Chestertown Rotary Club Will Honor “Save Our Hospital” Advocacy Group

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The Chestertown Rotary Club will honor the Save Our Hospital advocacy group as the recipient of the inaugural Dr. Paul Titsworth Service Award. Named in honor of an esteemed former president of Washington College who in 1926 served as the founding president of the Chestertown Rotary Club, the Dr. Paul Titsworth Service Award will recognize those whose charity and contributions to the community exemplify the Rotary motto of “Service Above Self.”

Inaugural award will be presented at Feb. 27 luncheon; co-chair of State rural health care study, Deborah Mizeur, to provide a legislative update.

Andy Meehan, president of the Chestertown Rotary Club, said “club members have been impressed by the dedication and diplomacy exhibited by the leadership group of Save Our Hospital as it guided the public discourse and pursued a constructive dialogue with decision-makers in the medical community and government.”  It was the public concern expressed by Save Our Hospital that sparked the State Legislature to create a study of rural health care delivery in Maryland. “The citizens of Kent and Queen Anne’s Counties are profoundly fortunate to have amongst us leaders with such fortitude, integrity, and grace,” said Meehan. “The Chestertown Rotary Club is proud to recognize Save Our Hospital for its extraordinary efforts.”

The formal presentation of the award will take place during a special luncheon at the Fish Whistle Restaurant (98 Cannon Street in Chestertown) on Tuesday, February 27, beginning at noon sharp.  Dr. Jerry O’Connor, the general surgeon who galvanized his fellow physicians and alerted the community to potential cutbacks (including the threatened loss of inpatient beds) at University of Maryland’s Shore Medical Center at Chestertown, will accept the award on behalf of Save Our Hospital.

Following the award presentation, Deborah Mizeur, who co-chaired the Maryland Rural Health Care Delivery Work Group, will provide a legislative update on the rural health care bills now being considered in Annapolis and how they might impact the hospital and health services in Kent and Queen Anne’s counties

Limited seating is available for members of the public. An admission fee of $20 will include a classic buffet-style meal.  To check on seat availability and/or reserve a seat by no later than February 22, please email Andy Meehan at ameehan12@gmail.com.

Community Invited to Tour Hospice Center on February 21

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On Wednesday, February 21 at 3:30 p.m., Compass Regional Hospice is hosting an open house to celebrate the opening of the Hospice Center at 100 Brown Street in Chestertown. Following the ribbon cutting ceremony guests are invited for tours until 5:30 p.m. Compass staff will be on hand to answer questions about hospice care and grief support services available in Kent County. Light refreshments will be served.

Compass Regional Hospice leases a unit on the third floor of the University of Maryland Shore Medical Center at Chestertown from University of Maryland Shore Regional Health. After months of renovations, Compass transformed the unit into a comfortable, medically supportive alternative for patients who need around-the-clock care. The staff of Compass Regional Hospice provides all patient care at the Hospice Center. The four-bed residential hospice center is scheduled to open for patient care in the coming weeks.

“Opening the Hospice Center allows us to expand the services we have been providing,” says Heather Guerieri, executive director, Compass Regional Hospice. “We are excited to bring a new, and much- needed level of ‘Care on your terms’ to the residents of Kent County.”

Compass Regional Hospice has been providing hospice care and grief support services in Kent County since becoming the sole provider of hospice care in 2014. When the Hospice Center opens, Compass Regional Hospice will staff the facility twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, and continue providing hospice care in private residences, nursing homes and assisted living facilities.

Guerieri adds, “We are grateful to UM Shore Regional Health for helping us to respond to the end-of-life needs of Kent County patients and their loved ones through facilitating the lease with Compass. We also want to thank the many people of our community who have donated their time, materials and expertise to make it possible for us to renovate the unit into the Hospice Center.”

Guests are asked to use the main entrance where they will be greeted by a Compass representative and directed to the Hospice Center on the third floor.

For more information about the February 21 Hospice Center open house or to RSVP, contact Kristen Majchrzak, development assistant, 443-262-4126kmajchrzak@compassregionalhospice.org. To become a hospice supporter in Kent County, contact Kenda Leager, development officer, 443-262-4106kleager@compassregionalhospice.org.

Compass Regional Hospice – Care on your terms

 Compass Regional Hospice is a fully licensed, independent, community-based nonprofit organization certified by Medicare and the State of Maryland, and accredited by the Joint Commission. Since 1985, Compass Regional Hospice has been dedicated to supporting people of all ages through the challenge of living with a life-limiting illness and learning to live following the death of a loved one. Today the organization is a regional provider of hospice care and grief support in Queen Anne’s, Kent and Caroline counties. “Care on your terms” is the promise that guides staff and volunteers as they care for patients in private residences, nursing homes, assisted living facilities and the residential hospice centers in Centreville, Chestertown and Denton. Grief support services are offered to children, adults and families of patients who died under hospice care, as well as members of the community who are grieving the loss of a loved one through The Hope & Healing Center. For more information about Compass Regional Hospice, visit compassregionalhospice.org.

Safe Sitter Class Set for February 24 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, February 24, 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 Nurse Assumes New Role in Changing Health Care Landscape

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Angela Pritzlaff, Transitional Nurse Navigator

Over more than two decades serving health care needs in Kent County, Angela Pritzlaff, RN worked in various units at UM Shore Medical Center at Chestertown and also for UM Chester River Home Care. Last August, she joined the new Care Transitions Program at UM Shore Regional Health (UM SRH) as one of four transitional nurse navigators who are working with patients in the health care network’s three hospitals.

UM SRH launched the Care Transitions Program in 2017 to help reduce the number of people with avoidable or unplanned readmissions to the hospital within 30 days of discharge. People with COPD, as well as people with congestive heart failure and pneumonia, are at high risk of readmission, so the new program has focused primarily on “high risk” patients with those diagnoses. When these patients arrive for emergency care or are admitted to the hospital, a transitional nurse navigator (TNN) tracks their care and works closely with their primary care provider and other specialists — and also with family members or other loved ones — to help make sure they will have everything they need when they are discharged.

As a TNN, Pritzlaff helps patients and their caregivers plan to manage their health once outside the walls of the hospital. As she explains, “I gather the information I need to anticipate the full range of issues that might land a patient back in the hospital —problems with medications, psychological issues, his or her main health condition and other health concerns, physical limitations, health literacy, family support, prior hospitalizations and the possible need for a palliative care evaluation. Every patient is unique and their family and life circumstances vary widely, so the obstacles or challenges they might encounter in returning to their home environment differ from one patient to another.”

Depending on a patient’s particular needs, Pritzlaff may schedule follow-up appointments with primary care doctors and specialists, and assist with transportation arrangements if needed. She also is likely to spend some time educating the patient and/or family members about the patient’s health condition and what to do if problems arise after discharge, as well as helping them obtain, understand and manage their medications. “In many cases, a patient’s prescriptions will change during the hospital stay and it’s really important to make sure that the right medicines are taken once he or she gets home,” she says.

Pritzlaff follows up with phone calls to her patients and in some cases, home visits. In the case of patients who are discharged to a skilled nursing, rehab or other residential care facility, she connects with staff there to make sure that the correct medications as well as needed equipment and supplies are available promptly, that meals provided meet patients’ dietary needs, and that timely transportation to and from doctors’ appointments will be arranged.

“It’s really gratifying work,” says Pritzlaff. “Often I am assisting patients and families I have encountered in my previous nursing positions, so there is a sense of familiarity and a true continuum of care that I think people in a small community value.”

According to Nancy Bedell, MBA, RN, regional director of care coordination for UM SRH, the Transitional Nurse Navigator Program is a key population health initiative that supports the organization’s mission of Creating Healthier Communities Together. “The goal here is to help people be well and to take care of themselves and their families,” Bedell says.

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.

UM SRH Adjusts Visitor Policy to Help Prevent Spread of the Flu

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Due to a high level of Influenza cases in the region and statewide, University of Maryland Shore Regional Health is implementing a revised visitor policy to protect the health and safety of patients, staff, visitors and the community during flu season.

Effective Thursday, February 1:

• No one under the age of 18, except the parent of a patient, is permitted to visit inpatient units within UM Shore Regional Medical Centers.

• Do not bring children under 18 with you for emergency, outpatient or doctor visits, unless the appointment is for the child

• Only two (2) adult visitors are allowed per patient at a time.

• Visitors exhibiting flu symptoms — including fever, runny nose, cough or sore throat — are not permitted to visit patients in any UM Shore Regional Health facility.

“We appreciate the cooperation of our patients and visitors with these temporary measures, which are highly effective steps toward reducing the spread of the flu in our communities,” said Julie Bryan, RN, CIC, infection prevention coordinator for UM Shore Regional Health.

For more information and updates, please visit umshoreregional.org.

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 2,600 employees, medical staff, board members and volunteers work with various community partners to fulfill the organization’s mission of Creating Healthier Communities Together.

UM SMC Celebrates Cardiac Rehabilitation Week with Free Events

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Join University of Maryland Shore Medical Center at Chestertown (UM SMC Chestertown) during National Cardiac Rehabilitation Week, February 11-17, to celebrate the life-saving impact of cardiac rehabilitation. UM SMC Chestertown is hosting several events during the week for the public to honor the role of cardiac rehabilitation in reducing the potentially devastating effects of heart disease and improving quality of life for patients and their families. Events include:

– Monday, February 12, from 9-10am: Can Carbohydrates Hurt You? Presented by Mary King, RD

– Wednesday, February 14, 2-3pm: Yoga for a Healthy Heart, Yes Really! Presented by Fletcher Johnson from River Warrior Yoga

– Friday, February 16, 2-3pm: Using the Herbs and Spices from your Pantry for a Healthy Heart. Presented by Krista Lamoreaux from Herbal Alchemy

– Tuesday, February 27, 6:30-8pm: Roundtable interactive discussion on Women and Heart Health. Presenters include: Dr. Julia Belanger, family practice physician, Chrissy Nelson, RN, certified diabetes nurse, and Sherrie Hill, RN, cardiac rehabilitation nurse.

All programs are free, open to the public and will be held in the Conference Center located on the second floor of UM Shore Medical Center at Chestertown, 100 Brown Street. For planning purposes, please RSVP to Cardiac Rehab at 410-778-3300 ext. 2222 or sherrie.hill@umm.edu

Cardiac Rehabilitation Week, initiated by the American Association of Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Rehabilitation (AACVPR), coincides with both Valentine’s Day and American Heart Month in an effort to draw greater national attention to heart health. This year’s theme, “Making Positive Changes, One Beat at a Time,” honors the patients, families, and healthcare professionals who are dedicated to cardiac rehabilitation as a vehicle for a healthy lifestyle.

Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation programs are available at UM Shore Medical Centers at Chestertown, Dorchester and Easton, provide a safe and supervised setting for cardiac rehabilitation and pulmonary rehabilitation. Personal exercise programs are designed to help patients meet their specific goals using a wide selection of professional cardiovascular and resistance training equipment with built-in monitoring systems. For more information on this program please visit: www.umshoreregional.org/cardiac_rehab

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.

Community Forum Planned for Opioid Crisis

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A public forum on the opioid crisis is scheduled from 1 to 4 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 25 in the Hynson Lounge at Washington College in Chestertown.

The free community event includes information on recovery, mental health issues and substance use disorder from a panel of experts and people in long-term recovery. The intent is to hold an open discussion on the opioid issue and provide answers to questions from the community.

“Education is an important part of fighting opioid abuse here in our communities,” said Annette Duckery, alcohol and other drugs prevention coordinator with Kent County Behavioral Health. “This forum not only provides crucial information about the opioid issue, it also offers hope to anyone affected by substance use disorder, through personal stories of recovery. “

Speakers on the panel include: Chestertown Mayor Chris Cerino; Jen Moore, program manager monitor for the Kent County Local Management Board; Tim Dove, local addictions authority for Kent County Behavioral Health (KCBH); community health outreach workers with KCBH Rachel Goss and Rani Gutting and Chrissy Chisolm, executive director of Foundations of Recovery and owner of the Mission House.

“We’re excited to get all of these people in one room to talk about the crisis and, in effect, to start an open and real conversation,” said Leslie Sea, general manager with local radio station WCTR. The forum is presented by WCTR and will air on WCTR and later as a podcast online at wctr.com.

For more information on alcohol and other drug use and misuse prevention, contact Duckery at 410-778-7918 or visit www.KentHD.org.

The Kent County Behavioral Health Prevention Office helps community groups, agencies and individuals in providing programs and activities to prevent alcohol and other drug abuse, and to build a healthier community.

Bonnie Hilghman Cancer Fund Continues Support for Wellness for Women Program

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University of Maryland Memorial Hospital Foundation received a donation of $9,000 from the Bonnie Hilghman Cancer Fund, in support of its 2017 golf tournament benefiting the Clark Comprehensive Breast Center at University of Maryland Shore Regional Health. Proceeds from the tournament, which took place in September, 2017, support the Wellness for Women community outreach program, which promotes screening and patient education for early detection of breast cancer.

Front row: Wellness for Women community outreach workers Maria D’Arcy, Mattie Fountain and Jane Escher, community outreach workers; back row, Duane Hilghman, Brian Leutner, executive director, UM SRH Oncology Services, and F. Graham Lee, UM SRH vice president, philanthropy.

The mission of the Bonnie Hilghman Cancer Fund is to help nonprofit organizations that provide services to cancer patients, including chemotherapy, necessary medications, transportation costs, child care, housekeeping and nursing care. Since 2005, the Fund has given more than $100, 000 in grants to help residents in the five-county region served by UM Shore Regional Health who are fighting cancer.

“We cannot overstate the importance of the Bonnie Hilghman Cancer Fund’s ongoing support for cancer screening services and patient education,” said Graham Lee, vice president, philanthropy, for UM Shore Regional Health. “Annual contributions from the Fund have helped thousands of women benefit from early detection screenings and patient education that are so important to survival.”

For more information, contact Duane Hilghman, 410-310-7696 or dhilghman@verizon.net.

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.

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.