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.

 

 

Chesapeake Charities Awards Luncheon Spotlights Opioid Crisis

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Talbot County Sheriff Joe Gamble receives Chesapeake Charities Volunteer of the Year award from Lt. Governor Boyd Rutherford, with wife Mary Gamble and son, Josh Gamble.

Lt. Governor Boyd Rutherford recognized the outstanding work being done to combat the heroin, opioid and fentanyl crisis, including that of Talbot County Sheriff Joe Gamble, at Chesapeake Charities’ packed awards luncheon last month in Stevensville.

Sheriff Gamble was honored as Volunteer of the Year for his tireless commitment to prevention and education efforts in Talbot County. Accepting the award, Gamble talked about the shock of learning that high school students he had once coached had become heroin addicts, and the desperate parents who asked him for help. Realizing the need for prevention, he inspired his community to take action, starting the “Talbot Goes Purple” campaign with Talbot Rotary to raise awareness in the schools about the dangers of prescription opioids. “Every business, every family that we approached for help has been impacted by this epidemic,” Gamble said.

Joe Gamble talks about “Talbot Goes Purple” at Celebration of Charity awards luncheon.

More than 190 people from the Eastern Shore, Anne Arundel and Calvert counties listened to stories of heartbreak and hope in the heroin and opioid epidemic. “This crisis is on everyone’s mind,” said Chesapeake Charities Executive Director Linda Kohler. “We thought it made sense to use our annual event as a kind of forum for the community to focus on solutions and share a message of encouragement and inspiration.” This was the 2nd annual Celebration of Charity event hosted by Chesapeake Charities.

The event program also included tributes to Bernie Fowler, Jr., founder of Farming4Hunger, as Philanthropist of the Year, and Samaritan House of Annapolis as Nonprofit of the Year. Fowler, who employs and trains former addicts and inmates to grow food and feed the hungry, was inspired to do something because of his painful experience with his daughter’s heroin addiction.

Mike Goldfaden, Executive Director of Samaritan House, heads up the men’s 25-bed long term residential recovery program. Goldfaden said there is at least a 30-day waiting list to get into Samaritan House and talked about their plans for doubling the size of the facility in 2018.

Keynote speaker Lisa Hillman told the story of her family’s experience with her son’s drug addiction and recovery. She advised families of addicts to tell someone about the problem and consider joining Al-Anon. Hillman pointed out critical areas for change: longer treatment times for addicts, more transitional housing to move addicts back into society, earlier education about addiction at the 5th, 6th and 7th grade levels

Chesapeake Charities Board Chair Audrey Scott announced that Chesapeake Charities has established The First Responders Fund to support heroin and opioid emergency response efforts for local fire, police, emergency and medical personnel. Provisions will include equipment, supplies and training needed to protect first responders. For more information about the fund or to apply for funding, contact info@chesapeakecharities.org.

A community foundation located in Stevensville, Chesapeake Charities supports a wide range of charitable causes including arts, education, health and human services, animal welfare, and the environment. All of its 85 component funds have a common cause – a passion for making a difference in their communities. Chesapeake Charities serves organizations in Anne Arundel, Calvert, Caroline, Charles, Dorchester, Kent, Queen Anne’s and Talbot counties. They have invested more than $9 million in the Chesapeake Bay region since 2005.

For more information, contact Chesapeake Charities at (410) 643-4020 or info@chesapeakecharities.org, or visit their website. Chesapeake Charities is accredited by the National Standards for U.S. Community Foundations.

(Photo credits: Executive Office of the Governor, Joe Andrucyk)

Casino Night Raises $12,000 for Health Foundation

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Community physician Michael Peimer, MD (right), and his wife, Fran, were among the guests at Casino Night.

UM Chester River Health Foundation’s “Shoot for the Stars” Casino Night fundraiser, held November 18 at the Garfield Center for the Arts, netted $12,000 in proceeds to benefit the patients served by University of Maryland Shore Medical Center at Chestertown.

“It was a very enjoyable and successful evening made possible by the support of many volunteers and the generous donations of our friends in the community,” said Maryann Ruehrmund, executive director of the Foundation.

Music was provided by Phil Dutton and the Alligators, who entertained guests with a variety of lively music from or about Louisiana and New Orleans. A host of celebrity “croupiers” — including hospital staff, community business leaders, and government officials — kept the action going at the tables so that guests had the opportunity to win prizes as well as keep themselves entertained.

At the close of the evening, guests cashed in their chips. Ken Noble was the high roller for the evening, earning 403,000 in chips, and was awarded a 55” Samsung UHD TV. Other prize winners included the following: Mel Rapelyea, MD, won $500 in the 50/50 raffle; Dan and Donna Saunders won the long weekend in the Foggy Bottom neighborhood of Washington; Charles Lerner won the $100 Chesapeake Inn gift certificate; and Christopher Parry, MD won the 20-bottle Divine Wine Basket.

Stu Seitz, director of UM Shore Nursing and Rehabilitation Center at Chestertown and master of ceremonies for “Shoot for the Stars,” said the event is an important fundraiser for the Foundation, as well as for people in the community who appreciate the hospital’s reputation for quality care. “We are really grateful for the time, effort and dollars that so many people contributed to this fun and worthwhile occasion,” said Seitz. “The proceeds will help us fund priority needs that enhance our hospital and the care it provides for our patients.”

Sandy Bjork, Chester River Health Foundation Board member, Carl Gallegos, UM CRHF Board Chair, Linda Burleson and Lisa Milton.

 

Chestertown Rotary Club Helps Fight Polio — with Soup!

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The big check!  Chestertown Rotary Club fights polio.

Eat to Your Health! Maryland Crab Soup Making a Global Impact for Polio

Chestertown Rotary Club recently did a “Soup and Sip” crab soup completion fundraiser for Rotary International’s End Polio Now project.

There was a real sense of comradery in the air as members of our community all came together for food, fellowship and to donate towards this important cause.

Local restaurants showed their support and competitive spirit in the soup competition, which included JRs/Lemon Leaf, Luisa’s Cucina Italiana, Chester River Yacht and Country Club, Uncle Charlie’s Bistro, Barbara’s on the Bay,  O’Connor’s Pub, The Fish Whistle and The Kitchen at the Imperial Hotel.

Best Maryland Crab Soup winner was Uncle Charlie’s Bistro. The award was presented to Chuck Minestero. Be sure to visit Uncle Charlie’s Bistro and celebrate your Maryland heritage with a cup of their soup.

Frank and Betty Bonass of O’Connor’s Pub – winner of Best Cream of Crab Soup 2017

Best Cream of Crab Soup was awarded to O’Connor’s Irish Pub! The award was presented to Frank and Betty Bonass, natives of Dublin, Ireland. Head on down to O’Connor’s to treat your taste buds to their delightful take on this Maryland classic.

Thank you also to Donati Vineyards donated a raffle basket which was won by Rebecca Heriz of Millington.

This event was a reminder of the power our small town community has to effect change across the world when we take the time to come together and give collectively.  Polio survivor, advocate and Rotarian John Nanni shared his story and had an information table about Polio.

Chestertown Rotary President Andrew Meehan presented a $1000 donation to District Governor Rich Graves and Polio Chair John Nanni to End Polio Now Rotary Foundation’s Polio Eradication project at their annual foundation dinner from the proceeds of the “Soup and Sip” event. Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s two-to-one match will turn this $1,000 donation into $3,000 toward Rotary’s polio eradication endgame.

Rotary, along with our partners, has reduced polio cases by 99.9 percent worldwide since our first project to vaccinate children in the Philippines in 1979.

To learn more about how you can join the Chestertown Rotary Club, come to a meeting at 12 noon on Tuesdays at the Fish Whistle.

Chuck Minestero (left) of Uncle Charlie’ Bistro – winner of Best Maryland Crab Soup 2017

Rebecca Heriz of Millington won the basket of wine donated by the Donati Family Vineyard at the Rotary Club event.

 

 

UM Shore Regional Health Shines Light on Lung Cancer Awareness Month

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University of Maryland Shore Regional Health Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Services team members recently teamed up with community partners from local health departments to Shine a Light on Lung Cancer Awareness Month by decorating and lighting a tree in UM Shore Medical Pavilion at Easton. UM SRH joins the estimated 200 communities to hold a “Shine the Light” event in partnership with the Lung Cancer Alliance (LCA).

Photo: Back row: (L-R) Katie Dadds, practice manager, Pulmonary Care at Easton & Chestertown, Greg Oliver, MD, Pulmonologist, Leigh Marquess, RN, director of Wellness Promotions, Caroline County Health Department, Brian Leutner, MBA, executive director, UM Shore Medical Center at Dorchester and UM Shore Regional Health Oncology Services, Gary Bigelow, regional director of Imaging, Cheryl Ruff, University of Maryland Community Medical Group, senior director of Operations, UM SRH, Timothy Shanahan, DO, regional medical director for Physician Services, UM Community Medical Group, Maranda LeCompte, RN, Tobacco Cessation Program –Dorchester County. Front row: Kristen Moore, Community Health Educator-Talbot County, Michele Williams, DNP, Oncology Nurse Practitioner and program coordinator, Lung Cancer Screening, Julie Jones, program coordinator, Tobacco Prevention and Cessation Program – Dorchester County. Not pictured: Amanda James, RN, Cessation Nurse –Talbot County.

In July 2017, UM SRH Cardiovascular and Pulmonary services launched a new lung cancer screening program overseen by Greg Oliver, MD, pulmonologist, and Michelle Williams, DNP, who is board-certified in oncology. Named a LCA Screening Center of Excellence, this program uses low-dose computed tomography scanning to find disease at the earliest possible stage.

For more information on UM SRH’s Lung Cancer Screening program please visit umshoreregional.org/lungcancerscreening

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.

For All Seasons Rape Crisis Grows Outreach in the Community

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Ivy Garcia, Director of the Rape Crisis Center and a Spanish Speaking Interpreter at For All Seasons.

The Rape Crisis Center at For All Seasons provides crisis support to our Mid-Shore’s English and Spanish speaking women, men and children who have been impacted by trauma, rape, and sexual assault. The team of five full time staff members and eight after hours’ staff provide support and guidance through crisis intervention, counseling and education 24 hours a day, seven days a week.  According to Ivy Garcia, Director of the Rape Crisis Center, “Our numbers have grown dramatically since I started at the Center 10 years ago and our agency has continued to work to meet the needs of the community.”

According to the Rape Abuse & Incest National Network, (RAINN), every 98 seconds, someone in America is sexually assaulted.  Garcia comments that For All Seasons offers 24 hours a day, seven days a week crisis response services for victims of rape and sexual assault in five counties on the Mid Shore, offering both English and Spanish emergency hotlines for the community. She adds, “While we are meeting the needs of the Mid Shore community, we also know that there are still barriers to reporting rape and sexual assault.  We are working to break down the stigma. We have expanded our outreach – working with community agencies to share information about the services we provide so more people will utilize our Center.”

The team at For All Seasons is comprised of trauma-certified advocates who help survivors make the choice that is best for them. This includes ensuring that each survivor is aware of their options for care; believing the survivor’s account of the assault; providing support and listening without judgement; and serving as a support. Specifically, the Rape Crisis Center provides support as survivors receive medical care, legal support, and crisis counseling, regardless of their ability to pay.

In addition to Ivy Garcia, members of the Rape Crisis Center team include Lauren Kirby, Victim Advocate and Outreach Educator; Elizabeth Jaramillo, Regional Navigator for Human Trafficking; Alberto Ardaya, Victim Advocate and Spanish Speaking Interpreter; and Maria D’Arcy, Victim Advocate and Case Manager.

Victims of trauma, sexual assault and abuse are connected to the Rape Crisis Center through the agency’s Rape Crisis hotline, referrals in the community, or by the Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner teams at the University of Maryland Shore Medical Centers at Easton, Cambridge or Chestertown.

When working with victims at the hospital, Advocates provide a comfort kit which includes items such as a change of clothes, personal hygiene items, a notebook for journaling and emergency food, and provide a safety check for the victim returning home. For All Seasons provides hotel stays when necessary to ensure a victim’s safety. For All Seasons then provides follow-up with the victim to offer advocacy services, which can include crisis and long-term counseling, legal support, and connection to law enforcement.

Garcia adds, “We are a victim’s advocate throughout the entire process.  No one has to go through this alone.”

The English Hotline is 410-820-5600 or 1-800-310-7273. Para Español llame o envíe un mensaje de texto al 410-829-6143. For further information, visit forallseasonsinc.org.

For All Seasons offers individual and group therapy, general, child and adolescent therapy, marriage and couples counseling, grief counseling, school-based mental health therapy, urgent care services, Rape Crisis Response, Rape Crisis Counseling and Support, 24-Hour English and Spanish Hotlines, and education and outreach programming. For further information about For All Seasons, call 410-822-1018.

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.

For All Seasons Receives Speer Grant

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For All Seasons recently received a $30,000 grant from The Speer Trust, an Administrative Commission of the New Castle Presbytery, to support residents on the Mid Shore, including Kent County. The grant will help families to have access to mental health services regardless of their ability to pay and victims of rape and sexual assault to continue to receive a rapid support and advocacy response and have opportunities for ongoing mental health treatment.

According to Beth Anne Langrell, Executive Director of For All Seasons, “Even with the Affordable Care Act, the reality is that co-payments have skyrocketed in the past several years and families cannot afford these co-payments for mental health care. We believe that families shouldn’t have to choose between food on the table and mental health care – families and communities are healthier and safer when everyone who needs mental health care gets it.”

Pictured L-R are Bob Schminkey, Stated Clerk for New Castle Presbytery, Pastor Sara Holben, Presbyterian Church of Chestertown, and Beth Anne Langrell, Executive Director of For All Seasons, Inc.

One focus of the grant will be to reach out to the community, including the Chestertown Presbyterian Church, to ensure that everyone knows about mental health needs and sexual assault prevention and awareness activities. In addition, For All Seasons will also offer general education sessions on topics such as grief, attachment, trauma, and coping.

The Speer Trust is an Administrative Commission of the New Castle Presbytery, funding $6 million of programs in Delaware and the Eastern Shore of MD over the past 32 years and $8 million worldwide. The Speer Trust is a bequest from the estate of George I. And Lizzie F. Speer of Wilmington, Delaware, received by the Presbytery of New Castle in 1985 and earmarked for mission with people who are poor and oppressed. The Presbytery, through the use of the Speer Trust, is committed to empowering people who are marginalized, in every culture, and addressing root cause of poverty.

According to Bob Schminkey, Stated Clerk for New Castle Presbytery, “New Castle Presbytery is excited to partner with For All Seasons in supporting and expanding your mental health advocacy throughout the Eastern Shore. We look forward to our local congregations joining with you to build safe and healthy communities where health services are accessible to all.”

Langrell adds, “We are thrilled with the opportunity this grant provides in helping those who have entrusted us with their care to be empowered and nurtured on their journey to wellness.”

For All Seasons offers individual and group therapy, general, child and adolescent therapy, marriage and couples counseling, grief counseling, school-based mental health therapy, urgent care services, Rape Crisis Response, Rape Crisis Counseling and Support, 24-Hour English and Spanish Hotlines, and education and outreach programming. For further information about For All Seasons, call 410-822-1018. For the 24-Hour Crisis Hotline, call Toll-Free: 800-310-7273.

Hospice Services to Expand in Kent County

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Compass Regional Hospice

By early 2018 residents of Kent County will have a residential hospice center close to home. As part of an agreement between Compass Regional Hospice and University of Maryland Shore Regional Health, Compass began leasing a unit on the third floor at the University of Maryland Medical Center at Chestertown located at 100 Brown Street.

A renovation plan has been developed to transform the vacant unit into a four-bed residential hospice center and is scheduled to open for patient care following months of construction. The newly renovated facility will offer an alternative for Kent County hospice patients who want the security of medical care around the clock but prefer the comfort of a home-like environment.

As Compass Regional Hospice has grown into its role as a regional hospice provider and having considered the current and future needs of the communities served, it became apparent that more convenient access to hospice care was needed in Kent County that included residential hospice beds, much like the Hospice Center in Centreville and the Caroline Hospice Home in Denton.

“We are excited to be able to expand the service we have already been providing in Kent County since becoming the sole provider of hospice services in 2014,” said Heather Guerieri, executive director, Compass Regional Hospice. “Now, in addition to providing hospice care in private residences, nursing homes and assisted living facilities, we will have a four-bed residential hospice center for people who choose routine or continuous levels of care.”

Guerieri added, “We are most grateful to UM Shore Regional Health for helping us respond to the end-of-life needs of Kent County hospice patients and their loved ones through their collaborative efforts and facilitating the lease with Compass, and we will continue to work closely with UM Shore Regional Health when patients are ready to move on to hospice care.”

Compass Regional Hospice will be responsible for providing all aspects of hospice patient care— staffing the unit 24 hours a day, seven days a week and overseeing its operations. Admission to the residential hospice center will be based on greatest need and priority will be given to Kent County residents. Room and board fees billed from Compass are on a sliding scale based on the patient’s ability to pay. Hospital patients who are deemed suitable for admission to residential hospice care must first be discharged from the hospital according to hospital discharge procedures, then admitted to hospice care according to normal hospice admission procedures.

“Compass Regional Hospice provides exemplary hospice care.  Providing space for them to expand hospice services in our community ensures our citizens have the services they need most, close to home,” said Ken Kozel, president and CEO, UM Shore Regional Health. “That’s why we at UM Shore Regional Health are very pleased to collaborate with Compass Regional Hospice on a lease agreement, creating an important opportunity to ensure that ‘the right care, in the right place at the right time’ is available to Kent County hospice patients for whom in-home care is not recommended.”

As a non-profit, Compass Regional Hospice depends on donations from the community to close the gap between the actual cost of providing patient care and reimbursement received from Medicare, Medicaid and private insurance. Reimbursement does not include room and board at our hospice centers, grief support services offered through the Hope & Healing Center for families of hospice patients and members of the community grieving the loss of a loved one and other patient care services such as the Bridges program.

For more information or to become a hospice supporter, call Compass Regional Hospice at 443-262-4100 or visit the hospice website.