisting staff and without his dedication and hard work, we would not have been able to get there. He is truly deserving of the Employee of the Year award.”

Steve has been with the UPHP Network Infrastructure team for nearly 10 years and was recently promoted to Security Administrator. He has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Computer Information Systems. In his free time, Steve enjoys spending time with his family and working on cars.

UPHP Update on Sunny 101.9: STD Awareness Month
Posted on April 07, 2021
Chelsea Ely on Sunny 101.9

Upper Peninsula Health Plan Clinical Coordinator Chelsea Ely, LPN, joined Mark and Walt in the Morning on Sunny 101.9 this month to talk about sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) and the importance of yearly screenings, particularly for younger individuals ages 15 to 24. Ely stressed the importance of people discussing sexual activity and health with their providers, as it is part of full-body health. Many STDs, such as gonorrhea and chlamydia, are easily curable in early stages, but can lead to health issues such as infertility and pelvic inflammatory disease if left untreated.

Listen to the full interview below to learn more!

Feeding America West Michigan Mobile Food Pantry Coming to Marquette This Month, Throughout Remainder of 2021
Posted on March 17, 2021
Feeding American West Michigan Mobile Food Truck

Marquette, Mich. – Upper Peninsula Health Care Solutions (UPHCS) is partnering with Upper Peninsula Health Plan, YMCA of Marquette, United Way of Marquette County, Episcopal Diocese of Northern Michigan, the City of Marquette, and Feeding America West Michigan to bring Mobile Food Pantries to Marquette County residents, starting with an event March 31, 2021. 

“We are thrilled for this opportunity to partner with so many community agencies to help make these food deliveries sustainable, and to get food in the hands of people who need it,” said UPHCS Assistant Director Tyler LaPlaunt.

Mobile Pantries are like farmers markets on wheels – delivering a variety of fresh fruits, vegetables, dairy products and baked goods to communities with a high need for food support. Attendees will not be asked to show identification or proof of income to receive food; however, they will be required to provide basic contact information and affirm their need for food. The amount of food an attendee receives will be based on household size. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, all Mobile Pantries are providing drive-thru service at this time.  

Details about the March 31 event are as follows: 

  • Location: YMCA of Marquette/Lakeview Arena Parking Lot | 401 E. Fair Ave., Marquette, MI 49855
  • Attendee arrival time: No earlier than 11:30 a.m.
  • Distribution start time: 12:30 p.m.

Additional pantries will be held at this same location June 4, July 8, Aug. 4, Sept. 1, Nov. 3, and Dec. 1; times for these events are TBD. Each event will provide groceries to around 300 families, free of charge.

These are just seven of roughly 100 Mobile Pantries Feeding America West Michigan provides each month. Information about other Mobile Pantries can be found at


Upper Peninsula Health Care Solutions, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that serves the 310,000 residents of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. We are a network of community health care providers with a shared vision of working together to improve access, reduce cost, and promote quality health care services in the communities served by our members. Visit for more information.

About Feeding America West Michigan

Serving local families in need since 1981, Feeding America West Michigan reclaims millions of meals’ worth of safe, surplus food from various sources. With the help of countless volunteers, the food bank sorts, stores and distributes this food through a network of more than 800 partners to fill hundreds of thousands of neighbors’ plates instead of landfills. The food bank’s service area consists of 40 of Michigan’s 83 counties from the Indiana border north through the Upper Peninsula. For more information, visit or call (616) 784-3250. 

UPHP Update on Sunny 101.9: Colorectal Cancer Awareness
Posted on March 04, 2021
Jonas Hamren and Lindsey Havel

Upper Peninsula Health Plan Clinical Services Manager Lindsey Havel, RN, BSN, and Clinical Coordinator Jonas Hamren joined Mark and Walt in the Morning on Sunny 101.9 March 2 to highlight the importance colorectal cancer screenings during Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month. Havel and Hamren discussed the importance of preventive screenings, like colonoscopies, for those ages 50 and over, or those with a family history of the disease. When colorectal cancer is found at an early stage before it has spread, the five-year relative survival rate is about 90%. They also stressed the importance of not delaying care due to COVID-19.

Listen to the full interview below to learn more!

UPHP Update on Sunny 101.9: COVID-19 Vaccination
Posted on February 02, 2021

Upper Peninsula Health Plan Community Health Worker Clinical Liaison Sue Sands, LPN, joined Mark and Walt in the Morning on Sunny 101.9 Feb. 2 to discuss all things pertaining to the COVID-19 vaccine. Sands touched on why the vaccine is important, who is currently eligible to receive it, potential side effects, vaccine availability, and more. Listen to the full interview below to learn more, or head over to our COVID-19 vaccination page.

UPHP Update on Sunny 101.9: Social Determinants of Health & CC4H
Posted on January 14, 2021

UPHP Community Health Worker Katie Poston joined Mark and Walt in the Morning on Sunny 101.9 this month to discuss social determinants of health (SDoH) and the UPHP Connected Communities for Health Program (CC4H). Poston explained that SDoH are conditions in which people are born, grow, live, work and age, which can be responsible for health inequities. She also discussed how the UPHP CC4H program is helping to address SDoH by connecting individuals with resources available in their communities to help with things such as food, employment, and housing assistance.