Chester River Health Foundation Celebrates Donors at Philosopher’s Terrace Pavilion Event

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UM Chester River Health Foundation celebrated the second anniversary of Shore Medical Pavilion at Chestertown by hosting a “thank you” reception for donors and Heritage Society members on Wednesday, June 13, 2018.

Foundation Board Chair Carl Gallegos, PhD welcomed the 65 guests, who were invited as a special thank you for their vital support over many years.

Chair Carl Gallegos, PhD, is shown welcoming guests at UM Shore Medical Pavilion.

“Since the Foundation’s inception in 1993, each of you, and perhaps many of your family members before you, have played a significant role in the advancement of health care in Kent and northern Queen Anne’s Counties through your donations,” Gallegos said. “To date, the community has donated more than $21 million which directly supports the patients served at UM Shore Medical Center at Chestertown.”

Ken Kozel, Shore Regional Health president & CEO and president, thanked the attendees for helping to make many medical advances possible and provided a special tribute to the Chester River Hospital Center Auxiliary.

“The Auxiliary was founded in 1934 and had a vital role in the creation of the hospital from day one,” he said. “Since 1990, which is as far back as the Foundation’s records go, the Auxiliary has raised and donated more than $1.7 million as well as volunteered hundreds of thousands of hours (more than 11,000 just last year), assisting our patients and the staff in the hospital, as well as operating the gift shop and the Nearly New thrift store. We are very grateful to each of you.”

Jane Presser, Dr. Timothy Shanahan, medical director, UM Community Medical Group – Shore Region, and Barrie Meima, vice chair, Chester River Health Foundation.

Shown are Jane Presser, Dr. Timothy Shanahan, and Barrie Meima, vice chair, Chester River Health Foundation.

Timothy Shanahan, MD, medical director, UM Community Medical Group – Shore Region, introduced the doctors and nurse practitioners in attendance. “Shore Regional Health and Community Medical Group are committed to providing access to the highest quality of care for all of the residents of our five-county region,” Dr. Shanahan said. “And today, we would like you to have the opportunity to be among the first to meet many of the new doctors (and some not so new), who provide highly personalized care right here.”

Attendees were treated to tours of the three medical offices at the facility as well as a sumptuous buffet provided by two local businesses: Chester River Wine & Cheese and Crow Vineyards.

Prochaska Assumes Expanded Role as Emergency Department Manager at Chestertown

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Sandy Prochaska, nurse manager for Acute Care and Intensive Care at Shore Medical Center at Chestertown since 2014, has expanded her role to include management of the hospital’s Emergency Department, according to Kathy Elliott, executive director, SMC at Chestertown.

A resident of Worton, Md., Prochaska began her career in health care at Shore Medical Center at Chestertown in 2007 as a nurse technician. Once she obtained her RN, she worked as a clinical nurse on the hospital’s Telemetry unit where her leadership skills landed her the position of clinical nurse coordinator in 2011. She held this position until she became the nurse manager for the Acute Care Unit and the ICU in 2014.

Elliott’s announcement of Prochaska’s expanded role included thanks to Mary Alice Vanhoy, nurse manager, UM Shore Emergency at Queenstown, who has serve as interim manager, Emergency Department in Chestertown for the past two years. Vanhoy is working closely with Prochaska and other members of the Chestertown Emergency Department team to effect a smooth transition.

Chester River Health Foundation Golf Tournament Raises Funds for UM SMC

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After nearly three weeks of rain, the sun appeared for the UM Chester River Health Foundation’s 24th annual golf tournament, which was sponsored by the Chester River Hospital Center Auxiliary. By the time the last putt was dropped, golfers and donors had contributed more than $97,000, before expenses, toward the purchase of two sets of laparoscopic and arthroscopic equipment for the Surgical Services Department at UM Shore Medical Center at Chestertown.

One hundred twelve men and women teed off, shotgun-style, in a “Step-Aside, Best-Ball” tournament, on Friday, June 1, at the Chester River Yacht & Country Club outside of Chestertown.

“In the next year, our hospital will replace two sets of laparoscopic (abdominal and other procedures) and arthroscopic (joint procedures) surgical equipment,” said Foundation Chair, Carl Gallegos.  “The Foundation has committed to raising $200,000 to completely fund its purchase and this tournament was our premiere fundraiser toward our goal.  We are extraordinarily appreciative of the community-wide support of this event.”

Men’s first place, low net, team (L-R) Frankie Smith, Rich Walls, Andrew Gillespie and Patrick Gillespie.

Thirty two volunteers, mostly current and former hospital employees and Auxiliary members, spent the day on the course, offering golfers refreshments and spur-of-the-moment fundraising chances to increase the odds of winning prizes.  “We could not host this event without our small army of volunteers and the Foundation Board is enormously grateful for their help.” Gallegos said.

At the after-tournament awards reception, which was sponsored by Leslie and Andy Price, prizes donated by local community businesses were awarded for 17 events on the course, including 11 Closest-to-the-Pins; Longest Drive Not In the Fairway; and Most Accurate Drive.

Three foursomes took home Low Net prizes: Blyth Reynolds, Mary Anne Shea and Rich and Paddy Tobey (mixed team with a score of 46.25); Sandy Bjork, Carol Droge, Marti Hawkins and Jane Huikill (women’s team with a score of 59.25); and Andrew Gillespie, Patrick Gillespie,

Fankie Smith and Rich Walls (men’s team with a score of 42.5). The Low Gross award went to the Chesapeake Bank & Trust team of Peter Heller, Jr., Rob Thompson, Justin Varga and Alden Yetman with a score of 57.

No one made a Hole in One on any of the four par 3 holes to win $10,000 cash or Superbowl 2019 tickets, and the $1,000 prize for Closest-to-the-Pin within 12” went unclaimed.  Andrew Gillespie missed winning the Putting Contest by just a few feet, leaving the $10,000 prize for next year contestants to claim—on Friday, May 31, 2019!

We hope you’ll mark your calendars now for the Silver Anniversary of this event at which co-founder, Dan Saunders, will be honored!

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 SRH Announces Sale of Nursing and Rehabilitation Center at Chestertown

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University of Maryland Shore Nursing and Rehabilitation Center at Chestertown is under new ownership effective June 1, 2018. The Center staff are making the transition and net proceeds from sale are committed to enhance health care services and equipment at UM Shore Medical Center at Chestertown.

According to Ken Kozel, president and CEO of UM Shore Regional Health (UM SRH), the Center’s new owner/operator, Outcome Health Group, specializes in managing quality long term care and rehabilitation facilities. The terms of the sale have not been released.

“We are very pleased to have completed an agreement with Outcome Health Group that includes certain assurances we viewed as an important component in our mission of providing quality health care for patients and their family members in the region,” says Kozel. These assurances included that the purchaser would keep the facility open and serving the community as a long term care facility; that the purchaser demonstrated a commitment to expanding the admission criteria so that patients with higher-acuity care needs can be accommodated; and that the purchaser demonstrated the financial means to cover needed capital improvements.

UM Shore Regional Health Board member Glenn Wilson, president and CEO of Chesapeake Bank & Trust, shares Kozel’s enthusiasm for the agreement with Outcome Health Group, noting that all net funds received from the sale will directly benefit patients and their families served at UM Shore Medical Center at Chestertown. “The sale will enable us to make significant new investments in our hospital facilities, equipment and patient care programs,” says Wilson.

UM Shore Nursing and Rehabilitation Center has been the only long term care facility in the University of Maryland Medical System (UMMS) and Shore Regional Health engaged in a process last year to evaluate its work with the facility. During that process, it became evident that an entity specializing in managing quality long term care and rehabilitation facilities would be

better equipped to guide Shore Nursing and Rehab to meet the future demand for quality long term care in Chestertown and surrounding communities. In September 2017, Shore Regional Health investigated the possible transition of ownership. Through a process that involved UM SRH Board members from Kent County, the Chester River Health Foundation Board, Chestertown-based physicians and local health system management, potential buyers were vetted and interviewed, resulting in the selection of Outcome Health Group. A period of due diligence and review of business operations was completed and the transaction was finalized June 1.

Outcome Healthcare Group has collaborated with Shore Regional Health and with employees to conduct a smooth transition. Local physicians, UM SNR residents and their families are being updated as the transition takes place.

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.

Auxiliary Makes Donation for Vital Equipment at Chestertown

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In response to a request by the nurses at UM Shore Medical Center at Chestertown, the Chester River Hospital Center Auxiliary – Naomi Blackshire, President, donated $1000 to purchase manual blood pressure cuffs and stethoscopes that can be used in the event of an extended power failure.

Photo: Front row: Marjorie Shaffer, RN, BSN; Reverend Mae Etta Moore; Naomi Blackshire, president; Ralph Deaton and Beth O’Patterson, RN. Middle row: Robert Tate; Barbara Wilson; Alice Johnson; Ann Mae Dorsey and Margaret Cooper. Back: Virginia Roberts; Linda Blake; Henry Cotton; Howard Tille and Charlotte Murray. 

Today, nearly all medical equipment is powered by electricity and operated though a computer. Emergency power generators and special electrical outlets are available throughout all hospitals; however, not every piece of equipment can be plugged in when the power goes off.

“The addition of these blood pressure cuffs and stethoscopes will allow our nurses to continue to provide exceptional patient care in a timely manner even when the power goes out,” says Sandy Prochaska, inpatient nurse manager. “Blood pressure, pulse and respiratory rate are three of the most important vital signs to monitor. During a power outage, our new manual equipment will better enable nurses to assess the general health of a patient, get possible clues to impending conditions and show their progress toward recovery. We are grateful for everything our auxiliaries do for us and our patients.”

Chestertown Nurse Honored at UM SRH Nurse Excellence Awards Event

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Gail Dierker, staff nurse in the Same Day Surgery Center at UM Shore Medical Center at Chestertown, was among the honorees at UM Shore Regional Health’s 2017 Nurse Excellence Awards Celebration, which took place on Monday, May 8 at the Todd Performing Arts Center at Chesapeake College.

Dierker received the award, “Commitment to Others,” which had garnered a total of nine nominations.A Certified Ambulatory Perianesthesia Nurse (CAPA) and an RN III in the Professional Advancement Program, Dierker was chosen on the basis of her positive communications with all team members as well as her patients, her engagement in orienting new staff, and her dedication to ensuring that patients’ needs are met. Also cited was her participation on the Unit Based Council, which develops and improves patient care processes that help to improve patient outcomes.

Photo: Staff nurse Gail Dierker, 2nd from right, won the “Commitment to Others” award. From L-R: Ruth Ann Jones, senior vice president, Patient Care Services and CNO and three other winners of individual awards: Maddie Steffens, coordinator Shore Regional Palliative Care program; Brian Clark, staff nurse, UM SMC at Easton; and Katherine Jones, orthopedic team lead in Surgical Services, SMC at Easton. At far right is Ken Kozel, UM Shore Regional president and CEO. Not shown: Marcia Shapiro, staff nurse, UM SMC at Easton Emergency Department.

The Nurse Excellence Awards presentation was led by Ruth Ann Jones, UM Shore Regional Health’s senior vice president of Patient Care Services and chief nursing officer. In her remarks, Jones noted that 2017 marks the seventh anniversary of the Nurse Excellence Awards and that this year’s honorees were selected from a total of 36 individual nominations and three unit/department nominations. “This awards program was established by nurses and for nurses as a way to recognize those who go above and beyond to always deliver exceptional care,” said Jones.

In her remarks opening the ceremony, Jones noted that 2018 marked the seventh anniversary of the Nurse Excellence Awards. “This awards program was established by nurses and for nurses as a way to recognize those who go above and beyond to always deliver exceptional care,” Jones said.

Ken Kozel, UM SRH president and CEO, and John Dillon, chairman of the UM SRH Board, also spoke during the ceremony, thanking the outstanding dedication of the 600-plus nurses serving patients in inpatient and outpatient care programs throughout the five county region.

UM Chester River Health Foundation Welcomes New Board Members

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Two local community leaders have joined the Board of Directors of University of Maryland Chester River Health Foundation. Jay Yerkes, of Chestertown, and Michael Faust, of Sudlersville, joined the Foundation Board earlier this year.

Yerkes is head of the Chestertown-based Yerkes Construction Company, which he founded in 2009 after more than two decades of experience in the construction industry working with varied companies based on the Shore and in Philadelphia. Yerkes has been active in a wide array of community organizations and civic endeavors, including serving on the boards of the Humane Society of Kent County (2014-16) and the Garfield Center for the Arts (2010-14), and volunteering for various projects of Habitat for Humanity, the Town of Chestertown, Christ United Church and the sailing program of Chester River Yacht and Country Club.

Jay Yerkes and Michael Faust

Presently serving as account executive for Atlantic Broadband, Faust has spent his 25-year career in marketing, including 15 years as director of marketing – motorsports for MBNA America and nine years as owner of a promotions and marketing company. Since 1986, he has been an active member of the Sudlersville Volunteer Fire Company, serving as director, president and fireline officer, and since 2010, he has been a board members with the Maryland State Firemen’s Association, serving as assistant secretary to the treasurer for four years and currently as second vice president. He also is a board member for the Casey Cares Foundation.

Speaking on behalf of the Foundation Board, Carl Gallegos, PhD, chairman, stated: “We are quite pleased to welcome these two new members who bring unique talents to support our mission. They are leaders in the community and are dedicated to enhancing a dynamic and viable full-service hospital in Chestertown.”

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 2,300 employees, medical staff, board members and volunteers work with various community partners to fulfill the organization’s mission of Creating Healthier Communities Together.

UM SRH Recognizes the Chester River Hospital Center Auxiliary for Volunteer Month

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University of Maryland Shore Regional Health recently recognized the Chester River Hospital Center Auxiliary for their outstanding work and dedication providing volunteer services and funds in support of UM Shore Medical Center at Chestertown, inpatient and outpatient centers.

The month of April is observed as National Volunteer Month and is dedicated to honoring volunteers who donate their time to help organizations such as UM Shore Regional Health. To celebrate and show appreciation for all they do, the auxiliary board committee was provided with breakfast during their April meeting.

Chester River Hospital Center Auxiliary Board

The auxiliary raises proceeds through their special event sales, hospital gift shop and their auxiliary-managed thrift shop – the Nearly New Shop located at 320 High Street in Chestertown. These proceeds go on to help pay for technology, facility and educational needs for UM Shore Regional Health and its team members.

Auxiliary volunteer positions are currently available at the hospital gift shop and The Nearly New Shop. For more information about volunteer opportunities call 410-348-5114.

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.

Chester River Health Foundation Donates Funds to Compass Regional Hospice

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Chester River Health Foundation has donated funds exceeding $234,000 — received in past years to support hospice care for Kent County and Queen Anne’s County residents — to Compass Regional Hospice. Chester River Health Foundation had raised funds for hospice care when it was provided by Chester River Home Care & Hospice. Since 2014, Compass Regional Hospice has provided hospice care for Kent County residents in private homes, nursing homes and assisted living facilities, and recently opened its new residential Hospice Center on the third floor of UM Shore Medical Center at Chestertown.

The official check presentation took place at UM Shore Medical Center on Thursday, March 22, 2018. Representing the board of the Chester River Health Foundation (CRHF), Barrie Frazier-Meima, stated, “Those of us on the Foundation board and many individuals in the community who have been involved with hospice over the years are so pleased that Compass Regional Hospice is now providing hospice care in our hospital. This arrangement represents a perfect coming together for the benefit of Kent and northern Queen Anne’s county residents, and today, the Board of the Chester River Health Foundation is pleased to provide to Compass Regional Hospice $234,146.34 in funds originally donated to support local hospice care. People in our communities have needed and wanted a residential Hospice Center in our county, and now here it is.”

Shown L-R are Maryann Ruehrmund, executive director, Chester River Health Foundation; Barrie Frazier-Meima, Board chair, Chester River Health Foundation; Heather Guerieri, executive direction, Compass Regional Hospice; Tom Helfenbein, Board chair, Compass Regional Hospice; and Ken Kozel, president and CEO, UM SRH.

According to Heather Guerieri, executive director, Compass Regional Hospice, the funds will be used to pay room and board at the Hospice Center in Chestertown for patients who are unable to afford it, and to help offset other unfunded hospice care and grief support services provided to the residents of Kent County.

“For many years Chester River Health Foundation has played a significant role in ensuring that the residents of Kent and northern Queen Anne’s counties have access to quality medical care,” said Guerieri. “On behalf of the board and staff of Compass Regional Hospice, I would like to thank the Foundation for helping us respond to the end-of-life needs of Kent County hospice patients and their loved ones through the release of Foundation funds earmarked for hospice.”

Other guests included members of the community who were involved with hospice care over the years, including longtime KHF Board members Judie Willock and Mary Wick, who also served as Board president of the organization.

“I’m delighted that hospice care is once again a viable and important resource in Kent County and that Shore Regional Health teamed up with Compass Regional Hospice to house the residential Hospice Center right here in our hospital,” said Wick. “For many years, the Kent Hospice Foundation – our Board, our medical director Dr. Patrick Shanahan and our administrators, including Nancy Morris who was exceptionally dedicated and very effective – provided hospice care with a small group of volunteers and of course, our hospice nurses who worked for Kent County Hospice under the leadership of Dr. John Grant and later for Chester River Home Care & Hospice. An important focus of our fundraising efforts was to support staff education as well as patient care. The field of hospice care was always rapidly evolving and we wanted our team to have the latest knowledge and skills to provide the best care.”

For information about how to support hospice care and grief support in Kent and Queen Anne’s counties, contact KendaLeager, development officer for Compass Regional Hospice, 443-262-4106, kleager@compassregionalhospice.org.

For information about how to support patient care and staff development needs at UM Shore Medical Center at Chestertown, contact Maryann Ruehrmund, executive director, UM Chester River Health Foundation, 410-810-5660, mruehrmund@umm.edu

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.