Compass Regional Hospice Hosts Free Screening of “Being Mortal”


Compass Regional Hospice will host a free, community screening of the documentary “Being Mortal” on Thursday, February 23, 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., Todd Performing Arts Center at Chesapeake College, 1000 College Circle in Wye Mills. After the screening, audience members can participate in a guided conversation led by Sharon Loving, Supervisor of Support Services, Compass Regional Hospice, on how to take concrete steps to identify and communicate wishes about end-of-life goals and preferences. Following the guided conversation there will be light refreshments and a time of fellowship.

“Being Mortal” delves into the hopes of patients and families facing terminal illness. The film investigates the practice of caring for the dying and explores the relationships between patients and their doctors. It follows a surgeon, Dr. Atul Gawande, as he shares stories from the people and families he encounters. When Dr. Gawande’s own father gets cancer, his search for answers about how best to care for the dying becomes a personal quest. The film sheds light on how a medical system focused on a cure often leaves out the sensitive conversations that need to happen so a patient’s true wishes can be known and honored at the end.

“Being Mortal” underscores the importance of people planning ahead and talking with family members about end-of-life decisions.

Seventy percent of Americans say they would prefer to die at home, but nearly 70 percent die in hospitals and institutions. Ninety percent of Americans know they should have conversations about end-of-life care, yet only 30 percent have done so.

In February 2015, “Being Mortal” aired nationally on the PBS program “Frontline.” For more information about the film, visit The film is adapted from Dr. Gawande’s 2014 nationally best-selling book of the same name. More information about the book is at

The free screening is made possible by a grant from The John and Wauna Harman Foundation in partnership with the Hospice Foundation of America.

For more information and to RSVP to the free screening of “Being Mortal,” contact Allison Wood, awood@compassregionalhospice. org, 443-262-4117.

Around The Senior Nation: Trump Appointees Show Age Doesn’t Matter by Bill Rolle


Never say you’re too old. Check the ages of many of President-Elect Donald J. Trump’s in-coming administration. It’s shaping up to be the oldest administration in modern history. Trump is the oldest person to be elected President at age 70.

Other seniors in the administration will include Ben Carson, Nominee for Secretary of Housing and Urban Development (65), Gen. John Kelly, Nominee for Secretary of Homeland Security (66), Gen. James Mattis, Nominee for Secretary of Defense (66), Rick Perry, Nominee for Secretary of Energy (66), Andrew Puzder, Nominee for Secretary of Labor (66), Wilbur Ross, Nominee for Secretary of Commerce (79), and Rex Tillerson, Nominee for Secretary of State (64). Each of them has reached the age to be eligible for retirement. Does it matter? Doesn’t appear so. It’s more a state of mind.

ENT Physician Laurie Porter, DO, Serves Patients in Chestertown


For Laurie Porter, DO, the first Wednesday in December was her first clinic day seeing Ear-Nose-Throat (ENT) patients in Chestertown.

porter_laurie“What I look forward to with my work in Chestertown is serving a population that needs these services right here,” says Dr. Porter. “There has been a need to have a practitioner in Kent County to serve patients who otherwise would have to travel some distance to see an ENT doctor, and I am glad that I will be able to do that.”

With Timothy Schneider, MD and Morris Effron, MD, Dr. Porter is a practitioner with University of Maryland Community Group – Otolaryngology. Beginning in January, 2017, she will see patients by appointment at UM Shore Medical Pavilion at Chestertown and will schedule surgeries at UM Shore Medical Center at Chestertown. Because she treats all types of ENT problems, her patients range in age from newborns to centenarians.

“I see a wide range of ENT issues – hearing problems, allergies, and many throat problems,” she says. “To avoid hearing problems people need to understand how important it is to have their ear health checked every year along with their other health checkups.”

Kent County and the surrounding region are home to many allergens and wide seasonal variability, notes Dr. Porter. For patients with allergies, determining the source and developing a treatment plan that provides relief from symptoms making her patients comfortable are her primary concerns.

Regarding throat problems, Dr. Porter says, “People who smoke or drink alcohol heavily have a 1,000 times greater risk of developing head and neck cancer.” She advises reducing smoking and drinking habits to lower that risk. For patients wishing to lower their risk of throat problems associated with gastrointestinal issues, she advises developing a healthy diet.

Prior to joining UM Shore Regional Health in 2011, Dr. Porter practiced for 10 years at The New England Center for Ear, Nose, and Throat Surgery in Nashua, New Hampshire. She earned her doctoral degree from the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine and completed internships at University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (UMDNJ) and Temple East, Northeastern Hospital in Philadelphia, as well as her residency in otolaryngology, surgery and facial plastic surgery at UMDNJ.

Fishing is one of the activities Dr. Porter and her husband especially enjoy about living on Maryland’s Eastern Shore.

“I grew up in western Pennsylvania where I fished for bass on the Allegheny River. I have fished on the Bay, and I love catching rockfish,” she says. “I am now looking forward to doing some rockfish tournaments. All I need to know is where the good fishing hot spots are!”

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.

Senior Nation Notes: Communication Styles Of Men and Women



Lynn L. West, PhDc, LCPC questions in the December 2016 issue of “Your Health” why men and women often have trouble discussing and resolving issues of conflict between them.

She suggests that the answer might be found in neuroscience studies of differences in male and female brains. She reports studies show, on average, male brains are slightly larger, by five ounces, than an adult female brain. However, female brains comprise much more white matter tissue in volume than male brains do.

The brain pathways located in the white matter cells are rich connections to emotional centers of the brain, which suggests that the reason females are tied more to emotions as part of their experience is due to their white matter dominance and the areas of the brain that women use.

Males, on the other hand, primarily process their experiences through the gray matter or association cortex areas of the prefrontal cortex, which involves facts rather than emotional connections.

When women want to discuss an issue, their discussion almost always includes the issue and a lot of emotional content involving their feelings. Interestingly, men have learned over time that the women’s emotional reaction is a reflection of something the man is doing. That is, women are looking for a change in a man’s behavior when they discuss an issue.

Men want to avoid emotionality and will adjust their behavior until they notice the woman showing signs that she is happy again and not angry with them. Men, as a group, learned to avoid blame and manage a woman’s emotional discharges by adjusting their behavior (not changing it). When the man’s behavior continues, a woman might say, “He just doesn’t get it.” The answer is often found to be that the issue has not been addressed, because it gets drowned out in the emotional expression.

Another area of misunderstanding for women is when they ask a man to help them do something that is outside of the normal routine of expectations for the man.

Women ask other women, all the time, to assist them in some way by lending hand to what needs to be done. Men want to be acknowledged for going above and beyond what is normally expected of them. Women do not understand this dynamic because women operate differently.

Men will do what is asked, one time, and expect appreciation every time they do something extra. Women learning this principle will make communication much easier and help to resolve conflicts.

Shore Homesteading Series Presents “Alone in the Wilderness” December 1


alone-in-the-wildnernessEver want to retire from the rat race and live off the grid? On Thursday, December 1, the Shore Homesteading Series continues with the film, “Alone in the Wilderness,” about Dick Proenneke, who did just that in 1967 at age 50. The film begins at 6:30 pm at Sumner Hall, 206 South Queen St., Chestertown.

Proenneke ventured into the Aleutian Peninsula in Alaska, selected a home site, built his own cabin in the wilderness, and subsisted on his garden’s produce and wild-gathered food.  The film, which was shot by Proenneke himself, shows a year of his adventure: the day-to-day activities and passing of seasons, with minimal human contact.

The 2016 series concludes December 3, with “Buck, Buck, Moose,” a presentation and book signing by Hank Shaw. He is the author of “How to Get the Most From Your Venison.” The presentation runs from 3 to 4 pm, at Litrenta Lecture Hall, Washington College.

The Homesteading Series lectures, demonstrations and films are free and open to the public.  The series is curated by Margo Bailey and the Chestertown Environmental Committee, and is sponsored by the Town of Chestertown.  For more information, and to see the full schedule, go to

Compass Regional Hospice Hosts Candlelight Remembrance Service


Compass Regional Hospice will host the annual Candlelight Remembrance Service on Wednesday, December 7. The service begins at 5:00 p.m. at the Emmanuel Episcopal Church, 101 N. Cross St., Chestertown. 

We invite you, your family and friends to help us honor and remember your loved ones. The centerpiece of the Candlelight Remembrance Service is the reading of the names of Compass Regional Hospice patients who have passed away in the past 13 months. Members of the community are also invited to bring the names of their loved ones whom they would like to be remembered during the holiday season. A time of fellowship and light refreshments will follow the service. The service is free and open to the public.

For more information about the Candlelight Remembrance Service, contact Ann OConnor, 443- 262-4100,

Compass Regional Hospice Hosts Survivor Day at the Hope & Healing Center


On Saturday, November 19 Compass Regional Hospice will host Survivor Day at the Hope and Healing Center located at 255 Comet Drive in Centreville from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.  Survivor Day, an International Survivors of Suicide Loss Day, is recognized by the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.  Compass Regional Hospice invites anyone in the community affected by suicide loss to join us in finding comfort and gain understanding as they share stories of healing and hope.

This workshop will include discussions and small break-out groups lead by Compass Regional Hospice staff Rhonda Knotts, MCC, Bereavement Coordinator and Wayne Larrimore, M. Ed, Bereavement Counselor, as well as Patricia Kotzen, an affiliate of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. A screening of Life Journeys: Reclaiming Life after Loss, a new AFSP-produced Survivor Day documentary that traces the grief and healing journey that follows a suicide loss over time will also be shown. A light lunch will be provided.

There is no cost for this workshop. For more information and to RSVP for Survivor Day, contact Rhonda Knotts, 443-262-4109, Learn more about the Hope & Healing Center grief support programs at www.compassregionalhospice. org/hopeandhealing.

Homestead Manor Assisted Living Honors Veterans


In honor of Veteran’s Day Homestead Manor Assisted Living is hosting a free crab cake luncheon for all veterans and anyone considering assisted living on Thursday, November 10th at noon. The luncheon will feature a short presentation along with a guided tour of the newly remodeled resident suites followed by the crab cake luncheon. Reserve your space today by calling Michelle Pepper at 410-479-2273.

This is the second annual Veteran’s Day luncheon Homestead Manor has hosted to honor veteran’s and raise awareness of their assisted living facility. “We liked to honor our veteran’s by hosting this luncheon and information session. Many veterans and their families feel they cannot afford assisted living or even know there is assisted living support provided by VA said Christine Harrington, Executive Director.

Homestead Manor Assisted Living is founded on the principles of acceptance, compassion, care, and love, Homestead Manor is an assisted living facility dedicated to providing a caring community environment across all levels of care associated with retirement living. Our mission is to support independence, comfort, dignity and safety in an individualized home-like setting resulting in a high quality life experience.

About Homestead Manor Assisted Living
Homestead Manor Assisted Living offers personalized care for your loved one. Over 50 spacious resident suites, each with their own private patio and fully accessible bathrooms. State of the art infrastructure through Care Tracker and Medication Management assures your love one is well taken care of along with on-site doctor visits and physical therapy. Residents enjoy a full range of activities and social activities so they can live life in full bloom. Homestead Manor is located at 410 Colonial Drive, Denton, MD 21629 For more information call 410-479-CARE(2273) or

UM Shore Regional Health Welcomes New Therapists to Rehabilitation Services


Jenny Perrin, occupational therapist

University of Maryland Shore Regional Health’s Comprehensive Rehabilitation Services recently welcomed occupational therapist Jenny Perrin and physical therapist Lopa Chitalia to the outpatient rehab team. Both Perrin and Chitalia will be working at UM SRH Rehabilitation Center at Cambridge and The Balance Center.

Perrin holds a master’s degree in occupational therapy from Mount Mary University in Milwaukee Wisconsin.She has experience in several areas of examination and treatment, and is pursuing certification as alymphedema therapist. Her areas of experience include acute management in stroke, cardiac careand oncology. Prior to her OT experience, Perrin practiced massage therapy. Perrin will split her time providing acute care therapy services at UM Shore Medical Center at Dorchester.


Lopa Chitalia, physical therapist

A graduate of University of Pittsburgh, with a master’s in physicaltherapy, Chitalia is well versed in a broad range of examination, evaluation and management for restoring function. Her areas of experience include cardio-pulmonary, pediatric, orthopedic, neurologic and bariatric therapy. She was previously employed by Baltimore Orthopedics and Rehabilitation where she conducted monthly staff trainings for fall prevention and safe transfers

UM Shore Regional Health offers diverse outpatient rehabilitation services in Cambridge, Denton, Easton and Queenstown. For more information, contact Frank Rath, 410-822-1000, ext. 7641 or visit

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.