Compass Regional Hospice Staff to Provide Counseling at Vietnam Traveling Memorial Wall

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Compass Regional Hospice’s Grief and Support Services staff have been invited to be present during the Vietnam Traveling Memorial Wall’s stay in Easton, which will take place from Thursday, May 31, to Wednesday, June 6.

Compass Regional Hospice’s trained grief counselors, as well as a social worker and a chaplain, will be on hand to provide counseling services to those who seek them, from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.Monday, June 4, through Wednesday, June 6.

Grief Services staff will include Rhonda Knotts, grief counselor and supervisor of Grief Services with Compass Regional Hospice, who is certified in level-two advanced trauma treatment through The Ferentz Institute; Wayne Larrimore, a grief counselor with Compass Regional Hospice, who served with the U.S. Air Force for 21 years; Ann OConnor, a grief counselor with Compass Regional Hospice; social worker Sharon Loving; and Compass chaplain Nancy Greenwell.

From left, clockwise: Rhonda Knotts, grief counselor and supervisor of Grief Services; Linda Turner, grief counselor; Wayne Larrimore, grief counselor and Air Force veteran; and Ann OConnor, grief counselor.

“Ultimately, what our counselors can offer, is a compassionate ear,” Knotts said. “We are definitely not there to think that we can fix anything or to erase what has already been seen and felt, but just to be a source of comfort while you visit, remember, and in many instances, take a trip back. We’re going in because we owe it to our veterans for what they have done for us— to be there and walk with them when they need us to.”

Jackie Davis, executive director of the Mental Health Association of the Eastern Shore, said the planning committee bringing the Vietnam Traveling Memorial Wall to Easton is anticipating thousands of visitors. She said because of the strong and often still raw emotional reactions the Vietnam Wall in Washington, D.C., can evoke, she knew there might be times where visitors to the traveling wall may need someone to talk with. She said the most important criteria was that those people be trained to provide that listening ear. The MHAMDES is coordinating the efforts to bring that trained staff to the Vietnam Traveling Memorial Wall during its visit in Easton.

“It adds another level of support,” Davis said. “I just want to emphasize how thankful we are to Compass Regional Hospice, whose staff are taking up almost half of the hours (of the counseling needs). We didn’t know what to expect (when planning the event), but we’d rather be over-prepared than under-prepared.”

Social worker Sharon Loving, and Compass Regional Hospice chaplain Nancy Greenwell.

Davis said Compass Regional Hospice is one of the only Mid-Shore nonprofit agencies to provide trained grief counseling services during the event. Other agencies providing counseling services include the Salisbury Outstation of the Department of Veterans Affairs, which will be providing its mobile crisis van that includes counseling rooms, a full-time counselor and several support staff, which will be available 24/7; Eastern Shore Mobile Crisis Services, which will provide overnight on-call services; Maryland Responds Medical Reserve Corps; and several trained individual counselors who have volunteered their time.

According to a news release from E.E. Streets Memorial Post 5118, the mission of the Vietnam Traveling Wall is to honor United States service men and women who gave the ultimate sacrifice during the Vietnam War, by bringing a 3/5 replica of the original monument in Washington, D.C., to VFW Post 5118, 355 Glebe Road, Easton.

“This is so that the family and friends of those memorialized on the Wall, along with everyone on the Eastern Shore, can experience the overwhelming impact of this memorial,” the news release stated. “The event is a solemn presentation of the Vietnam Wall Memorial, and as such will have an air of reverence, honor, and respect.”

Counselors from all agencies involved will be present in shifts, from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., June 1 through 5.

The Wall will be open 24-hours a day, daily, during its time in Easton. The Vietnam Traveling Memorial Wall stands as a reminder of the more than nine million military personnel who served on active duty during the Vietnam Era, the 2,709,918 Americans who served in Vietnam and especially those who gave the ultimate sacrifice— those who lost their lives serving the United States during the war.

There are 58,315 names on the Wall. Of those names, 208 listed their hometowns as being on the Delmarva Peninsula. Of the 2,709,918 Americans who served in Vietnam, less than 850,000 are estimated to be alive today.

Throughout the Wall’s stay in Easton, volunteers will read the 58, 315 names aloud. The wall will be escorted into Easton via motorcycle motorcade on May 31. Opening ceremonies will begin at 6 p.m. June 1. A schedule of events can be found on Facebook at “Vietnam Traveling Wall Easton Maryland.” During the Wall’s time in Easton, each Mid-Shore county will be represented during special recognition ceremonies to honor those service men and women who lost their lives.

For more information about grief services provided by Compass Regional Hospice, call 443-262-4100. For more information about counseling services provided at the Wall, call Jackie Davis at the Mental Health Association of the Eastern Shore at 410-822-0444 or email her at jdavis@mhamdes.org.

For more information about the Vietnam Traveling Memorial Wall’s stay in Easton, contact VFW 5118 board members Kenley Timms at kenleyt@goeaston.net, Royce Ball at royceball@mac.com or Gene Feher at genejfeher@gmail.com.

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 life-limiting 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, Chestertown and Denton. 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, through The Hope and Healing Center. For more information about Compass Regional Hospice, visit compassregionalhospice.org.

Compass Regional Hospice’s Calendar of Events, June through August

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June…

Estate Treasures Spectacular Sunday Sale —Sunday, June 10, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., at Estate Treasures, 17 Kent Towne Market, Chester. Take an additional 10 percent off already low prices. There also will be a 50/50 raffle, door prizes and small gift drawings. Estate Treasures, an upscale resale shop, is an affiliate of Compass Regional Hospice. Proceeds will benefit the capital campaign of Compass Regional Hospice. For more information, call 410-643-7360.

Volunteer Training for Camp New Dawn—Wednesday, June 20, 6 to 9 p.m., at The Hope and Healing Center, 255 Comet Drive, Centreville. Camp New Dawn is a four-day, three-night grief retreat summer camp for children, teens and families, and is a program of Compass Regional Hospice. Camp New Dawn would not be possible without the support of Compass Regional Hospice’s specially trained volunteers. More than 100 volunteers help to make sure the camp is fun and full of friendship and learning. For more information, contact Courtney Williams at 443-262-4112 orcwilliams@compassregionalhospice.org.

Camp New Dawn Fundraiser —Thursday, June 28, 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., at Fisherman’s Crab Deck, 3032 Kent Narrow Way S., Grasonville. The event will feature a silent auction and 50/50 raffle. Proceeds will benefit Camp New Dawn, a four-day, three-night grief retreat summer camp for children, teens and families, which is a program of Compass Regional Hospice. For more information, contact Kenda Leager at 443-262-4106 or kleager@compassregionalhospice.org.

July…

Volunteer Training for Camp New Dawn—Tuesday, July 10, 6 to 9 p.m., at The Hope and Healing Center, 255 Comet Drive, Centreville. Camp New Dawn is a four-day, three-night grief retreat summer camp for children, teens and families, and is a program of Compass Regional Hospice. Camp New Dawn would not be possible without the support of Compass Regional Hospice’s specially trained volunteers. More than 100 volunteers help to make sure the camp is fun and full of friendship and learning. For more information, contact Courtney Williams at 443-262-4112 or cwilliams@compassregionalhospice.org.

Volunteer Training for Camp New Dawn—Monday, July 30, 6 to 9 p.m., at The Hope and Healing Center, 255 Comet Drive, Centreville. Camp New Dawn is a four-day, three-night grief retreat summer camp for children, teens and families, and is a program of Compass Regional Hospice. Camp New Dawn would not be possible without the support of Compass Regional Hospice’s specially trained volunteers. More than 100 volunteers help to make sure the camp is fun and full of friendship and learning. For more information, contact Courtney Williams at 443-262-4112 or cwilliams@compassregionalhospice.org.

August…

Camp New Dawn— Saturday, Aug. 18, through Tuesday, Aug. 21, at Camp Pecometh, 136 Bookers Wharf Road, Centreville. A four-day, three-night grief retreat summer camp for children, teens and families, through Compass Regional Hospice. For more information or to register, contact Rhonda Knotts at 443-262-4109 or rknotts@compassregionalhospice.org. For more information about volunteering, contact Courtney Williams at 443-262-4112 or cwilliams@compassregionalhospice.org.

Ongoing… 

Bereaved Parent Grief Support Group— First Monday of each month, 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., at The Hope and Healing Center, 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, 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., at The Hope and Healing Center, 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, 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., at The Hope and Healing Center, 255 Comet Drive, Centreville.  A drop-in group for individuals, 18 and older, dealing with the loss of a loved one from drug overdose. 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, 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 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.

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.”

Talbot Community Connections Holds Third Annual Senior Summit on Aging

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Lynn H. Sanchez of Easton, Mental Health Advocate, will be the keynote speaker for the third annual Senior Summit, “Life Reimagined Challenges and Triumphs,” on Thursday, June 7, 2018, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the Talbot Community Center on Route 50 in Easton, MD. This day-long program for seniors, children of seniors, caregivers, professionals and concerned residents will provide presentations and discussions on the issues that seniors face today, including health and wellness, technology, staying active, and transitioning in life.  The event, sponsored by Talbot Community Connections (TCC) and the Talbot County Department of Social Services, helps to fund the unmet needs that are fundamental to the safety, security, health and well-being of Talbot County’s children and adults.

Sanchez will present “Wine Isn’t the Only Thing That Improves with Age” – an insightful and light-hearted discussion about our personal aging journey. She states, “We will take a look at the physical and emotional energy needed to transition, into our next phase of life.”

Sanchez, who has worked tirelessly as a mental health advocate on the Shore, attended Florida State University where she completed a bachelor’s degree in Child Development and a Master’s in Education degree in Mental Retardation. She has served on the faculty of Chesapeake College and served as Site Coordinator of Talbot Touchpoints Project & Eldercare Project for the Mental Health Association in Talbot County. Currently, she is Administrative Assistant at the medical office of Robert B. Sanchez and is a Mental Health First Aid Trainer.

The Senior Summit will include workshops on downsizing, flourishing through transitions, self-defense for seniors, senior fitness, and even a virtual dementia tour. In addition to break-out workshops, there will be the opportunity for participants to have lunch and to visit vendor tables to gather additional information on aging issues and services.

Talbot Community Connections (TCC), a nonprofit arm of the Talbot County Department of Social Services, has the mission to raise and distribute funds to help keep families together, support children in foster care, and support the elderly so they can remain independent, safe, and healthy members of our communities.

The cost of the Senior Summit is $15 for the General Public, including seniors, and $85 for Professional Social Work CEUs. A healthy continental breakfast and lunch are included in the registration fee. Pre-registration is required by June 1. For further information, contact Kelley Werner at kelley.werner@maryland.gov or call 410-770-8810 or visit talbotcommunityconnections.org to download a registration form or to purchase tickets online. Registration forms are also available at the front desk at Talbot County Department of Social Services at 301 Bay Street, Unit 5 in Easton.

Platinum sponsors for the 2018 Senior Summit are the Talbot County Department of Social Services, the Talbot County Government, and The Star Democrat. Gold sponsors are the Talbot County Health Department, Visiting Nurse Association of Maryland, and University of Maryland Shore Regional Health.

UM CMG – Cardiology Announces Addition of Morton Kalus, MD, FACC

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University of Maryland Community Medical Group (UM CMG), is proud to announce the addition of Morton Kalus, MD, FACC, aboard-certified cardiologist with more than 25 years of experience, who will be bringing his expertise and services to patients in Kent and Queen Anne’s counties.

Dr. Kalus is seeing patients at two locations on the Eastern Shore: 126 Philosophers Terrace in Chestertown and 125 Shoreway Drive in Queenstown. Patients may make an appointment with Dr. Kalus at either location by calling 410-822-5571.

A native of Baltimore, Dr. Kalus graduated from Princeton University Magna cum laude in Biology and then completed his medical degree at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. He went on to pursue his internship and residency in Internal Medicine at the University of Michigan Medical Center. He then spent two years pursuing a Pharmacology fellowship at the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons.He returned to the University of Michigan Medical Center to successfully complete Cardiology and Nuclear Medicine fellowships. He is certified in Cardiovascular Disease by the American Board of Internal Medicine; and in Nuclear Cardiology by the Certification Board of Nuclear Cardiology.

UM CMG is a University of Maryland Medical System-owned network of more than 300 primary care physicians, specialists and advanced practice clinicians. As part of UM CMG, Dr. Kalus is affiliated with UM Shore Regional Health.

“We are very excited to have Dr. Kalus join our team at the University of Maryland Community Medical Group in our cardiology practice,” comments Michele Wilson, Chief Operating Officer for UM CMG. “Dr. Kalus brings with him more than 25 years of experience in academic and clinical appointments that will greatly benefit our cardiology patients on the Eastern Shore.”

UM CMG consists of community-based provider practices affiliated with UM Baltimore Washington Medical Center, UM Charles Regional Medical Center, University of Maryland Medical Center Midtown Campus and UM Shore Regional Health.  A list of UM CMG providers is available at https://www.umms.org/find-a-doctor.

About the University of Maryland Community Medical Group  

The University of Maryland Community Medical Group (UM CMG) is a multi-hospital, multi-specialty, community-based physician-led group, and part of the University of Maryland Medical System. With more than 300 primary care physicians, specialists, and advanced practice clinicians in more than 65 locations across the state, UM CMG offers patients a vast network of highly experienced providers, delivering care right in their neighborhood. For more information, visit www.umcmg.org.

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 Hospital Auxiliary is Top Sponsor of Foundation’s Golf Tournament

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The Chester River Hospital Center Auxiliary has stepped up in a big way to be the lead sponsor of the Chester River Health Foundation’s 24th annual golf tournament fundraiser, scheduled for Friday, June 1, at Chester River Yacht and Country Club just outside of Chestertown, Maryland. The proceeds will help fund the purchase of state-of-the-art surgical equipment for the hospital.

Golfers Bill Noll, Don Cantor and Bart Stolp at last year’s Chester River Health Foundation Golf Tournament.

“For 24 years, the Foundation’s premiere fundraiser has always been our golf tournament because it raises funds for the highest priority project or equipment that benefit the people served at UM Shore Medical Center at Chestertown,” says Carl Gallegos, Ph.D., Foundation board chair. “This year, proceeds will help purchase all-new arthroscopic (joint procedures) and laparoscopic (abdominal and other procedures) equipment for the surgical services department. We are very pleased that the Auxiliary not only understands but significantly supports our efforts to provide this vital equipment for our community.”

“All nine of our surgeons — general, orthopedic, obstetricians/gynecologists and podiatrists –use this equipment for exploratory, diagnosis and treatment procedures,” says Peggy Roca, RN, manager of perioperative services for the hospital. “This equ1ipment allows a technique that significantly reduces a patient’s surgical pain and healing time while also reduces the chance of infection and post-op complications.”

“Our patients deserve the best,” says Roca. “So whether you play golf or not, we hope you will support the Foundation’s endeavor to raise $200,000 for this equipment, with a donation of any size by June 30th. Eight of our Operating Room, Same Day Surgery and Recovery Room nurses will be volunteering at the golf tournament, so if you  happen to be on the course on June 1st, please be sure to ask any one of them how important this equipment is to providing the best health care community!”

Last year’s golf tournament attracted 128 players and raised over $96,000 toward the purchase of 10 suites of patient room furnishings. This year’s format will be a step-aside scramble and will feature four Hole-In-One competitions and will include a putting contest for a. $10,000 prize (50% to the winner, 50% to the Foundation) and many other events along the course with chances to win some terrific prizes.

Registration for golfers and sponsors is now open online at: www.umcrhf.org

Additional information may be obtained by contacting Deb Lauser, development specialist, 410-810-5661 or dlauser@umm.edu.