Safe Sitter Class Set for January 20 in Chestertown

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The popular Safe Sitter® class, taught by pediatric nurses for youth ages 11-13, will be offered on Saturday, January 20, 9 a.m.to 3:30 p.m. at UM Shore Medical Center at Chestertown Education Center.

Safe Sitter® is a national, non-profit organization that provides programs to teach youth life and safety skills for when they are home alone, watching younger siblings, or babysitting. Over 175 lives have been saved by Safe Sitter® graduates using the skills learned through the Safe Sitter® training. More information about the program may be found at www.safesitter.org.

The cost for this one-day class is $45; some scholarships are available. Because seating is limited, advance registration is required. For more information or to register, call Chrissy Nelson, 410-778-7668, ext. 2175.

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.

Chestertown Nursing and Rehab Staff Rock the Holiday Season

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Larry Clark, left, was happy to host his friend, Darlene Wilson, and his mother, Anna May Dorsey, at UM Shore Nursing and Rehab’s Thanksgiving Dinner, held a week before Thanksgiving Day.

It starts a week before Thanksgiving with a special celebratory dinner for residents and their family members. At University of Maryland Shore Nursing and Rehabilitation Center at Chestertown, activities staff members Dianne Hill, Annie Wilson and Lashonda Newman go out of their way to ensure that the holiday season presents lively events and lovely decor to get everyone “in the spirit.”

“This year we had about 75 residents and their family members for our Thanksgiving dinner,” says Hill, who has been with the Center for three years. “It’s always a happy event, and so nice for residents and patients to be able to host their relatives and other loved ones for a special meal.”

UM Shore Nursing and Rehab resident Sandy Williamson pauses with staff member Boswana Elias in the dining room of the Center.

Christmas excitement kicks in as soon as December is under way. Visits from Christmas carolers, making gingerbread houses, Poinsettia day, Nutcracker Day, Fruitcake Day, Cookie Walk (a fundraiser to benefit resident care) and special performances by local musical groups such as the Pondtown Singers, the Burke Family Singers and Pastor Dave’s Gentleman’s Quartet are just a few of the many occasions that help residents of the Center enjoy the season with staff members and visiting friends and family members.

The day after Christmas features a performance by Tyla’s Dance Troupe, and on the 28th, a bus trip to Sandy Point State Park enables residents to see the annual winter wonderland called Lights on the Bay. New Year’s Eve is another highlight, with a celebration featuring live entertainment and a special buffet.

“Keeping our residents stimulated and engaged is a very high priority for all of us,” says Stu Seitz, Center director. “For many of our staff, the Center is like a second home and residents and their loved ones are like family. The holiday season is no exception and in fact, it is often a time when we have a few more residents with us, on respite care while their family members travel or have company. We welcome these temporary residents and go out of our way to include them in all aspects of community life.”

For information about respite care stays at the Center, call Gladys Peeples, 410-888-4550.

 

 

Celebrating National Home Care Month

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Chester River Home Care staff

During November, the home care and hospice community honor the millions of nurses, home care aides, therapists, and social workers who make a difference for the patients and families they serve. These caregivers play a central role in our health care system and in homes across the nation. To recognize their efforts, the National Association for Home Care & Hospice celebrates November as Home Care and Hospice Month.

Joining the celebrfation  are members of the UM Chester River Home Care (UM CRHC) team, outside their headquarters on the campus of UM Shore Medical Center at Chestertown. The team includes nurses, aides, access representatives, social workers and physical, occupational and speech therapists. According to Trish Focht, manager, in the past year, CRHC staff members have tallied more than 97,600 miles driven in Kent and Queen Anne’s County to and from 12,179 in-home care visits to 853 patients. CRHC’s most recent overall patient satisfaction rating is 93%, well above the state and national averages of 81% and 84%, respectively. 

Shown in the photo are: (front row) Brooke Smith, Jenny Paul, Kim Price and Jen Wade; (middle row) Katie Davis, Sarah Hopkins, Jen Walters, Brianna Simms, Mary Lynn Price, Melissa Maule and Trish Focht, manager; (back row) Barb Cole, Alexa Jester, Karen Conley, Kristin Dickerson, Frances Rodney, Chris Kirby, Amanda Sutton, Kiara Henry, Sarah Reynolds, Melissa Myers, Lucinda Wakefield, Brooke Maier and Andrea Alduino.

Shore Regional Health Recognizes Nurse Practitioners

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Nurse practitioners serving UM Shore Regional Health: front row, l. to r., Michell Jordan, Brittany Cutler, Penny Boyle, Wendy Towers and Clare Ross; back row, l. to r.,  Brittany Krautheim, Patricia Lancaster, Lisa Jeffers, Diana Gail Shorter, Dale Jafari and Sharon Stagg. Not shown are Rahel Alemu, Anna Antwi, Jill Burgholzer, Ellen Spurry Christ, Jennifer Dyott, Karen Fisher, Leslie Fox, Lisa Hall, Mary Horseman, Marcia Reynolds, Mickee Roser, Shirley Seward, Doris Allen Tate and Michelle Williams.

National Nurse Practitioner Week celebrates more than 50 years of practice by nurse practitioners (NPs). NPs are expert clinicians with advanced education and clinical experience who provide primary, acute and specialty health care using a high-quality, cost-effective, patient-centered approach. They must have a master’s degree in order to practice, and many have doctoral degrees, such as a Doctorate in Nursing Practice.They are licensed in all 50 states to order, perform and interpret diagnostic tests as well as diagnosis and treat acute and chronic conditions.

According to the American Association of Nurse Practitioners, this distinguished group of healthcare professionals number approximately 234,000. Research has shown that patients whose primary care providers are NPs have fewer emergency room visits and shorter hospital stays, resulting in lower out-of-pocket cost.

At present, 22 NPs practice within University of Maryland Community Medical Group serving Shore Regional Health. They provide care in many specialties, including breast health, behavioral health, diabetes and endocrinology, family medicine, gastroenterology, neurology, neurosurgery, oncology/pulmonology, pain management, palliative care, pediatrics, women’s health and wound care.

“We take a holistic and collaborative approach to patient care that involves listening to our patients and their families, then creating an individualized medical treatment plan to optimize healing, wellness and function while considering the unique needs of each patient,” says Lisa Jeffers of UM CMG Wound Care.

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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.

“Shoot for the Stars” Casino Night Tickets On Sale

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Phil Dutton and the Alligators will perform at this year’s Shoot for the Stars Casino Night on November 18.

The stars will align at 7 p.m. Saturday, November 18, at the Garfield Center for the Arts when local “celebrities” take their seats as Las Vegas-style casino dealers to help raise funds that will support health care services and patient care in Kent County.

“This is the fourth Shoot for the Stars Casino Night,” says Maryann Ruehrmund, executive director, UM Chester River Health Foundation, which is sponsoring the event. “It tends to sell out quickly because The Garfield Center for the Arts is a very elegant but relatively small venue, so we encourage people to purchase tickets early.”

According to Ruehrmund, arriving guests will be treated to a glass of Sparkling Vidal Blanc, compliments of Crow Vineyard and Winery, and $25,000 in chips for the casino-style games, which include: Craps, Roulette, Caribbean Stud, Three Card Poker and Blackjack. (Additional chips may be purchased throughout the evening.) A sumptuous selection of heavy hors-d’oeuvres provided by Occasions Catering will be available throughout the evening, and a coffee and dessert bar will be provided at the conclusion of gaming.

Entertainment will be provided by the very popular Phil Dutton and the Alligators, who will perform Louisiana-style music from Satchmo to Chenier, and will surely get you dancing!

At the close of the evening, guests will cash in their chips for the chance to win five incredible prizes including a luxurious Williamsburg, Virginia holiday getaway for eight guests, a long weekend in Washington, D.C., a 20-bottle “divine wine basket” and more.

In addition, tickets for a 50-50 raffle are now on sale at the front desks of UM Shore Nursing and Rehabilitation Center and UM Shore Medical Center at Chestertown, and at Foundation’s offices. Attendance at the event is not required to win the raffle.

Community “celebrities” who have signed up as croupiers (dealers) for the night include:

Ken Kozel, President and CEO, UM Shore Regional Health

John Haines, RN, Nursing Supervisor, UM SMC at Chestertown

Sherrie Hill, RN, Coordinator, Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation, UM SMC at Chestertown

John Carroll, Galena Mayor and UM Chester River Health Foundation Board member

Ron Fithian, Commissioner, Kent County and Town Manager, Rock Hall

Angela Pritzlaff, RN, Transitional Nurse Navigator for Chestertown

Barrie Frazier-Meima, Foundation Board member

Dan Saunders, Esq., retired Foundation Board president and Shore Regional Health Board member

Loretta Lodge, Executive Director, Kent County Chamber of Commerce

Myra Butler, Board member, UM Chester River Health Foundation and Shore Regional Health

Bill Short, Kent County Commissioner

Tickets are now on sale for $125 (of which $75 is tax-deductible as a charitable donation) on a first-come, first-served basis, as seating is limited. Guests are encouraged to dress in cocktail attire. For more information or to purchase tickets, please call Deb Lauser, 410-810-5661. Tickets and sponsorship opportunities are also available online here.

November Events to Promote Diabetes Awareness

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Recent public health statistics indicate that diabetes rates for Maryland’s Eastern Shore counties are approaching — and in some cases, exceeding — 10 percent. According to Trish Rosenberry, regional director, UM Shore Regional Health Specialty Clinics, this high prevalence is made more dangerous due to lack of public awareness of the disease and its potential consequences. “More than 25 percent of people who have diabetes are undiagnosed and asymptomatic, and therefore are unaware that they have the disease and may be experiencing damage to their heart, eyes, kidneys, and limbs,” Rosenberry says.

The prevalence of diabetes and the potential damage it poses to overall health are highlighted each November through the American Diabetes Association’s national campaign for Diabetes Awareness. In observance of Diabetes Month this year, health care providers in Kent County have planned three events – one in Worton and two in Chestertown – to help those coping with with diabetes and/or prediabetes gain a better understanding of the disease and strategies to manage it for their best possible health.

On Saturday, November 4, the Mt. Olive AME Church in Worton is hosting a Diabetes Health Fair, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. This event, which includes a free luncheon and gifts for attendees, will provide expert help regarding diet, nutrition, exercise/wellness, natural foods and nutrition products. “Representatives from UM Center for Diabetes and Endocrinology, Kent Athletic Center, Chestertown Natural Foods, and Nuts and Seeds, among others will be there, giving presentations and answering questions from those in attendance,” says Chrissy Nelson, diabetes educator.

Also free and open to the public is a seminar, “You Can Eat and Still Lose Weight,” set for Wednesday, November 8, 1:30 to 2:30 p.m., in UM Shore Medical Center at Chestertown’s Education Center. Local dietitians Mary King and Cheyrle Borneman will offer tips on how to achieve your desired weight without severe dieting.

“Food Shopping for Health,” a grocery store tour set for Thursday, November 9, 1 to 3 p.m. at Redner’s Market in Chestertown, is designed to show how anyone with diabetes or pre-diabetes can shop and plan for meals that will promote optimal health. “A diabetes diagnosis can seem overwhelming, but there are shopping strategies to help you plan menus and fill up your cart with the right foods to maintain your best health,” says Mary King, nutrition services coordinator, UM Shore Medical Center at Chestertown, who leads the tour. “This tour helps people learn how to ‘shop smart’ and select foods that will help them avoid complications.” Persons interested in participating in the tour should RSVP by calling 410-778-3300, ext. 2295.

Ongoing diabetes support and education services at UM Shore Medical Center in Chestertown include: the diabetes support group, which meets the first Tuesday of every month, 6:30 p.m.; and Diabetes Self-Management, a three-class (nine hour) program for persons who are newly diagnosed or need help in controlling their disease. A doctor’s referral and advance registration is required. Physician and advance practice provider care is offered by appointment in Chestertown on Wednesdays, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

For more information or to make an appointment, contact 410-822-1000, ext.5757.

Dianne Hill Awarded NCCAP Certification

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Stu Seitz, director, UM Shore Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, with Dianne Hill, activities director at the Center.

Dianne Hill, of Chestertown, activities director at UM Shore Nursing and Rehabilitation Center at Chestertown, has achieved certification as an activities director by the National Certification Council for Activity Professionals (NCCAP). NCCAP is national organization that exclusively certifies activity professionals who work with the elderly in primarily long-term care settings.

According to Stu Seitz, director, UM Shore Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, Hill joined the administrative team of the nursing and rehab center two years ago. The many social, cultural and celebratory activities and events she manages at the Center have included drum circles with Latin percussion instructor Michael Bryant; monthly cookouts with live music by Earle Teate of Dover, Delaware; monthly themed painting events with local artist Joyce Prickett; and an annual “senior prom,” complete with a DJ and king and queen designations.

“Since her arrival as our activities director, Dianne has done a fantastic job of building our activities program and engaging our residents and their family members, as well as our staff and members of the community,” Seitz comments. “Thanks to Dianne and also our two activity aides, Annie Hill and LaShonda Newnam, there’s always something interesting and fun going on at the Center. Dianne worked hard to obtain NCCAP certification and we are all really proud of her accomplishment.”

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Julia Belanger, Family Medicine Specialist, Opens Practice

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Julia Belanger MD

University of Maryland Community Medical Group (UM CMG), on Aug. 30, announced the addition of Chestertown-based family medicine specialist Julia Belanger, MD. Her clinical interests include disease prevention, health maintenance and counseling and diagnosis of acute and chronic illnesses. She is seeing patients at 126 Philosophers Terrace in Chestertown. Patients may make an appointment with Dr. Belanger by calling 410-778-1878.

UM CMG is a University of Maryland Medical System-owned network of more than 300 primary care physicians, specialists- and advanced practice clinicians. As part of this UM CMG, Dr. Belanger is affiliated with UM Shore Regional Health.

Dr. Belanger is a graduate of the American University of the Caribbean School of Medicine. She completed her residency at the Florida Hospital Center for Family Medicine.

“We are very excited to have Dr. Belanger join our team at the University of Maryland Community Medical Group in our Primary Care practice,” said Michele Wilson, vice president of operations for UM CMG. “Dr. Belanger brings with her a vast amount of compassion and knowledge that will benefit our primary care patients of all ages on the Shore.”

UM CMG consists of community-based provider practices affiliated with UM Baltimore Washington Medical Center, UM Charles Regional Medical Center, University of Maryland Medical Center Midtown Campus and UM Shore Regional Health.  A list of UM CMG providers is available at http://docfind.umms.org/cmg.

Pink Polar Bear Golf Tourney Raises $2,550 for the Women’s Center

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Pink Polar Bear Tournament participants paused for a group photo after coming in from the links at Chestertown Yacht and Country Club.

The sixth annual Pink Polar Bear Golf Tournament, held August 6 at the Chester River Yacht & Country Club, raised $2,550 to benefit patient care in the Eleanor & Ethel Leh Women’s Center at UM Shore Medical Center at Chestertown.

According to tournament co-chair Gwinn Derricott, who also is a hospital volunteer, 66 members and guests of the club, which is located just outside Chestertown, participated in this year’s event. “Everyone says that this is the most fun tournament they play in because of the format and the camaraderie,” Derricott said. “We’ve come a long way from a group of nine and 18-hole lady golfers and we’re looking forward to many more tournaments.”

Jane Hukill, tournament co-chair and also a hospital volunteer said, “We call it the Pink Polar Bear tournament because early on, it was explained to us that finding breast cancer can be like trying to find a polar bear in a blizzard.  When we saw the capabilities of the tomosynthesis in mammography, we had to do our part to support the continued availability of this technology in Chestertown.”

Kelly Bottomley, regional manager, Imaging, for UM Shore Regional Health, said that mammography is the medical “gold standard” to identify breast cancer. The Eleanor & Ethel Leh Women’s Center, which opened in October 2013, was the first facility on the Delmarva Peninsula to offer 3-D digital mammography with tomosynthesis, which can identify breast cancer at the earliest possible stage; in 2016, the Center performed 2,643 mammograms.

“On behalf of both the staff of the Leh Women’s Center and the patients who come to us for treatment, I am humbled to thank everyone who helped make the Pink Polar Bear tournament such a great success this year as in the past – in fact, their support grows larger every year. Their generosity and commitment is making a positive difference for women’s health here in Kent County and beyond, and we are proud to have them as part of our family of care,” Bottomley stated.

The Leh Center also offers bone density testing. A plastic surgeon is on site at the Center two days a week for breast surgery, reconstruction, consultation and other services.