Talbot Hospice Hosts Expert on Care of Aging Veterans

Talbot Hospice will present its third annual outreach event March 15, 2018 at 6 p.m. Soul Injury: Liberating Unmourned Loss featuring Deborah Grassman, expert on the unique needs of aging Veterans and author of The Hero Within and Peace at Last. The presentation will be held at the Easton High  School Auditorium and is open to the public, free of charge. Both of Grassman’s books will be offered for sale at the event.

Grassman is a mental health Nurse Practitioner whose career at the Department of Veterans Affairs spanned nearly 30 years where as Director of the Hospice program she personally took care of more than 10,000 dying veterans. She is recognized as one of the nation’s leading experts in caring for Veterans nearing the end of life.

Grassman is CEO and co-founder of Opus Peace, a non-profit organization whose mission is to provide programs that respond to the soul injury that occurs during trauma, abuse, self-neglect, and serious illness. She is most well-known for her pioneering presentation Wounded Warriors: Their Last Battle which was the first of its kind to identify the unique needs of Veterans as they age. In 2002, she introduced “pinning ceremonies” to honor dying veterans — a ceremony which has now become standard practice in hospices and long-term-care facilities throughout the nation.

Grassman’s presentation is suitable for Veterans and their family members, professionals who serve the Veteran populations including social workers and clinical personnel, or anyone who could benefit from processing unmourned grief and unforgiven guilt.

“We are so pleased to be able to bring someone of Deborah’s caliber to Talbot County,” said Talbot Hospice Executive Director Vivian Dodge. “We are grateful to our presenting sponsors Avon Dixon Agency and Shore United Bank for helping make this a free event for the community.”

Also at the event, local Veteran organizations, agencies, and support groups will be available in the lobby prior to Grassman’s presentation to offer their resources to Veterans and their families. On Friday, March 16, 8 a.m., Grassman will present an abbreviated version of the workshop “Wounded Warriors” at Talbot Hospice for social workers, nurses, and anyone who works with Veterans.

For more information visit TalbotHospice.org/events or call 410-822-6681.

Talbot Hospice 5th Annual Spring Bouquet Sale

A patient and her daughter enjoyed receiving a beautiful bouquet for her room during last year’s sale.

It’s time to say so long to winter and welcome spring.  Talbot Hospice’s 5th annual “Welcome Spring Bouquet” sale is in full bloom! This colorful volunteer-run fundraiser brings good cheer while supporting the important work of Talbot Hospice.

According to Talbot Hospice volunteer Julie Burleson, co-chair of the fundraiser, there is no better way to say “I love you,” “thank you,” or “just because,” than lovely fresh flowers. “Flowers are a timeless symbol of life, love and renewal,” said Burleson. “At Talbot Hospice we like to celebrate each day to the fullest, and fragrant flowers are a reminder that spring is just around the corner.”

Last year’s floral event yielded over $10,000 which directly benefits patients facing end-of-life and their families. The beautiful bouquets are only $20 and make a perfect gift for a spouse, friend, colleague, child, or parent.

Orders must be placed by March 20, and bouquets will be available for pick up at Talbot Hospice on March 22, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.  Orders of five or more bouquets can be delivered to your home or office.  To order visit TalbotHospice.org/events, call 410-822-6681, or visit the Talbot Hospice office in person at 586 Cynwood Drive, Easton.

Talbot Hospice Offers Memoir Workshop

Talbot Hospice is offering a six-week memoir workshop – Looking Back with Gentle Eyes – facilitated by Anne McCormick, M.Ed., Tuesday mornings 10:30 a.m. – 12 p.m., March 20 – April 24, 2018. The class is free of charge and open to the public. Class size is limited to ten participants. Advance registration is required and can be made by calling 410-822-6681.

McCormick is the retired Associate Director of the Learning and Counseling Center and adjunct professor of English at American University, Washington, D.C. She is the co-author of two books and numerous journal articles about accommodating college students with disabilities. Since retiring to the Eastern Shore, Anne has co-offered numerous workshops in memoir writing and served on multiple advocacy boards for individuals with disabilities.

Festival of Trees Raises $128,000 for Talbot Hospice

Pictured (l-r): Friends of Hospice Treasurer Dana McGrath, Talbot Hospice Director of Development Kate Cox, Friends of Hospice President Brenda Forbes-Butler, Talbot Hospice Executive Director Vivian Dodge, and Friends of Hospice Vice President Jackie Wilson.

The Friends of Hospice recently presented Talbot Hospice with a check for $128,000 representing proceeds from the 2017 Festival of Trees. It was a stellar year for this 32nd annual fundraiser which encompasses several events beginning in September with the Men in Heels Race and culminating Thanksgiving weekend with the Homes Tour, the display of trees at the Tidewater Inn and more.

According to Talbot Hospice Executive Director Vivian Dodge, the Festival of Trees event has generously given their financial support to help defray some of the costs of providing hospice services since its inception in 1985. “In addition to financial support, the Festival enhances public awareness of Talbot Hospice and its mission to provide exceptional care for patients at the end of life and their loved ones. We are honored to have their partnership,” said Dodge.

Talbot Hospice, UM SRH Partner to Provide Inpatient Hospice Care

University of Maryland Shore Regional Health and Talbot Hospice have established an agreement that enables inpatient hospice care to be provided at UM Shore Medical Center at Easton. The agreement, which went into effect in early November, enables Talbot Hospice to provide General Inpatient Care (GIP), which is one of the four levels of hospice care, to patients in the Easton hospital. GIP for symptom management is a valuable tool that allows hospice staff to provide clinical services in a hospital setting. It is intended for specific circumstances and for a short duration of time.

According to Vivian Dodge, executive director, Talbot Hospice, GIP care is appropriate when a hospice patient’s pain and other symptoms cannot be effectively managed in his or her home or other residential setting and a higher level of skilled nursing care is needed. In this case, the patient is transferred to UM Shore Medical Center at Easton but remains in the care plan directed by Talbot Hospice medical and nursing care providers. The hospice team continues to follow the patient and interact with the family, and is responsible for the professional management of the patient’s care.

Photo: Left to right: Talbot Hospice Executive Director Vivian Dodge, UM SRH Chief Medical Officer and VP Medical Affairs Dr. William Huffner, Talbot Hospice Medical Director and UM SRH Cancer Center Medical Director Dr. Mary DeShields, Talbot Hospice Clinical Director Molly Kirsch, 2 East Clinical Nurse Coordinator Mary Collins, 2 East Staff Nurse Dawn Ruby, UM SRH Director of Acute Care and Emergency Services Diane Walbridge. 

“We are excited to expand our current hospice services that are already provided in Talbot County,” says Dodge. “This collaborative endeavor allows us to provide more convenient access to those in need of end-of-life services by having these general inpatient hospice services available. Our goal is always to find innovative ways to ensure end-of-life care is available in a variety of modalities and settings, while meeting the ever changing needs of the community. Talbot Hospice is an incredible asset to our community and with our partnership with Shore Regional Health, we can serve a broader community more capably and maintain patients in their spheres of care.”

GIP care may also be provided for patients who already are in the hospital but need continued pain control and/or other symptom management that cannot be feasibly provided in the home setting. While remaining in the hospital, these patients are discharged from inpatient care provided by UM Shore Medical Center at Easton and admitted to hospice care directed by Talbot Hospice.

“For eligible patients with terminal conditions and complex medical needs, this new process for the provision of hospice GIP level care at Easton Hospital, ensures the  timely and smooth transition to hospice care,” says Lakshmi Vaidyanathan, medical director, UM Shore Regional Health’s Palliative Care Program.

According to Bill Roth, regional director of Care Transitions and Palliative Care for UM SRH, “Hospice providers play an essential role health care planning and delivery as well as education and support for patients and their loved ones. Talbot Hospice is a key partner with UM Shore Medical Center at Easton in ensuring that all patients have access to ‘the right care, at the right place at the right time’.”

Remembrance Ceremony to be held at Trinity Cathedral 

Community members who have been touched by the death of a child of any age are invited to participate in a Remembrance Ceremony Tuesday, December 5, 7 p.m. at Trinity Cathedral Church, 315 Goldsborough Street in Easton. Parents, grandparents, siblings and friends are encouraged to join in this ceremony to honor and remember their loved one. The Light A Candle Remembrance Ceremony, in its 31st year, is presented by Talbot Hospice and the Child Loss Support Group. The Rev. Jody Gunn will lead the service.

Musical highlights include selections by Sts Peter & Paul High School Chorus. The remembrance service includes music, prayer, inspirational readings and candle-lighting. It concludes in the churchyard with families placing white bows on a memorial tree as their child’s name is read aloud.  All are invited for light refreshments and fellowship immediately following the service in Miller Hall which is located behind the church.All families who attend are asked to bring with them a bow made of weatherproof white ribbon, no larger than six inches in diameter, tied with a wire to attach to the tree. The child’s name or a message may be written with waterproof ink on the ribbon if families wish.

Throughout the holiday season, the lights and ribbons are a reminder that all of the children who have died are being remembered.For more information about the ceremony and support services for bereaved parents, please contact Talbot Hospice Bereavement Coordinator Becky DeMattia at 410-822-6681 or bdemattia@talbothospice.org. 

November is National Hospice & Palliative Care Month

In recognition of National Hospice & Palliative Care Month in November, Talbot Hospice will offer two Lunch & Learns at the Easton and St. Michaels locations of the Talbot County Free Library. Presentations will be held Monday, November 13, 12 p.m. at the St. Michaels branch and Wednesday, November 15, 12 p.m. in Easton.

The educational presentations – Hospice 101: Debunking the Myths – will dovetail with this year’s NHPC Month theme “It’s about how you live.” According to Talbot Hospice Executive Director Vivian Dodge, hospice is about how you want to live the last chapter of life. “Our goal is to educate the community that hospice is not just for the last days or week of life,” said Dodge. “Hospice is a system of care and support for both the patient and the family. It’s not a place or our building on Cynwood Drive. In fact, most of the patients we serve are in their homes. I hope individuals will put aside their preconceived ideas about hospice and their reluctance to talk about death and dying and come hear about the uplifting and important work we do.”

For more information, or to register call Talbot Hospice at 410-822-6681.

Bountiful and Talbot Hospice Team up for 14th Annual Holiday Kickoff

Bountiful Interiors, Talbot County’s award-winning home furnishings store and design firm, will host its 14th Annual Holiday Kickoff Thursday, November 2nd from 6 – 9 p.m., at the store, located in the Talbot Town Shopping Center at 218 N. Washington Street. The Holiday Kickoff, a Talbot County tradition, is free, open to the public and includes music, food and a cash bar. Twenty percent of proceeds from the evening’s sales will be donated to Talbot Hospice to honor and recognize their important work with patients and families facing the end of life.

Standing: Jamie Merida and Talbot Hospice Executive Director Vivian Dodge
Seated (l-r): Talbot Hospice Board Vice President Emilie Joshi, Director of Development Kate Cox, and Board President Diane Rohman

Each year, Bountiful’s owner Jamie Merida and his staff transform the store into a holiday wonderland with an extravagant display of sparkling holiday decor, exquisite home accessories, unique toys, and elegant gifts. The selection is vast, creative, and provides area residents a head start on their shopping while helping to support the mission of a local nonprofit organization. According to Merida, this year’s theme – “A Very Viennese Christmas” – will replicate the glamor and opulence of fin-de-sielce Vienna.

Talbot Hospice Executive Director Vivian Dodge, said “We are so pleased and fortunate to have been designated as the beneficiary of Bountiful’s Holiday Kickoff again this year.  Over the past four years this event has raised close to $10,000 for our services and programs. We are beyond grateful for all that we are able to provide patients and their families, thanks to the generosity of Jamie and our community members.”

Previous Bountiful Holiday Kickoff events have benefitted the Women & Girls Fund of the Mid-Shore, the Humane Society of Talbot County, Mid-Shore Council on Family Violence, the Mental Heath Association of Talbot County, and the Community Alliance for the Performing Arts.  “My staff and I feel privileged to be able to provide an opportunity each year for the community to come out and support the work of these very important non-profit organizations,” said Merida.

For additional information about the party, call 410-763-8500 or visit Bountiful’s website, BountifulDecor.com. For additional information about Talbot Hospice, visit TalbotHospice.org.

Talbot Hospice to Host a Free Seminar for the Community

Talbot Hospice will be hosting “Wills and Probate and Planned Giving 101: What You Need to Know” on Saturday, October 14 from 8:30 am – 10:30 am in the Clark-Guthrie Center at Hospice House, located at 586 Cynwood Drive, Easton.

Guest presenters at the seminar include Charles Capute, Esquire and Elizabeth Spurry, CFP, CFTA.  Mr. Capute is an attorney practicing principally in the area of trusts and estates.  In 2002 he became the founding member and partner of Charles T. Capute LLC.  He has worked with trusts and estates for more than 35 years, and has served in many leadership capacities in the community, including his current position as a member of the board of directors of Shore Regional Health.

Charles Capute (right) and Elizabeth Spurry

Elizabeth Spurry of Trappe is President of Tred Avon Family Wealth in Easton, which offers boutique family office services to help individuals and families preserve and manage family wealth.  She is a Certified Trust and Financial Advisor and Certified Financial Planner.  She is currently active on the boards of The Harbor Club, The May Foundation, and the Sultana Education Foundation.

In Mr. Capute’s presentation he will discuss the probate process: what it is, how it works, and whether it is wise for you to plan around it.  Ms. Spurry will discuss Planned Giving: What it is, overview of the kinds of planned gifts, and what you need to consider as you begin to plan.

The event includes a continental breakfast beginning at 8:30 am.  Presentations will be made from 9 am – 10:30 am with time for questions and answers.

Seating is limited and registration is required either by visiting talbothospice.org/events or by contacting Kate Cox, kcox@talbothospice.org, 410-822-6681 x15.

Talbot Hospice Offers Memoir Workshop

Talbot Hospice is offering an six-week memoir workshop – Looking Back with Gentle Eyes – facilitated by Anne McCormick, M.Ed., Tuesday mornings 10:30 a.m. – 12 p.m., September 26 – October 31, 2017. The class is free of charge and open to the public. Class size is limited to ten participants. Advance registration is required and can be made by calling 410-822-6681.

McCormick is the retired Associate Director of the Learning and Counseling Center and adjunct professor of English at American University, Washington, D.C. She is the co-author of two books and numerous journal articles about accommodating college students with disabilities. Since retiring to the Eastern Shore, Anne has co-offered numerous workshops in memoir writing and served on multiple advocacy boards for individuals with disabilities.


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