UM Shore Regional Health’s Eleanor and Ethel Leh Women’s Center in Chestertown celebrated its third anniversary this past month. Hailed as “a new state-of-the-art women’s medical center” when it opened in October, 2013, the Center continues to evolve and to offer superior services to women in the Upper Shore area and beyond.
Kelly Bottomley, the Center’s Regional Manager of Radiology who has been with the Center since its inception, reflected recently on the Center’s past, present, and future.
“When we first opened we were thrilled to have a state-of-the-art tomosynthesis system,” Bottomley said. “This system, which allows doctors to view very thin ‘slices’ of breast tissue, has been continually updated and expanded. Having this technology has saved our patients a great deal of stress, time, and money because it provides exceptionally clear images and data.
“Plastic Surgeon Dr. Nelson Goldberg now is here two days a week and breast surgeon Dr. Roberta Lily is here each week. Having these two surgeons in Chestertown saves our patients from having to go to Easton for follow-up care.
“Our entire staff is dedicated to the overall well-being of our patients – from the beginning to the end of the process. That is something that will continue into the future thanks to our knowledgeable staff.”
Bottomley particularly points out the care given by Lead Technologist Connie Branham to the approximately 3,000 mammogram patients, and the patients for other services, who visit the Center each year.
Branham is the “patients’ angel”, according to Bottomley. “Connie is very knowledgeable, friendly, and confident. She puts patients at ease so that there is less stress for them.”
Named for the globe-trotting Leh sisters who were proud to call Chestertown “home”, the Center benefitted from the sisters’ legacy, but a very large part of the Center’s original costs – almost half — came from the community.
“The community really stepped up,” says Maryann M. Ruehrmund, CFRE, Executive Director, Chester River Health Foundation. “Almost half of the original funding came from fundraising efforts by the community. This allowed us to create a true women’s center that is an important resource for the women of this area. The Leh sisters would be so proud.”
Ethel Leh died in 2001, and her sister Eleanor in 2012. But their legacy lives on coupled with community support and pride, to continue the battle against breast cancer and other women’s issues.
As part of the University of Maryland Medical System (UMMS), University of Maryland Shore Regional Health is the principal provider of comprehensive health care services for more than 170,000 residents of Caroline, Dorchester, Kent, Queen Anne’s, and Talbot counties on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. UM Shore Regional Health’s team of more than 2,500 employees, medical staff, board members, and volunteers works with various community partners to fulfill the organization’s mission of Creating Healthier Communities Together.