Compass Welcomes Medical Director, Readies for Palliative Care Program Launch

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Dr. Thomas Walsh

Compass Regional Hospice welcomed its full-time chief medical director, Dr. Thomas Walsh, on Jan. 1, and is preparing to launch its new Compass Palliative Care Program at the beginning of February.

“It is with great pride that we have hired Dr. Tom Walsh as our full-time chief medical director,” said Compass Regional Hospice Executive Director Heather Guerieri. “In addition to now taking on a full-time role with us, he will be leading our newest program, Compass Palliative Care. We will be taking our first referrals for this program on Feb. 4.”

Dr. Thomas Walsh of Queenstown recently retired from his practice with Maryland Primary Care Physicians at the end of 2018 to take on the role of full-time chief medical director with Compass Regional Hospice, effective Jan. 1, 2019. Walsh has been the chief medical director for Compass Regional Hospice since March 2017, working contractually.

Walsh received his Bachelor of Science, magna cum laude, from Benedictine University in Illinois in 1974. He is a 1978 graduate of Rush University’s Rush Medical College in Chicago and completed his residency in family medicine at the University of Maryland Hospital in Baltimore from 1978 to 1981. He has practiced medicine since 1981, first in Anne Arundel County, and has been practicing in Queen Anne’s County since 1988. He was a founding partner and former board member of Maryland Primary Care Physicians and, prior to his retirement, served as the clinical director for its Queenstown site.

“As a family physician, I had the opportunity to be involved in the lives of patients and their families from birth until death,” Walsh said. “My nearly 40 years of medical practice has given me the privilege of caring for thousands of people. End-of-life care has always been an especially important part of my work.”

Walsh also is a Queen Anne’s County Orphan’s Court judge and he is a former member of the Maryland Board of Physicians’ licensing, disciplinary and regulatory board.

“My involvement with Compass Regional Hospice as its chief medical director has given me the chance to be front and center with patients and families when it comes to end-of-life care. I am looking forward to this new role, and I know this partnership will continue to make me a better doctor and a better person,” Walsh said.

Walsh said he and the Compass Regional Hospice team look forward to the Feb. 4 launch of the Compass Palliative Care Program, which will be offered as a home care service to anyone who is dealing with a serious illness and has received a terminal diagnosis or life-expectancy of one year or less.

“I am looking forward to the launch of Compass Regional Hospice’s community palliative care program because it will give our team the opportunity to help more people who are living with and dealing with a serious illness, but are not yet ready for hospice services,” Walsh said. “The services we will be providing will help ensure that no one has to deal with the challenges of living with a serious illness alone.”

Compass Regional Hospice’s Director of Clinical Services, Dr. Holly Hayman, said palliative care is defined by Compass Regional Hospice as “the comprehensive care and management of the physical, psychological, emotional and spiritual needs of patients (of all ages) and their families with a serious and/or life-threatening illness. Palliative Care may be complimentary to curative or life-prolonging therapies that are being used to meet patient-defined goals of care.”

“We are very excited to offer the community-based Compass Palliative Care Program to provide additional medical care for individuals in the community with a life-limiting illness who do not qualify for hospice services,” Hayman said. “The program will provide patients with an additional level of coordinated care to better manage the challenges they face while living with a serious illness. Home visits will be provided by our palliative care physician and a social worker, which will assist the patient’s current medical team with symptom management related to the life-limiting illness.”

To learn more about hospice and palliative care services, or grief support services, available through Compass Regional Hospice, please contact Haymanat 443-262-4104 or hhayman@compassregionalhospice.org.

Compass Regional Hospice – Care on your terms

Compass Regional Hospice is a fully licensed, independent, community-based nonprofit organization certified by Medicare and the state of Maryland and accredited by the Joint Commission. Since 1985, Compass Regional Hospice has been dedicated to supporting people of all ages through the challenge of living with a serious illness and learning to live following the death of a loved one. Today, the organization is a regional provider of hospice care and grief support in Queen Anne’s, Kent and Caroline counties. “Care on your terms” is the promise that guides staff and volunteers as they care for patients in private residences, nursing homes, assisted living facilities and the residential hospice centers in Centreville and Chestertown. Grief support services are offered to children, adults and families of patients who died under hospice care, as well as members of the community who are grieving the loss of a loved one. For more information about Compass Regional Hospice, visit compassregionalhospice.org.

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.

For All Seasons Donor Event Speaker Starts Conversation to End Sexual Violence

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Don McPherson

Don McPherson, former Philadelphia Eagles quarterback, activist and feminist, spoke at For All Seasons’ recent Donor Reception on the topic, “You Throw Like a Girl: A Conversation to End Sexual Violence.” His presentation focused on men and women having a conversation nurturing positive language and a healthy understanding of masculinity. For All Seasons will continue working with Don McPherson to create a community-based program to address men’s violence again women. McPherson will be engaging men to address the culture of unhealthy masculinity at the core of all forms of men’s violence against women. He will work with For All Seasons’ trauma-certified staff to create healthy relationship groups to support victims of crime, while deconstructing rape culture to enable points of engagement with men and women across the Mid Shore.

For All Seasons offers individual and group therapy, general, child and adolescent therapy, marriage and couples’ counseling, grief counseling, school-based mental health therapy, urgent care services, Rape Crisis Response, Rape Crisis Counseling and Support, 24-Hour English and Spanish Hotlines, and education and outreach programming. For further information about For All Seasons, call 410-822-1018 or visit forallseasonsinc.org.

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.

Insight Meditation Community Offers Introductory Class

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The Insight Meditation Community of Chestertown is offering a 6-week Introduction to Mindfulness Meditation class on Sunday afternoons from 3:30 to 5:00 p.m. beginning January 20, 2019. At the heart of insight meditation is the practice of mindfulness, the cultivation of clear, stable and non-judgmental awareness. Anne Briggs, the group’s leader, and Wendy Morrison, a mindfulness and yoga teacher, will be teaching the classes, which will be held at the Chester River Friends Meeting House, 124 Philosophers Terrace, Chestertown. There is a $25.00 registration fee, which can be mailed to Anne Briggs at 220 N. Kent Street, Chestertown, Md. 21620. Checks should be made payable to IMC – Chestertown, and accompanied by your e-mail address and telephone number.

For further information, please get in touch with Anne Briggs by telephone at 410-778-1746, or by e-mail at info@imc-chestertown.org, or consult the group’s web site at www.imc-chestertown.org.

Compass Grief Support Group Helps Those Suffering Losses from Overdose

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Bonnie Scott

Compass Regional Hospice is restructuring its Recovery After a Substance Passing grief support group to be more engaging and welcoming to those who are suffering the loss of a loved one due to overdose death.

The group meets from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. on the third Thursday of each month at Compass Regional Hospice, 255 Comet Drive, Centreville. The group will meet this winter on Jan. 17, Feb. 21 and March 21.

Grief Support Supervisor Rhonda Knotts said the group now will include dinner, fellowship, guided conversation or activities and the occasional guest speaker.

January’s guest speaker will be Bonnie Scott, a Kent County native who has been in addiction recovery since 2004. She will talk about her experiences with loss due to overdose.

Scott attended Kent County High School and for the past 13 years has lived in Easton as a personal trainer, first at Body Watts and now as a self-employed personal trainer focusing on seniors over age 55 and people facing orthopedic issues.

In May 2012, Scott lost her only son to an overdose. In 2013, she received her Grief Recovery Specialist certification through the Grief Recovery Institute.

Today, she also is a grandmother to three and an ordained minister that performs weddings and, occasionally, funerals, all over Maryland and Delaware. She enjoys crocheting, photography, reading and anything she can make or paint.

Compass Regional Hospice Executive Director Heather Guerieri said supporting families who have lost a loved one due to substance overdose is a natural fit for Compass Regional Hospice.

“Compass Regional Hospice offers assistance to those who are suffering the loss of a loved one after addiction and overdose,” Guerieri said. “The RASP support group is offered to anyone, regardless of whether or not they have been served by Compass. We are honored to offer this support to the communities and patients we serve in Queen Anne’s, Kent and Caroline counties, and we never turn anyone away from these groups based on an inability to pay; they are open to everyone.”

Photo: Members of Compass Regional Hospice’s Grief Support Services team are, from left, Ann OConnor, grief counselor; Mary Scull, bereavement assistant; Rhonda Knotts, Grief Support Services supervisor; Linda Turner, grief counselor; and Wayne Larrimore, grief counselor and winner of the 2018 Cynthia Nugent Award for Clinical Excellence.

Knotts said grief following a drug overdose is often very complicated and can be different from other forms of grieving. The untimely and traumatic death can cause intense emotional reactions in loved ones, including guilt, shame/stigma, anger, anxiety and fear, and isolation.

“These can be very destructive and toxic emotions in those grieving, and can also be difficult to overcome,” Knotts said. “Survivors often feel the people around them can’t or don’t care to understand their situation or their complex emotions. This leads to survivors oftentimes left to grieve alone. We want you to know that you aren’t alone and that this is a safe space for you to come and open up, or don’t, maybe just listen or enjoy a time of fellowship with those who understand your situation and can help you bridge the path to healing.”

Knotts said the most important thing to know, is that if you are suffering, you are not alone.

“If you know someone who’s suffering from this type of loss, please let them know they are not alone,” Knotts said.“We are here for them, there are things they can do to help themselves, and there are many others out there who truly understand because they are going through the same thing.”

To learn more about the RASP grief support group, to register or to learn about other grief support programs and services available through Compass Regional Hospice, contact Knotts at 443-262-4109 or rknotts@compassregionalhospice.org.

Compass Regional Hospice – Care on your terms

Compass Regional Hospice is a fully licensed, independent, community-based nonprofit organization certified by Medicare and the state of Maryland and accredited by the Joint Commission. Since 1985, Compass Regional Hospice has been dedicated to supporting people of all ages through the challenge of living with a serious illness and learning to live following the death of a loved one. Today, the organization is a regional provider of hospice care and grief support in Queen Anne’s, Kent and Caroline counties. “Care on your terms” is the promise that guides staff and volunteers as they care for patients in private residences, nursing homes, assisted living facilities and the residential hospice centers in Centreville and Chestertown. Grief support services are offered to children, adults and families of patients who died under hospice care, as well as members of the community who are grieving the loss of a loved one. For more information about Compass Regional Hospice, visit compassregionalhospice.org.

Compass Regional Hospice January to February Events

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January

Vigil Volunteer Training — Monday, Jan. 14, at 6 p.m. at Compass Regional Hospice, 255 Comet Drive, Centreville. Vigil volunteers are present with patients who are facing the last days and moments of life. Vigil volunteers can be there to reiterate or remind families of what medical personnel have communicated, suggest comfort care for patients, sit with the patient while a caregiver has a chance to rest, and reassure caregivers they are doing a good job. This training will be facilitated by Support Services Supervisor Sharon Loving and spiritual counselor, the Rev. Nancy Greenwell. For more information or to register for the training, contact Kim Parkerson at 443-262-4132 or kparkerson@compassregionalhospice.org.

Estate Treasures Warehouse Sale — Saturday, Jan. 19, from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. at 106 Log Canoe Circle, Chesapeake Business Park, Stevensville. Come find deeply discounted furniture, tools, sporting goods, small kitchen appliances, home décor, housewares, area rugs, Hunter Douglas blinds, furniture for small businesses, and more. Proceeds will benefit Compass Regional Hospice. For more information, call Estate Treasures, an operating unit of Compass Regional Hospice, at 410-643-7360.

Bereavement Volunteer Training— Thursday, Jan. 31, at 3 p.m. at Compass Regional Hospice, 255 Comet Drive, Centreville. This six-hour training facilitated by Grief Support Supervisor Rhonda Knotts will teach volunteers about grief and bereavement and how you can help support the Grief Support Services team.For more information or to register for the training, contact Kim Parkerson at 443-262-4132 or kparkerson@compassregionalhospice.org.

February

Estate Treasures Warehouse Sale — Saturday, Feb. 16, from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. at 106 Log Canoe Circle, Chesapeake Business Park, Stevensville. Come find deeply discounted furniture, tools, sporting goods, small kitchen appliances, home décor, housewares, area rugs, Hunter Douglas blinds, furniture for small businesses, and more. Proceeds will benefit Compass Regional Hospice. For more information, call Estate Treasures, an operating unit of Compass Regional Hospice, at 410-643-7360.

Ongoing

Bereaved Parent Grief Support Group — First Monday of each month; Jan. 7 and Feb. 4. From 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at Compass Regional Hospice, 255 Comet Drive, Centreville. A drop-in group for individuals, 18 and older, dealing with the loss of a child. For more information, contact Rhonda Knotts at 443-262-4109 or rknotts@compassregionalhospice.org.

HALOS-Healing After a Loved One’s Suicide Grief Support Group — Second Wednesday of each month;Jan. 9 and Feb. 13. From 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at Compass Regional Hospice, 255 Comet Drive, Centreville. A drop-in group for individuals, 18 and older, dealing with the loss of a loved one from suicide. For more information, contact Rhonda Knotts at 443-262-4109 or rknotts@compassregionalhospice.org, or Wayne Larrimore at 443-262-4108 or wlarrimore@compassregionalhospice.org.

Drug Overdose Grief Support Group — Third Thursday of each month; Jan. 17 and Feb. 21. From 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at Compass Regional Hospice, 255 Comet Drive, Centreville.  A drop-in group for individuals, 18 and older, dealing with the loss of a loved one from drug overdose. Please join us for dinner and conversation/discussion. There also may be special guests or presenters to the group from time to time.Bonnie Scott will be the special guest during the January meeting.For more information, contact Rhonda Knotts at 443-262-4109 or rknotts@compssregionalhospice.org, or Linda Turner at 443-262-4120 or lturner@compassregionalhospice.org.

All Losses Grief Support Group — Fourth Tuesday of each month; Jan. 22 and Feb. 26. From noon to 1:15 p.m. at the Caroline County Public Library, Federalsburg branch, 123 Morris Ave., Federalsburg. A drop-in group for individuals, 18 and older, who have experienced any type of loss. Please bring a lunch. For more information, contact Wayne Larrimore at 443-262-4108 or wlarrimore@compassregionalhospice.org.

The Arc Central Chesapeake Region Announces New Board Members

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The Arc Central Chesapeake Region (The Arc), a nonprofit committed to providing people with intellectual and developmental disabilities the opportunity to gain independence, today announced that two new members have been added to its Board,  William C. Hollis III, who is the founding partner in the firm Hollis, Cronan & Fronk, P.A., located in Easton,  and Tim Jones, who serves as Vice President for Administrative Services at Chesapeake College.

“The Arc Central Chesapeake Region is committed to ensure our board has regional diversity in our leadership. We are excited to have the talent of Mr. Hollis and Mr. Jones, both bring a wealth of experience and insights gained from their past and current leadership roles. They will strengthen our board and commitment to Maryland’s Eastern Shore,” commented Jonathon Rondeau, CEO.

William Hollis joins The Arc Central Chesapeake Region Board from his firm Hollis, Cronan & Fronk, where he provides legal counseling and services to individuals, families and business entities.  He has extensive experience as a litigator trying jury and bench trials in the circuit and district courts, and as a court-appointed attorney for children in divorce and custody disputes.  For 18 years he was employed as a health care executive in hospitals and nursing facilities.  Mr. Hollis has held management positions at every level of hospital organizations including Chief Executive Officer.  He rose to Fellowship status in the American College of Healthcare Executives in the shortest time allowed by that organization’s bylaws.  He has been licensed as a nursing facility administrator in New York, Maryland, Delaware, and the District of Columbia.  Mr. Hollis received his formal education from Saint Michael’s College in Vermont earning his Bachelor of Arts, continuing to Adelphi University in New York where he received his Master of Business Administration, and finally University of Maryland School of Law in Maryland, where he earned his Juris Doctor.  Mr. Hollis is an active member in the community, serving on several boards, including: Mid-Shore Pro Bono, The Hugh Gregory Gallagher Motivational Theatre, Inc., disAbility Coalition of Talbot County, National Rifle Association, Safari Club International, and Dallas Safari Club Member.

Tim Jones joins The Arc Central Chesapeake Region Board from Chesapeake College where he serves as Vice President for Administrative Services.  Throughout his career, Mr. Jones has continually found innovative ways to combine his passion for community improvement with his expertise in organizational and financial leadership.  During his tenure at Chesapeake College, in addition to serving the educational needs of all its residents the college has constructed its first high efficiency building (LEED Platinum) and built and operationalized a 1.76 MW solar photovoltaic array that provides 50 percent of the college’s electricity.  He also, partnered on a battery-storage and microgrid project, and implemented a series of land management practices on campus, designed to improve the water quality of the Wye East River.  Mr. Jones is the current Chair of the the Talbot County Chamber of Commerce, a member of the Talbot County Economic Development Commission, Talbot County Public Works Advisory Board and Quality Matters. Prior to joining Chesapeake College, Mr. Jones was Senior Vice President and General Manager for Sotera Defense Solutions and Chief Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer for Delmarva Foundation for Medical Care, the first external organization charged with overseeing the quality of services delivered through Florida’s Development Disabilities program.  Mr. Jones received his BS in Economics and an MBA from Virginia Tech.  In addition, he has completed graduate level coursework in organizational leadership at both the University of Maryland Eastern Shore and the University of Chicago. Mr. Jones has served on the Upper Shore Workforce Investment Board, the Maryland Patient Safety Center Board of Trustees, as Treasurer for the Board of Trustees for Habitat Maryland, and as Chair of the Finance and Human Resources Committee of the American Healthcare Quality Association.

About The Arc Central Chesapeake Region

The Arc Central Chesapeake Region provides comprehensive programs, services, and advocacy for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities over the arc of their life. The Arc is committed to providing people with disabilities the opportunity to live, work, play and fully participate in the world around them. The Arc Central Chesapeake Region provides services in Anne Arundel, Caroline, Dorchester, Kent, Queen Anne’s, Talbot, Somerset, Wicomico, and Worcester counties and employs over 350 staff.

For more information about The Arc Central Chesapeake Region, please visit. http://thearcccr.org/.

CareFirst Contributes to Expand Access to Health Care on Eastern Shore

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CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield (CareFirst), the region’s largest health insurer, will present three organizations with more than $400,000 in grants aimed at improving access to health care for uninsured or underinsured patients – some of whom suffer from substance use disorders such as opioid abuse.

Grant recipients include Chase Brexton Health Care’s Easton Center, Eastern Shore Area Health Education Center, and University of Maryland Baltimore Foundation’s Expanding Access to Medication-Assisted Treatment in Rural Areas program for substance use disorder patients.

The program will include remarks from Md. Sen. Adelaide Eckardt, CareFirst executives and representatives of the grant recipients. All participants will be available for interviews after the event.

WHAT: Announcement of three Eastern Shore community health organizations receiving CareFirst funds totaling more than $400,000 to expand access to affordable health care among rural and underserved areas in the Eastern shore region.

WHO: Sen. Adelaide Eckardt, CareFirst executives, and grant recipients.

WHEN: Monday, Jan. 7, at 11 a.m.

WHERE: Eastern Shore Area Health Education Center, 814 Chesapeake Dr., Cambridge, Md. 21613.

CONTACT: Reporters interested in covering this event should contact Cierra Colón at cierra.colon@carefirst.com or at mediarelations@carefirst.com.