Tax Credits Offered by UM Chester River Health Foundation

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The Chester River Health Foundation has been awarded a $25,000 allocation of Maryland state tax credits in support of its efforts to raise $200,000 to fund a new chemistry analyzer for the lab at UM Shore Medical Center at Chestertown. The credits were awarded by the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development’s Community Investment Tax Credit (CITC) program and must be sold by December 31, 2020.

“A chemistry analyzer is the backbone of all diagnostic laboratory work at every hospital,” said Margaret Pulleyn, site coordinator for the lab in Chestertown. “Presently, the hospital has three analyzers, two of which are nearing the end of their useful lives and must be replaced.”

“Our machines run 24/7/365 and test approximately 198 specimens each day; each specimen may include 10 individual components,” continued Pulleyn.  “Tests for virtually all emergency patients, lab outpatients and all inpatients are run on this equipment, which also performs all blood tests for Hepatitis and HIV for the Shore Regional Health system.”

Margaret Pulleyn, site coordinator, Laboratory Services, UM SMC at Chestertown

The sale of these tax credits will help the Foundation fund the purchase of one replacement machine that will perform a higher volume and a broader menu of tests than the two machines it will replace.

“The Community Investment Tax Credit program has afforded the Foundation the opportunity to forge new and renewed relationships with people and businesses in our community,” says Maryann Ruehrmund, CFRE, executive director. “In recent years, this program has helped fund the purchase of 10 suites of patient room furnishings and all new laparoscopic equipment for the operating rooms. Nearly every patient receiving care at UM Shore Medical Center at Chestertown has benefitted from this program.”

These tax credits are offered to individuals and businesses who make a donation at the $1,000 level or above and are available on a first-come, first-served basis. The credits offset any Maryland state tax owed on a 50% basis meaning, a $1,000 donation earns $500 of actual state credits.

“The credits are offered in addition to any deduction taken for making a charitable gift – or in addition to the standardized deduction,” Ruehrmund said. “I encourage anyone who is interested to contact me quickly as the credits sell fast.”

For more information or to secure an allocation of credits, please call the Chester River Health Foundation, (410) 810-5660

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.

Chester River Home Care Staff Earn Professional Certification

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Eight University of Maryland Chester River Home Care team members have obtained their Certified OASIS Quality Specialist (COQS) designation, Trish Focht, manager, of the Chestertown-based home care agency has announced. The OASIS certified team members are: Katie Davis, Jennifer Dupre, Brooke Maier, Melissa Maule, Melissa Myers, Brooke Smith, Jennifer Walters and Emily Welsh.

Photo: Now holding OASIS certification are UM Chester River Home Care team members (seated) Melissa Maule and Jennifer Dupre and (standing) Melissa Myers, Brooke Smith, Brooke Maier, Emily Welsh, and Katie Davis. Not pictured: Jennifer Walter.

OASIS is data that is collected by home health clinicians during a home visit.  It is required for all patients who receive skilled home health services under Medicare or Medicaid. “OASIS data is used in the determination of quality measures outcomes, STAR Ratings, and reimbursement,” Focht explains. “It’s important for clinicians to have OASIS education and certification to improve patient outcomes and quality of care, as well as improve the reimbursement. I am very proud of our team members’ dedication and accomplishment in earning this certification.”

UM Chester River Home Care was established in 1997. Each year, agency staff members drive more than 150,000 miles in Kent and Queen Anne’s County to provide more than 19,000 home care visits serving approximately 1100 patients. In five out of five patient satisfaction ratings, UM CRHC has scored significantly higher than the state and national averages.

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.

Assistive Technology for Cardiac Arrest Response Available at UM SMC

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When a patient goes into cardiac arrest and CPR is required, the licensed staff at UM Shore Medical Center at Chestertown have a new life-saving tool: a LUCAS 3 Chest Compression System by Physio Control. The self-contained, 19-pound device will be put into service in March after all staff are trained.

Funded by community donations to the Chester River Health Foundation, the LUCAS 3 System cost nearly $16,000. “It will add a significant resource to the hospital especially during the evening and night shifts when there isn’t a large pool of additional staff to respond to a cardiac arrest,” says Beverly Greaves, clinical nurse, Chestertown Emergency Department. Greaves has begun training all nursing supervisors, clinical coordinators and Emergency Department staff to use the device.

Photo: Shown during the first LUCAS 3 training are: (seated) Cassandra Price, clinical nurse coordinator, Acute Care and Marjorie Shaffer, clinical nurse, Acute Care; (standing) Justin Harper, lieutenant, Kent County Emergency Services; Rebecca Baxter, administrative supervisor, and Beverly Greaves, clinical nurse, Emergency Department.

“The physical demands for performing CRP under the new standards are exhausting even for the most physically fit person,” Greaves explains. “Staff members are permitted to do manual chest compressions for just two minutes,then another staff member must step in. With the LUCAS 3device, ‘rescuer fatigue’ is no longer a problem as the device performs consistent, repetitive chest compressions for as long as necessary.”

With training, all licensed, CPR-certified staff members – a physicians, a nurse and techs – are permitted to use this life-saving device, with training. Says Greaves, “During a cardiac arrest, it’s a fast-paced environment and resuscitation can run for hours. The LUCAS 3 is a state-of-the-art tool that will help us achieve the best possible outcome for our patients.”

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.

CRHC Foundation Announces New Officers and New Member

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Chester River Health Foundation has announced new officers and a new Board member. The Foundation raises funds that enable UM Shore Medical Center at Chestertown to provide the highest quality health care services by funding the purchase of new and replacement medical equipment and technology and by supporting advanced education and professional certifications for employees.

Elizabeth (Barrie) Meima of Chestertown, a retired philanthropy executive from Washington D.C., has been elected chairperson of the Foundation Board. “It is an honor to be a part of the Foundation and participate in its work to maintain and improve the excellent quality of services, which our Hospital provides the community,” said Meima. “Recognizing that our hospital is essential to the success of the region was demonstrated by record support received by the Foundation’s Annual Campaign that we just completed. I believe that the hospital’s ability to continue offering highly personalized and exceptional care starts with having the best-possible equipment and technology, and employing highly-qualified employees, who significantly enhance the hospital’s value to all of us in the community. The Foundation exists to help assure this level or care, day in and day out.”

Meima also announced the Foundation Board’s new slate of officers. They are Sandra Bjork, vice chairperson; Kenneth Kozel, president; Charles Lerner, Esq., secretary; Sigrid Whaley, assistant secretary; JoAnne Hahey, treasurer; and Richard (Dick) Barker, assistant treasurer.

Elizabeth (Barrie) Meima and Jane E. Hukill

Welcomed as a returning member of the Board is Jane E. Hukill, of Worton. Said Meima, “We are moving into a challenging year of raising funds for two vital pieces of medical equipment: 128-slice CT scanner for radiology and a chemistry analyzer for the laboratory. Jane’s vast experience in leadership as a board member with several non-profits and her fundraising skills will be tapped into immediately.”

“The many years that I have volunteered for Chester River Hospital have been extremely rewarding,” said Hukill. “The hospital and its staff deserve support by all who live here, whether through volunteer work or other forms of support.  I am delighted to re-join the Chester River Health Foundation this year to help continue those efforts into the future.”

The Chester River Health Foundation also accepts donations on behalf of UM Chester River Home Care to fund a program that supplies medically-necessary, durable home medical equipment and medicines that insurance doesn’t cover and patients can’t afford. “This program’s total focus is providing patients with what they need medically to remain safe, while at home under care,” says Meima.

For more information about the Foundation’s efforts, please contact Maryann Ruehrmund, executive director, 410-810-5660 or visit the Foundation’s new web site at www.umcrhf.org.

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.

CRHC Auxiliary Celebrates 60 Years and Installs New Officers

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The Chester River Hospital Center Auxiliary celebrated 60 years of service to health care in Kent and northern Queen Anne’s counties at its 2019 Annual Meeting held at Heron Point in Chestertown on Tuesday, January 8. The occasion included a luncheon, remarks by Peggy Roca, manager of Perioperative Services at UM Shore Medical Center at Chestertown, installation of new officers and recognition of individual members for reaching milestones in their volunteer hours accumulated.

Auxiliary President Sue Edson announced that during 2018, Auxiliary volunteers worked approximately 10,358 hours in the hospital gift shop, at the Nearly New Shop and on Board activities. According to the Maryland Governor’s Office on Service and Volunteerism, volunteer time is valued at $24.69 per hour, which brings the total value of CRHC Auxiliary members’ time volunteered during the year to $259,386.

“You are all a very important part of the team at our hospital here in Chestertown,” said Edson. “Thank you for all the time you have given this year and if you know anyone who has four hours a week available, we always need additional volunteers!”

Photo: CRHC Auxiliary “star volunteers” for 2018, l. to r.: Joanna Rash, Jane Hukill, Gwinn Derricott, Phyllis Brown, and Carol Droge. Not shown: Vicki Neal, Diane McAneny, Thelma Bright, Shirley Gaynor, Trish Harwood and Charlotte Slagle. 

Volunteers who had accumulated 500 hours of service or more were presented with a gold star pin. This year year’s honorees were: for the Nearly New Shop, Thelma Bright, Shirley Gaynor, Trish Harwood, Charlotte Slagle and Joanna Rash; in the hospital and the Gift Shop, Phyllis Brown, Gwinn Derricott, Carol Droge, Jane Hukill, Diane McAneny and Vicki Neal.

Installed as the Auxiliary’s new officers were Sue Edson, president; Jack Edson, vice president & immediate past president; Joann Bowdle, parliamentarian; Carol Droge, corresponding secretary; Kathy Ruge, secretary; and Jean Anthony, treasurer.

Peggy Roca provided an overview of the many kinds of surgery performed at UM Shore Medical Center at Chestertown and thanked the Auxiliary for its many generous donations to help make possible all-new, state of the art equipment available to the surgical services team. “We have the best of the best equipment here to care for our patients’ surgical needs,” Roca said.

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.

Wellness Open House to Celebrate Diabetes Awareness Month

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The Chestertown Diabetes Support Group will celebrate Diabetes Awareness Month with an open-house style meeting featuring special presentations, demonstrations and displays from local purveyors of health-related products and services. The event is set for Tuesday, November 27, 6:30 p.m. in the Conference Center at UM Shore Medical Center at Chestertown.

Presenting at the event will be Krista Lamoreaux of Herbal Alchemy. Based in Chestertown, Herbal Alchemy offers individual consultations and group classes empowering individuals with varied self-care strategies including nutrition, herbal medicine, stress management, wellness coaching and Reiki.

Gluten-free and refined sugar-free snacks will be provided by Chestertown’s popular Figg’s Ordinary Bakery and Cafe

Also on hand to meet and talk with participants will be Trish Gruber, proprietor of Chestertown Natural Foods; Beth McCloud of Melaleuca, a wellness company; and Amanda Parks, proprietor of FitFlock, a fitness training center headquartered in Chestertown.

The public is welcome to attend to learn more about diabetes, pre-diabetes and strategies for maintaining health and wellness. To RSVP, contact Chrissy Nelson, 410-778-7668, chrissy.nelson@umm.edu.

Chestertown “SANE” Nurses Recognized During Forensic Nurses Week

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Forensic Nurses Week was November 5-9, 2018 and this year’s theme is Forensic Nurses – “In every hospital, For every community, The future of care.” Based in Elkridge, Maryland, the International Association of Forensic Nurses (IAFN) includes 4,300 members, who are often referred to by the acronym, SANE (sexual assault nurse examiners).

Forensic Nurses at UM Shore Medical Center at Chestertown are Shannon Temple and Kimberly Seward.

When sexual assault victims arrive at an emergency department, one of the first people they encounter is a forensic nurse who is trained to gather information from the crime. Forensic nurses follow scientific and legal procedures to collect evidence and ensure quality of care for the victims.

For SANEs, other goals of sexual assault and rape testing include assessing and treating injuries, preventing sexually transmitted diseases and pregnancy, and offering psychological support. They work to address and validate patient concerns, minimize trauma and promote healing. They follow procedures set by local jurisdictions, the IAFN and the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) to collect information to be used in legal proceedings. A standardized process is imperative to ensuring victims get justice.

Safe Sitter® Class Set for November 17 in Chestertown

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The popular Safe Sitter® class, taught by pediatric nurses for youth ages 11-13, will be offered in Kent County one last time this year on Saturday, November 17, 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.

Telemedicine Pilot Programs Expand Access to Care

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Telemedicine programs utilized in the delivery of emergency psychiatric care and palliative care have expanded access to care in these specialties for patients in Kent and Queen Anne’s counties, thanks to a collaborative project of University of Maryland Shore Regional Health (UM SRH), University of Maryland Medical System, and University of Maryland School of Medicine (UM SOM).

Telemedicine utilizes computer video and audio and related technologies that enable physicians and other care providers in one location to communicate with health professionals and patients in another.

Designed to overcome the limited availability of specialists in certain areas of  the five-county region served by UM SRH, the development of telemedicine applications to provide palliative care and emergency psychiatric care was supported by a $75,149 grant from the Maryland Health Care Commission and a 2:1 match from UM SRH.  Funds were used to purchase the needed technology and support the cost of a study to evaluate the effectiveness of the two programs.

That study indicated strong success for the use of telemedicine in both specialties. In emergency psychiatric care, wait times for patients needing assessment in Kent and Queen Anne’s county were reduced by nearly one-third. In palliative care, telemedicine facilitated a three-fold increase in the number of patients who were able to access and benefit from a palliative care consult and/or treatment.

“We are pleased to see that the use of the technology is widely accepted by physicians and patients,” says UM SRH Chief Medical Officer William Huffner, MD. “We are now in the process of refining and expanding telemedicine services in palliative care, emergency psychiatric care and other subspecialties.”

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