UM SRH Cancer Center to Host Women’s Only Event on April 29

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The Cancer Center at University of Maryland Shore Regional Health is hosting a free event for women who are in treatment or recovery from treatment for cancer from 4 to 6 p.m. Monday, April 29, at the Cancer Center, 509 Idlewild Ave., Easton.

According to organizer Patty Plaskon, oncology social worker at the Cancer Center, “For Women Only” is intended to offer support and information to women in the community who are living with cancer, in treatment for cancer or in recovery from treatment for cancer. “The event also will be a safe place for women in similar situations to draw support from one another and form meaningful connections that inspire hope through a difficult experience,” Plaskon says.

The For Women Only event will feature a Women’s Boutique to include bras, prosthetic bathing suits, summer and lounge wear, and more; presenters from “Feel More Like You,”Walgreen’s recently-launched cosmetic program for cancer patients; and information on cancer survivorship topics such as living with lymphedema, sexual health after cancer and local support groups.

Presenters include Elisa Lawson with The Women’s Boutique; Walgreens staff, including Mikayla Reynolds, a beauty consultant with the Walgreens Feel More Like You program; and UM SRH staff, including lymphedema specialist Jennifer Pierson, oncology nurse Chanelle Lake and Patty Plaskon.

The Walgreens Feel More Like You program is a first-of-its-kind pharmacy and beauty service that helps cancer patients manage the medical and physical changes associated with cancer treatment. Beauty consultants are specially trained to provide advice and support tailored toward a patient’s unique needs.Feel More Like You offers expert pharmacist advice, as well as on-demand beauty information and product tutorials to help patients adapt their beauty routines to navigate the visible changes resulting from cancer treatment.

For more information about the Cancer Center at UM Shore Regional Health’s April 29 event or to RSVP, please call 410-820-6800.

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 Shore Regional Health Earns Joint Commission Gold Seal of Approval

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University of Maryland Shore Regional Health has announced that it has earned The Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval® for Hospital Accreditation by demonstrating continuous compliance with its performance standards. A symbol of quality that reflects an organization’s commitment to providing safe and effective patient care, the Gold Seal of Approval® applies to UM Shore Regional Health’s three hospitals, Shore Emergency Center at Queenstown, the Cancer Center, two home care agencies,  two ambulatory surgery centers, and inpatient and outpatient behavioral health programs.

UM Shore Regional Health underwent a rigorous, unannounced onsite survey in November, 2018. During the review, a team of Joint Commission expert surveyors evaluated compliance at all sites with standards related to several areas, including emergency management, environment of care, infection prevention and control, leadership, and medication management.

“UM Shore Regional Health is pleased to achieve re-accreditation from The Joint Commission, the premier health care quality improvement and accrediting body in the nation,” said Ken Kozel, president and CEO. “Team members from our three hospitals and many outpatient facilities throughout the five county region we serve work together to adopt and implement best-practice approaches that will improve care for our patients and enhance the health of our communities. I am grateful to our Medical Staff and volunteers, our Board, and staff members at all levels of our organization for their continued commitment to making Shore Regional Health ‘Where the Health of the Eastern Shore Comes First.’”

The Joint Commission has accredited hospitals for more than 60 years. More than 4,000 general, children’s, long-term acute, psychiatric, rehabilitation and specialty hospitals currently maintain Joint Commission accreditation, which is awarded for a three-year period. In addition, approximately 360 critical access hospitals maintain accreditation through a separate program. The Joint Commission’s hospital standards are developed in consultation with health care experts and providers, measurement experts and patients. The standards are informed by scientific literature and expert consensus to help hospitals measure, assess and improve performance

“Joint Commission accreditation provides hospitals with the processes needed to improve in a variety of areas from the enhancement of staff education to the improvement of daily business operations,” said Mark G. Pelletier, RN, MS, chief operating officer, Division of Accreditation and Certification Operations, The Joint Commission. “In addition, our accreditation helps hospitals enhance their risk management and risk reduction strategies.”

Founded in 1951, The Joint Commission seeks to continuously improve health care for the public, in collaboration with other stakeholders, by evaluating health care organizations and inspiring them to excel in providing safe and effective care of the highest quality and value. The Joint Commission accredits and certifies more than 21,000 health care organizations and programs in the United States. An independent, nonprofit organization, The Joint Commission is the nation’s oldest and largest standards-setting and accrediting body in health care. Learn more about The Joint Commission at

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.

Birthing Center Wins Commendation from Maryland Patient Safety Center

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The care team at the Birthing Center at UM Shore Medical Center at Easton was recently recognized by the Maryland Patient Safety Center (MSPC) for their success in implementing a program designed to standardize care and treatment of newborns with neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS).

“You can be very proud of your achievement in implementing this program, said Robert Imhoff, director, Maryland Patient Safety Center, to pediatrician Ahmed Gawal,, MD, Birthing Center Manager Luanne Satchell and several members of the Birthing Center team who were on hand for the presentation of a recognition banner from the Center. “Your success improves the quality and safety of care for infants born with neonatal abstinence syndrome.”

Photo: On hand to receive the recognition banner from Maryland Patient Safety Director Robert Imhoff (far right, back) were (l. to r.) Luanne Satchell, manager, Birthing Center; pediatrician Ahmed Gawad, MD; Aymee Gonzalez, RN; Myra Sisco, surgical tech; Carol Leonard, RN, lactation consultant; Debbie Correa, unit secretary; Linda Warren, RN, clinical coordinator; Sarah Hopkins, LCSW; Tammi Zalewski, RN; and Carol Rogers, RN, clinical coordinator.

NAS occurs in newborns who were exposed to opiates, alcohol, narcotic or other drugs while in the mother’s womb. Newborns with NAS have physiologic and neurobehavioral signs, medical complications, increased chance of admission to an intensive care unit, and prolonged hospital stays (average of 26 days). With the rising rate of opiate and heroin addictions in Maryland, the number of infants born to substance-using pregnant women has also risen, increasing the number of babies born with NAS. In October of 2016, the MSPC began a two year initiative to standardize care and treatment of these infants.

The MPSC partnered with the Vermont Oxford Network (VON) to utilize their Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome State-Wide Implementation Package. This partnership has provided participants with access to data-driven, action-oriented, education modules for improving outcomes and increasing the quality and safety of the care provided to infants with NAS and their families. The goals of this two-year initiative include: to decrease the length of stay for infants with NAS; to decrease 30-day readmissions of infants with NAS and to decrease the number of infants with NAS transferred from the birthing hospital to a higher level of care or specialty hospital for longer term care.

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.

Five-County Community Health Needs Survey Offered Online

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Residents of Caroline, Dorchester, Kent, Queen Anne’s and Talbot counties are invited to help build a healthier community by completing the UM Shore Regional Health Survey Community Health Needs Survey.Wide participation in this online survey will help UM SRH provide much-needed outreach and wellness programs to help keep individuals and families in the region as healthy as possible.

The online survey can be accessed at this link:  https://umshoreregional.org/survey and is open until February 28, 2019.

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 Memorial Hospital Foundation Receives $100,000 Pledge

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The Meoli Companies/McDonald’s® and local owner/operator Mike Meoli recently pledged $100,000 to UM Memorial Hospital Foundation to provide assistance to cancer patients receiving treatment at the Clark Comprehensive Breast Center at UM Shore Regional Health. Providing support to patients during their cancer journey is personal for Mr. Meoli as his wife of 24 years, Kelli, is a 15-year breast cancer survivor and registered nurse.

“We are very fortunate to operate restaurants in communities all across the Eastern Shore, and part of that means recognizing ways we can make the biggest impact in every one of them,” Mike Meoli said. “When we discovered the opportunity to fund a second 3-D tomosynthesis mammography machine for the Clark Comprehensive Breast Center, it was a no brainer for us. The dedicated medical staff, exceptional facilities and the level of care patients receive at the Breast Center is unmatched. We are proud to support a health care system that gives back to so many during their most difficult times.”

Photo: L-R: Ken Kozel, president & CEO, UM SRH; Brittany Krautheim, CRNP, breast care nurse practitioner; Mike Meoli, owner/operator, The Meoli Companies/McDonald’s®; Roberta Lilly, MD, medical director, Clark Comprehensive Breast Center; Graham Lee, vice president, Philanthropy, UM SRH; and Brian Leutner, vice president, Clinical and Ambulatory Services.

“I want to thank Mike Meoli, the Meoli companies and McDonald’s Restaurants for stepping forward and making an important difference in breast care through this very generous pledge,” commented Graham Lee, vice president, Philanthropy, for UM Shore Regional Health. “Their support goes a long way toward our goal of acquiring the additional equipment the Clark Comprehensive Breast Center needs to provide our patients the most timely and state-of-the-art testing and evaluation.”

Mike Meoli is a second-generation McDonald’s owner/operator who has spent much of his career within the McDonald’s system. The Meoli Companies own 18 McDonald’s restaurants across Delmarva, including those in the Maryland counties of Caroline, Dorchester, Kent, Queen Anne’s and Talbot counties.  His restaurants are consistently recognized for their outstanding achievements in customer satisfaction, superb operations, and great staff development. In 2012, Mr. Meoli was honored with McDonald’s Corporations most prestigious owner/operator award, the Golden Arch® Award, which recognizes the achievements of the top one percent of owner/operators worldwide.

Meoli is very active in his community, serving on the board of directors for the Rehoboth Beach-Dewey Beach Chamber of Commerce and Beebe Medical Center. He is a past president of the Rehoboth Beach-Dewey Beach Chamber of Commerce as well as a former Chairman of the Board for the Sussex Family YMCA.  He also serves as vice president of The Dresher Foundation, a Maryland-based charitable foundation established by his grandfather in 1988. Within his business field, Mr. Meoli has served his fellow McDonald’s owner/operators in numerous local, regional and national positions.

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.

Victoria Kuntz Joins Palliative Care Team at UM Shore Regional Health

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UM Community Medical Group – Palliative Care recently welcomed Victoria Kuntz to its provider team. As a board-certified Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner, Kuntz brings nursing experience in primary care, inpatient palliative care, medical/surgical care, intensive care and oncology to UM Shore Regional Health’s palliative care team. Most recently, she served five years on the inpatient oncology unit at Anne Arundel Medical Center in Annapolis. Md. Kuntz earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in nursing from Walden University.

“Vicki’s experience in oncology nursing and practitioner training in adult gerontology are valuable additions to the depth of our specialized Palliative Care program,” says Lakshmi Vaidyanathan, MD, medical director, Palliative Care. “In addition to our hospital-based palliative care services, our outpatient program is growing as we serve more patients and families in the community. Patients who seek outpatient palliative care support in managing chronic disease symptoms to maintain their best health may contact us at 410-820-4434 to get additional information or make an appointment.”

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.

Olivi Named Director, Diagnostic Imaging at Shore Regional Health

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Penny Olivi has joined UM Shore Regional Health as director, Diagnostic Imaging. Olivi brings 17 years’ experience as senior administrator and senior director at the University of Maryland Medical Center and School of Medicine in Baltimore. Previously, she served as director of Imaging for York Hospital in York, Pennsylvania and as practice manager for a free standing CT scanning center in Timonium, Maryland.

A certified radiographer, radiology administrator and a Fellow of the Association of Medical Imaging Management, Olivi earned her undergraduate degree from Towson University and her MBA from York College of Pennsylvania. She has served as a board member and president of AHRA: The Association for Medical Imaging Management, the national organization representing management at all levels of hospital imaging departments, freestanding imaging centers and group practices. She has received numerous awards and honors for excellence in radiology administration,including the AHRA Gold Award.

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.

Twelve Shore Regional Health Team Members Complete Emerging Leaders Program

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Twelve UM Shore Regional Health team members graduated from University of Maryland Medical System’s Emerging Leaders Program (ELP) on December 20, 2018. ELP is a seven-month leadership development program designed to introduce potential leaders to the changing landscape of health care and the role of effective leadership.

Completing the program as the first UM SRH cohort, the ELP graduates received certificates from Ken Kozel, president and CEO, UM SRH, and Kate McCann, senior vice president and chief human resources officer, University of Maryland Medical System.

“The ELP was extremely valuable to me at this time in my career,” said Karen Hemingway, clinical nurse coordinator, Intensive Care at UM Shore Medical Center at Chestertown. “The program instructors and senior leaders shared their personal experiences and provided us with tools to help expand our leadership skills. I enjoyed working with my peers from the other Shore Medical campuses as well. We are all so spread out — it was nice to put faces with names.”

Joining Hemingway at the graduation event were, from UM Shore Medical Center at Dorchester, Koreen Smith, site coordinator, Laboratory Services, and Melissa Svehla, clinical specialist, Non-Invasive Cardiology. Easton graduates are Catherine Tripp, clinical nurse coordinator, Ambulatory Surgery Center, and five hospital team members:Donna Collins, Telemetry clinical nurse coordinator; Lisa Eisemann, Multi Specialty Care staff nurse; Lyndsey Feather, lead respiratory therapist; Jamie Johnson, Post Anesthesia Care clinical nurse coordinator;and Tara Smith, Multi Specialty Care staff nurse. Also completing the program were Melanie Donaway, administrative supervisor, UM SRH Nursing Administration and Alison Toepfer, staff nurse, UM Shore Emergency Center at Queenstown.

Photo: Shown with Ken Kozel (standing, far left) and Kate McCann (standing, far right) are the Shore Regional Health graduates of the UMMS Emerging Leaders Program. Seated: Lyndsey Feather, Lisa Eisemann, Melanie Donaway, Jamie Johnson, Alison Toepfer and Karen Hemingway. Standing: Melissa Svehla, Donna Collins, Koreen Smith, Tara Smith, Danielle Brummell and Cathy Tripp.

The program focused on six topics: models of leadership and the role leadership in driving organizational, team and employee performance; identifying and building on managerial strengths; effective communication; creating and delivering effective presentations; fostering inclusion and diversity; and strategies for creating and developing high-performing teams. Starting in July, participants met as a group each month for half-day sessions starting in July, and met in pairs between sessions.

During the half-day sessions, topics including health care finance, marketing, quality, safety, compliance and patient experience were illuminated by UM Shore Regional Health executives who made presentations to the group that included scenarios drawn from their own experiences as senior leaders in health care. Presenters were Ken Kozel, president and chief executive officer; William Huffner, MD, senior vice president, Medical Affairs and chief medical officer; Patti Willis, senior vice president, Strategy and Communications; JoAnne Hahey, chief financial officer; and Robert Frank, senior vice president, Operations.

Notes UM SRH Human Resources Director Barbara Hendricks, “One of the values of Emerging Leaders is learning about leadership concepts, and then taking the time to reflect. This helps to build leadership strengths and enhances the overall team member experience.”

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.

Cancer Program Annual Report Published Online

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UM Shore Regional Health’s 2018 Cancer Program Annual Report is now available for online viewing on the Cancer Center’s homepage, https://www.umms.org/shore/health-services/cancer

The report includes an introduction by Christopher Levey, MD, chair of the Cancer Committee, and highlights the following areas of accomplishment in the past year: Accreditations and Recognition, Services, Regional Screenings and Access to Preventive Care, Maintaining Follow-up, Cancer Registry Statistics, Support and Survivorship and Fundraising Highlights, including a list of donors whose gifts were designated to benefit the Clark Comprehensive Breast Center and/or the Cancer Center, July 1, 2017 – June 30, 2018. The research study, Breast Cancer Time to Treatment, authored by Roberta Lilly, MD, medical director, Clark Comprehensive Breast Center, also is featured in the report.

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