The University of Maryland Shore Medical Center at Chestertown’s Mobile Wellness Team is one of 18 organizations in Caroline, Dorchester and Kent counties awarded $5,000 grants in April 2022 by the Mid Shore Health Improvement Coalition. The Mobile Wellness Team requested the grant funds to create produce gardens at local schools, churches, residential care communities, YMCAs and senior centers, and at organizations serving persons with disabilities and those in recovery from substance abuse.
The grants are supported by state funding to the Caroline, Dorchester and Kent county health departments. These counties rank among the five Maryland counties with the highest adult obesity rates. Overall, they have higher poverty rates, less access to healthy foods and exercise opportunities, lower rates of physical activity, and higher rates of diabetes than elsewhere in Maryland.
In the past few weeks, the Chestertown Mobile Wellness Team worked with community partners and volunteers to establish raised-bed gardens in four Kent County locations: Chesapeake Villa in Rock Hall, D’s Place and My Abode in Worton, and Hope Community Alliance at Rock Hall Church of God in Edesville. The gardens will be tended by local residents and other volunteers.
“Planting the gardens was joyous for the participants and Mobile Wellness Team members,” said Emily Welsh, BSN, RN, Nurse Coordinator of the Mobile Wellness Team. “The smiles and gratitude of the residents at these locations were infectious. The gardens will be a great way to spark conversations about nutrition, healthy eating and staying active. We are especially thankful to the Mill of Kingstown Garden Center — their team has bent over backwards to support this project.”
Since its inception in November 2021, the Mobile Wellness Team has served46 patients and provided more than 150 home visits. Team members have also provided home safety inspections, assistance with advanced directives, telehealth appointments and remote patient monitoring. The team has organized health education programs at area senior centers and participated in community festivals, resource fairs and food bank projects. The MWT “Wellness Walkers” group now convenes weekly for indoor walking at the YMCA in Chestertown.
“The Mobile Wellness Team is taking health education and wellness care out into our local communities, working with community partners to help people learn strategies and obtain resources that will help them maintain their best health,” said Nancy Bedell, MBA, RN, Shore Regional Health’s Director of Population Health. “With warmer weather settling in, look for the Mobile Wellness Team’s table at farmers markets and other community events, and find out about the many services they provide for Kent County residents.”
For information regarding Mobile Wellness Team services, call Emily Welsh, 410-778-3300, ext. 5644
About University of Maryland 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 2,200 employees, medical staff, board members and volunteers works with various community partners to fulfill the organization’s mission of Creating Healthier Communities Together.
About the University of Maryland Medical System
The University of Maryland Medical System (UMMS) is a university-based regional health care system focused on serving the health care needs of Maryland, bringing innovation, discovery and research to the care we provide and educating the state’s future physician and health care professionals through our partnership with the University of Maryland School of Medicine and University of Maryland, Baltimore professional schools (Nursing, Pharmacy, Social Work and Dentistry) in Baltimore. As one of the largest private employers in the State, the health system’s more than 29,500 employees and 4,000 affiliated physicians provide primary and specialty care in more than 150 locations, including 12 hospitals and 9 University of Maryland Urgent Care centers. The UMMS flagship academic campus, the University of Maryland Medical Center in downtown Baltimore, is recognized regionally and nationally for excellence and innovation in specialized care. Our acute care and specialty rehabilitation hospitals serve urban, suburban and rural communities and are located in 13 counties across the State. For more information, visit www.umms.org.