Cancer Center Team Honored as “Everyday Heroes”

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Photo: Fifteen members of the Cancer Center team – some in full superhero attire – were on hand to be honored by F. Graham Lee, UM SRH vice president of philanthropy (back row, left) as “Everyday Heroes” were: Lauren Douglass, Nichole Hill, Ashley Kirn, Kathleen Stalfort, Robin Ford, Victoria Glessner, Christa Tindall, Jeanie Scott, Robin VanSchaik, Stephanie Phillips, Diane Soone, Carol Flamer, Debbie Hood, Brian Leutner and Paula Larrimore.

The University of Maryland Memorial Hospital Foundation received a donation from Sylvia Jeanne Carroll to support the Cancer Center at UM Shore Regional Health. As the wife of a patient treated at the Cancer Center, Carroll made the donation in appreciation of the “Everyday Hero” health care providers – John Mastandrea , MD and Robin Ford, and “all who participated in her husband’s care from the front desk and radiation crew.”

The Everyday Hero program provides patients, visitors and staff members with the opportunity to recognize and thank any UM SRH staff member or team who has made a positive difference in a visit or stay by making a financial contribution of any size to the UM Memorial Hospital Foundation or the UM Chester River Health Foundation. Funds received through gifts to the Foundations’ Everyday Hero programs help pay for equipment, capital improvements and staff education for the departments in which the employees or team work.

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.

Ona Kareiva, MD, Named to UM Shore Regional Health Board of Directors

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Ona M. Kareiva, MD, recently joined the University of Maryland Shore Regional Health Board of Directors.

Dr. Kareiva, who has been affiliated with the health care system since 2002, is a practicing anesthesiologist privileged at the University of Maryland Shore Medical Centers at Chestertown, Dorchester and Easton. Now a resident of Talbot County, Dr. Kareiva graduated from the University of Arizona in 1996 where she then completed her residency and fellowship programs.

On the Board, Dr. Kareiva serves as an active member of the Medical Staff Quality Committee (MSQC) and the Medical Executive Committee (MEC).

“We are indeed fortunate to have Dr. Kareiva join the Board and look forward to her insights and ideas,” said Ken Kozel, UM SRH president and CEO, in making the announcement. “We appreciate the willingness of physicians as well as that of local business and nonprofit leaders to devote their time and expertise to the ongoing advancement of our health care network and the care we provide for the 170,000 residents of our five county region.”

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 2,200 employees, medical staff, board members and volunteers works with various community partners to fulfill the organization’s mission of Creating Healthier Communities Together.

UM Shore Regional Health Welcomes New Board Members

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Charles D. “Chip” Macleod

Three local community leaders have recently been appointed to the Board of Directors of University of Maryland Shore Regional Health. Charles “Chip” McLeod and Glenn L. Wilson, both of Chestertown, and Stephen Satchell, of Easton, officially joined the Board in July.

Charles D. “Chip” MacLeod founded MacLeod Law Group, LLC in 2017 with offices in Chestertown and Denton, and a practice representing local governments and related agencies. He is head of the firm’s Local Government Practice Group. He also concentrates in real estate, business and contract law, and serves as general counsel to various non-profit organizations and trade associations. As a registered lobbyist, he advocates for clients before the Maryland General Assembly and Executive branch agencies.

Prior to founding MacLeod Law Group, LLC, MacLeod was a member of Funk & Bolton, P.A. for more than 18 years. He was head of the firm’s Local Government and Real Estate Practice Groups while serving as special counsel to various non-profit organizations and public entities on a broad spectrum of legal matters.

MacLeod also previously served as county administrator of Kent County, Maryland; as a member and chairman of the Board of the former Chester River Health System, Inc.; as a member of the Board of Trustees of the Local Government Insurance Trust (LGIT) and chair of LGIT’s Health Benefits Committee; and associate director of the Maryland Association of Counties. He is a graduate of Washington College and University of Maryland School of Law.

Glenn L. Wilson

Glenn L. Wilson was named president and CEO of Chesapeake Bank & Trust in 2015 after five years as president and CEO of a financial institution in western Pennsylvania that included a $1 billion community bank and $1.8 billion trust company. His career in also banking includes the leadership of Citizens National of Laurel, a top performing bank under Mercantile Bankshares that was later acquired by PNC. He subsequently served PNC as senior credit officer overseeing credit operations in most of Maryland. Other career highlights include serving as past national chairman of the Risk Management Association and as vice-chair of the Pennsylvania Bankers Association and a member of the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia’s Community Institutions Advisory Council.

Wilson’s community involvement has included serving as chair of a local United Way Board in Pennsylvania and as board member for a host of several civic, economic development, and educational organizations. He presently serves as Board chair for the United Way of Kent County and as Board member for Sultana Educational Foundation.

Stephen Satchell is senior vice president and financial advisor for the SRVP Group of Baird Private Wealth Management in Easton. A graduate of Easton High School and Hampden Sydney College, he began his career in finance at Legg Mason in Baltimore in 1992, returning to Easton four years later to focus on wealth management for private clients. He is Series 4,7,63 and 65 registered and is licensed in life, health and long-term care insurance. He presently serves on the St. Johns Foundation Board of Directors and Dave Haslup/Lou Gehrig ASF. His previous Board memberships include the United Fund of Talbot County, Pickering Creek Audubon Center and Talbot Country Club.

Stephen Satchell

Speaking on behalf of the UM SRH Board, John Dillon, chairman, stated: “We are very pleased to have Chip MacLeod, Glenn Wilson and Steve Satchell join us in ensuring that University of Maryland Shore Regional Health will successfully navigate the changing landscape of health care. Their strong personal commitment to the communities we serve, as well as their outstanding professional expertise and accomplishments, make them valuable assets to our efforts going forward.”

In addition to Robert A. Chrencik, CEO, University of Maryland Medical System, and Kenneth Kozel, president and CEO, UM Shore Regional Health, current UM SRH Board members are: from Caroline County, Wayne Howard and Keith McMahan;from Dorchester County, Marlene Feldman, Michael D. Joyce, MD, Richard Loeffler and David Milligan; from Kent County, Myra Butler, Charles B. MacLeod, Charles B. Nolland Glenn L. Wilson; from Queen Anne’s County, Joseph J. Ciotola, MD and Kathleen Deoudes; and from Talbot County, John W. Ashworth,Charles Capute, Art Cecil, John Dillon, Wayne L. Gardner, Sr., Geoffrey F. Oxnam, Stephen Satchell and Thomas Stauch, MD.

“Our board members live and work in our communities. I believe their diverse knowledge and perspectives position us well to achieve our vision of being the region’s leader in patient centered care,” says Kozel.

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 2,300 employees, medical staff, board members and volunteers work with various community partners to fulfill the organization’s mission of Creating Healthier Communities Together.

Easton’s Primary Stroke Center Earns Gold Plus Status from American Stroke Association

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Stroke, a disease that affects the arteries leading to and within the brain, takes the lives of more than 130,000 Americans each year and is the leading cause of serious long-term disability in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. When in need of prompt care for stroke, residents of the five-county region served by University of Maryland Shore Regional Health have access to a designated Primary Stroke Center at University of Maryland Shore Medical Center at Easton.

A Primary Stroke Center designation is given by the Maryland Institute for Emergency Medical Services Systems (MIEMSS) when standards are met to support better outcomes for stroke care. Certification standards include having a dedicated stroke-focused program, staffed by specially trained medical professionals – 24 hours a day, 7 days each week – who provide expedited diagnostic services and stroke care.

UM Shore Medical Center at Easton’s Stroke Center recently received the American Heart Association (AHA)/American Stroke Association’s (ASA) Get With The Guidelines®– Stroke Gold Plus Achievement Award with Target: StrokeSM Honor Roll Elite Plus. The award recognizes the hospital’s commitment to providing the most appropriate stroke treatment according to nationally recognized, research-based guidelines based on the latest scientific evidence.

Photo: The Primary Stroke Center team, led by medical director, Dr. Terry Detrich, and neuroscience specialist and Stroke Center coordinator, Nicole Leonard, is a multidisciplinary team that includes physicians, nurses, Emergency Department staff, diagnostic services such as imaging and lab, and pharmacy. Pictured are (back row) Gary Bigelow, director, Imaging Services; Diane Walbridge, director of Acute Care and Emergency Services; neurologists, Dr. Walid Kamsheh and Dr. Detrich; certified registered nurse practitioner, Rahel Alemu; Mary Collins, nurse leader, 2 East Multi-Specialty Care Unit at UM Shore Medical Center at Easton; Ryan Foster, manager, Emergency Services at UM Shore Medical Center at Easton; (front) Jennifer Miles, nurse manager of Easton’s Multi-Specialty Care and Neuroscience Units; Nicole Leonard; and Ruth Ann Jones, senior vice president, Nursing Services, and chief nursing officer.

According to the ASA, hospitals earning the Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award have reached an aggressive goal of treating patients with 85 percent or higher adherence to all Get With The Guidelines-Stroke achievement indicators for two or more consecutive 12-month periods and have achieved 75 percent or higher compliance with five of eight Get With The Guidelines-Stroke Quality measures.

In conjunction with its Gold Plus status, Easton’s Primary Stroke Center also achieved the Target: Stroke Honor Roll Elite Plus, demonstrating success in meeting quality measures to reduce the time between the patient’s arrival at the hospital and treatment with the clot-buster tissue plasminogen activator (tPA), Alteplase, the only drug approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat ischemic stroke. If given in the first three hours after the onset of stroke symptoms, Alteplase has been shown to significantly reduce the effects of stroke and lessen the chance of permanent disability. Administered intravenously through the arm, Alteplase works by dissolving the obstructive clot and improving blood flow to the part of the brain being deprived of blood flow.

The quality measures established by the AHA/ASA are designed to help hospital teams follow the most up-to-date, evidence-based guidelines with the goal of speeding recovery and reducing death and disability for stroke patients.

“Members of the Primary Stroke Center team at Shore Medical Center at Easton are specially trained in diagnosing and treating all types of stroke,” comments Nicole Leonard, RN, BSN, neuroscience specialist and stroke coordinator.  Much like the objective of core quality measures set forth by the American Heart Association and American Stroke Association, our top priority is prompt, effective care and positive patient outcomes. We have been able to achieve these awards because of the collaborative effort of our entire Stroke Center team. ”

According to Leonard, the three types of stroke are ischemic stroke, caused by a clot obstructing the flow of blood to the brain; a hemorrhagic stroke, caused by a blood vessel rupturing and causing bleeding inside the brain; and a transient ischemic attack (TIA), which is a temporary interruption of blood flow to an area of the brain.

“Stroke occurs when a blood vessel that carries oxygen and nutrients to the brain is either blocked by a clot or ruptures,” she remarks. “When that happens, part of the brain cannot get the blood and oxygen it needs causing vital brain cells to die – 1.9 million neurons die each minute stroke treatment is delayed.”

“Our highly skilled medical providers and clinicians strive to make our organization the region’s leader in patient-centered care,” says Ken Kozel, president and CEO, UM Shore Regional Health. “The Stroke Center’s recent recognition from the American Stroke Association demonstrates our team’s commitment to delivering innovative stroke treatments to patients as quickly and safely as possible when care is needed at the most critical time.”

Expanding upon the magnitude the Gold Plus designation, Terry Detrich, MD, local neurologist and medical director of the Stroke Center, remarks, “This is a fantastic achievement for a small hospital to be able to make the great advancements we have in complying with national stroke care guidelines.”

He continues, “It is also an incredible achievement for everyone on the team – the physicians, nurses, x-ray and lab personnel, the pharmacy team and the entire Emergency Department team. We all continue to work harder to update our capabilities, working with our partners at University of Maryland Medical System, to further enhance the care that we provide to our community members.”

Detrich also feels strongly about the key role that local emergency medical services play in the Stroke Center’s ability to treat patients appropriately and timely. “We would not be successful in our efforts to provide high-quality stroke care without the collaboration of our local Emergency Services teams,” he says.

The Stroke Center team at UM Shore Medical Center at Easton lives by the principle that time lost is brain lost, and because of that, clinicians feel it is imperative for patients to seek treatment for stroke at the first sign or symptom. To recognize signs and symptoms of stroke, it is recommended that people remember the word “FAST” – Facial drooping; Arm weakness; Speech difficulty; and if any of these symptoms are present, it’s Time to call 9-1-1 as immediate medical attention is necessary.

Additional information about the Primary Stroke Center at University of Maryland Shore Medical Center at Easton can be found at UMShoreRegional.org/stroke.

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 employees, medical staff, board members and volunteers works with various community partners to fulfill the organization’s mission of Creating Healthier Communities Together.

Shore Kids Camp for Children with Type 2 Diabetes

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Enrollment is now open for Shore Kids Camp, a four-day camp experience for children (ages 8-13) with diabetes that takes place July 17-21, 2017 at MEBA Engineering School on Route 33 (the Oxford Road) in Easton.

Provided by University of Maryland Shore Regional Health, Shore Kids Camp helps children with diabetes learn more about their disease and how to manage it in a safe and healthy environment while enjoying many activities, including bowling, boat rides, and visits to organic farms and area museums. The camp is managed by pediatric nurses with experience in diabetes who are assisted by high school and college students as volunteers. It also receives support from varied community groups, including local Lions Clubs, Rotary Clubs, and the Talbot County Public Schools field hockey teams.

“There is no other activity like this on the Eastern Shore,” says Wynne Aroom, patient education specialist, UM Shore Regional Health. “The diabetes camps across the Bay Bridge are overnight camps — many parents are reluctant to send their young children that far away while others find the cost of ‘sleep-away’ camp prohibitive.

The educational aspect of the camp experience includes guest speakers from the hospital and community such as dietitians, other diabetes educators, nurses with diabetes, podiatrists, dental hygienists and ophthalmologists. The children also play various learning games. Says Aroom, “These activities help boost the children’s confidence that they can survive without their parents. In many cases, they are the only child in their school class with diabetes, which is very challenging for them. At Shore Kids Camp, there is a lot of sharing and learning from each other, so they feel less alone in the challenges they face daily,” she adds.

Aroom also notes that Shore Kids Camp helps parents by providing needed respite from round-the-clock vigilance and the confidence that their child is having fun in a safe environment, as well as the opportunity to meet and talk with other families coping with Type 2 diabetes.

The camp fee is $75 per child and the registration deadline is July 7, 2017. For further details, contact Wynne Aroom, 410-822-1000, ext. 5286, or waroom@umm.edu.

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.

New Physician Assistant Rotations in Progress at UM Shore Regional Health

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UM Shore Regional Health has welcomed five physician assistant students for clinical rotations with UM SRH physician preceptors, William Huffner, MD, senior vice president, Medical Affairs and chief medical officer, has announced.

The students — Rhavi Dholokia, Emmy Estrada, Chidex Eugene-Francis, Kulvinder Singh and Emily Tull — began their first of eight, five-week rotations on May 22, 2017. The physician preceptors and their specialties are: Eric Anderson, MD, Psychiatry; Walter Atha, MD, Emergency Medicine; Kim Herman, MD, Family Medicine; Mark Langfitt, MD, Pediatrics; Andrew Pelczar, MD, Surgery; Aisha Siddiqui, MD, OB/GYN; Myron Szczukowski, Jr., MD, Orthopedics (offered as an elective); and Elena Tilly, MD, Internal Medicine.

UM SRH has welcomed five physician assistant students for nine-month clinical rotations. Shown are (back row, L-R): Emily Tull, Chidex Eugene-Francis, Ravi Dholokia, Kulvinder Singh and Emmy Estrada; and (front row, L-R) William Huffner, MD, UM SRH chief medical officer and senior vice president, Medical Affairs, Kim Billingslea, regional director, Medical Staff Services, and Jennifer Kaminskas, executive assistant, Medical Affairs.

“We are delighted to host this second group of students from the Physician Assistant program offered jointly by Anne Arundel Community College and University of Maryland at Baltimore,” says Huffner. “According to reports from our physician preceptors and from the seven PA students who were with us during the past year, the first round of rotations was highly successful. In fact, a few of those students, who graduated in May, have indicated that UM Shore Regional Health is their first choice for employment once they pass their PA licensing exams. We could not have asked for a better outcome and we are hoping this new group will have an equally good experience with our physicians and their practices, and in our hospitals and outpatient services.”

Mary Jo Bondy, administrative program director of the M.S. in Health Science/Physician Assistant Porgram, shares Dr. Huffner’s enthusiasm. “We are so very grateful to the physicians and hospital leaders at Shore who have welcomed our PA students,” Bondy says. “The first group of students, who are now graduates studying for state licensure, greatly appreciated the opportunity to become embedded in the local community and to work with one physician practice at a time, which enabled them to really focus on their learning. I also was very glad to hear from some of the physician preceptors how much growth they observed in the students over the course of the rotations.”

According to Bondy, most of the students accepted into the AACC/UMB PA program have some work experience, very often in the field of health care. “We find that candidates with a bit of work history and life experience are most likely to succeed in the program, which is very demanding,” she says.

The demand for certified physician assistants continues to grow, especially in rural communities. PAs work in virtually every area of medicine and surgery in the full array of health care settings — hospitals, private and employed physician practices, outpatient services, and long-term care and rehabilitation facilities. PA duties include taking histories and conducting physical examinations, ordering and interpreting tests, diagnosing illnesses, developing and implementing treatment plans, and assisting in or even performing surgery.

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.

Doris Allen Tate Earns CRNP to Become Advanced Care Practitioner

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Doris Allen Tate, formerly lead diabetes educator for the UM Center for Diabetes and Endocrinology, recently became a certified registered nurse practitioner (CRNP) and has joined forces with Faustino Macuha, Jr., MD and nurse practitioners Anna Antwi and Bobbi Atkinson as an advanced care provider for diabetes and endocrinology patients.

Tate joined the Center in 2013 and in 2014, completed her BSN from Wilmington University. She was awarded her MSN, Adult Gerontology Nurse Practitioner in 2016. As lead diabetes educator, she has taught diabetes self-management classes and worked with patients one-on-one to help them avoid complications and manage their diabetes for optimal wellness. Tate, who resides in Easton,and her fellow diabetes educators — Karen Canter, Karen Hollis, Mary King, Chrissy Nelson and Renee Woodward — also host monthly diabetes support groups in Cambridge, Chestertown, Denton and Easton.

Prior to joining the Center for Diabetes & Endocrinology, Tate served Choptank Community Health System as a diabetes educator for six years. “I am thrilled to be able to provide advanced diabetes care in my new role in the Center,” she says.“In addition, I’m continuing to lead the Denton diabetes support group, which meets the first Wednesday evening of every month at St. Luke’s Church in Denton.”

For information regarding the services of the UM Center for Diabetes & Endocrinology, call 410-822-1000, ext. 5757.

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.

The 3rd Annual Sporting Clays Classic on June 10

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University of Maryland Memorial Hospital Foundation has announced plans for its 3rd Annual Sporting Clays Classic, scheduled for Saturday, June 10, at The Point at Pintail in Queenstown. Proceeds from the event will benefit equipment needs for the Clark Comprehensive Breast Center at UM Shore Regional Health, located in Easton.

This year’s Sporting Clays Classic will feature 75 targets, lunch for participants and various prizes, raffles and a silent auction. Participant registration will begin at 8 a.m. with the shoot beginning at 9 a.m.Participant registration fees are: $125 per individual and $500 per team of four. Registration is limited to 300 participants.

Sponsorship opportunities are available in six brackets, including: Tournament Sponsor, $10,000; Sure Shot Sponsor, $5,000; High Flyer Sponsor, $2,500; Pro Sponsor, $1,000; Course Sponsor, $500, and Station Sponsor, $150.

The Sporting Clays Classic Committee. Members include (back row, L-R) F. Graham Lee, Michael Weise, Jay Dayton, Stark McLaughlin, Myron Szczukowski, MD, Richard Slaughter, Bob Lynch, Richard Brooks, RN (front row) Amy Lowe, Mary Alice Vanhoy, RN, Shelley Bell, Janet Andrews. Committee members Reginal Harrell, Cheryl Hughes, Tom Pyper, Trish Ewing, Norman Washburn, Matt Tresansky, Wayne Dyott, Jonathan Kelley were unavailable at the time of the photo.

Sponsors signed on thus far include: Tournament Sponsors — Jack & Susan Stoltz, Preston Automotive Group, The Auxiliary of the Memorial Hospital at Easton; High Flyer Sponsor —  The Orthopedic Center; Pro Sponsor — Tidewater Anesthesia Associates, PA; Course Sponsors – CBIZ MHM, LLC, Easton Utilities and Pensel and Walker, Inc.

In May, 2016, after a 16-month expansion project, the Clark Comprehensive Breast Center opened its doors to patients at 10 Martin Court in Easton. The expanded space provides a variety of breast health services including consultation, diagnostic procedures, support services and outreach programs.

“The Clark Comprehensive Breast Center team is grateful for the support of our local community, which has helped turn our dream — of a modern, fully comprehensive breast center for the women of this region — into a reality,” remarks Roberta J. Lilly, MD, medical director of the Clark Comprehensive Breast Center at UM Shore Regional. “We thank the Foundation, the volunteers and participants in the upcoming Sporting Clays Classic for their help in providing funding for our equipment needs that are so vital in the early detection and treatment of breast cancer.”

Registration for the Sporting Clays Classic may be completed online at ummhfoundation.org/upcoming-events. For additional information and sponsorship opportunities, contact Amy Lowe, development assistant, at 410-822-1000, ext. 5763, or by email, alowe@umm.edu.

About UM Memorial Hospital Foundation: UM Memorial Hospital Foundation is a private, nonprofit organization serving the fundraising needs of UM Shore Medical Center at Easton and UM Shore Regional Health. Through its philanthropic efforts, the Foundation supports UM Shore Regional Health’s ability to provide quality health care to the local community by contributing to hospital programs and services.

About UM Shore Regional Health: 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 work with various community partners to fulfill the organization’s mission of Creating Healthier Communities Together.

UM Chester River Home Care Recognized for Excellence in Clinical Outcomes

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University of Maryland Chester River Home Care received special recognition at UM Shore Regional Health’s recent Nurse Excellence Awards Celebration as winner of the Unit/Department Award for Excellence in Empirical Outcomes.

As part of UM Shore Regional Health’s celebration of Nurses Week, the Nurse Excellence Awards Celebration took place on Monday, May 8 at the Todd Performing Arts Center at Chesapeake College.

The Unit/Department Award for Excellence in Clinical Outcomes recognizes “outstanding teamwork and collaboration with other health care team members and disciplines toward achieving optimal patient outcomes.”According to Rita Holley, regional director of Home Care Services for UM Shore Regional Health (UM SRH), during the past year, UM Chester River Home Care (UM CRHC) staff made significant gains in quality improvement, staff engagement and patient satisfaction.

UM Chester River Home Care staff members with Ruth Ann Jones (center); left of Jones, Rene Baker and Trish Focht; right of Jones, Nurse, Katie Davis and Melissa Myers.

“I am very proud and gratified to see Chester River Home Care win this award,” says Holley. “In 2016,the agency staff improved their response rate to referrals and the home care admissions process so that now, 94 percent of patients are admitted within 48 hours or less, which is above both state and national averages for home care admissions.”

Holley also noted that to educate patients and support discussions between home care nurses, patients and their family members, UM CRHC staff introduced a patient orientation handbook that covers important topics,such as safe medical management, compliance with medication orders, symptom management and safety practices involving fall prevention and oxygen equipment care.

“This is a hard-working team whose dedication to their patients and the communities they serve is widely known and now, thanks to their winning this award, officially recognized,” says Holley. “Their success in analyzing new challenges and coming up with effective solutions to meet those challenges is what makes Chester River Home Care an important force in achieving Shore Regional Health’s mission of Creating Healthier Communities Together.”

Each year, UM CRHC staff members drive more than 150,000 miles in Kent and Queen Anne’s County to provide more than 12,000 home care visits serving approximately 800 patients. The agency’s 4-star rating from the Centers of Medicare and Medicaid Service exceeds both the national average of 3.0 and the Maryland average of 3.5 In terms of patient satisfaction ratings, UM CRHC has scored significantly higher than the state and national averages in five out of five rating categories.

Home health care includes many services, including skilled nursing, rehabilitation (physical, occupational and speech therapy) and assistance with activities of daily living. According to the national newsletter, the HCD, the in-home health care industry is currently the leading job creator in the United States and is estimated to generate more than $50 billion annually in costs paid by consumers and insurance companies. As more people reach retirement age, the growing demand for home health services is expected to continue.

The Nurse Excellence Awards presentation was led by Ruth Ann Jones, senior vice president of Patient Care Services and chief nursing officer for UM SRH. Jones noted that 2017 marked the sixth anniversary of the Nurse Excellence Awards and that this year’s honorees were selected from a total of 48 individual nominations and 10 unit/department nominations, the greatest number submitted since the awards were established. “This awards program was established by nurses and for nurses as a way to recognize those who go above and beyond to always deliver exceptional care,” Jones said.

Ken Kozel, president and CEO, noted the pivotal role that Shore Regional Health’s 600 nurses play in achieving the organization’s vision of being the Region’s Leader in Patient Centered Health Care. “Our nursing team’s strong partnerships with our physicians and other members of the health care team enable us to continue to “raise the bar” on safety, quality and patient experience,” Kozel said.

John Dillon, chairman of the Board, noted that among the constants at UM SRH is the outstanding reputation of the nursing team. “When a community member shares a story about an experience at one of our hospitals or outpatient facilities, that story almost always includes the nurse or nurses, often mentioned by name, who provided expert and compassionate care,” Dillon said.

About UM Shore Regional Health: 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 work with various community partners to fulfill the organization’s mission of Creating Healthier Communities Together.