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.

Talbot Hospice Celebrates La Dolce Vita October 21

Talbot Hospice will celebrate la dolce vita with a black tie benefit on October 21st at 6 pm at The Talbot Country Club.  Guests will be transported to “An Evening in Italy,” thanks to the creative vision of co-chairs Hynda Dalton and Sheila Monahan.

A Night in Italy co-chairs (l-r) Sheila Monahan, Hynda Dalton with Talbot Hospice Executive Director Vivian Dodge.

The benefit will feature a seated gourmet dinner, Italian wines and desserts, open bar, and dancing to the show-stopping band, Nightlife.  The chairwomen will transform the Talbot County Club into a visual extravaganza that echoes the sparkling sophistication of Milan.   Tickets are $200/person, $100 tax deductible.  Proceeds will benefit Talbot Hospice patients and families.

“At Talbot Hospice we are all about ‘celebrating life’ and making the most of every day,” said Sheila Monahan who is chair of the Development Committee and co-chair of the fundraiser. “We thought it was only fitting to bring that element into our event as well.”

NightLife Band is a super high-energy performance dance band that specializes in current music, as well as the best music from the 40s to present. This lively, choreographed show band is just as much fun to watch as it is to dance to.  Be prepared for their “wow” factor! The seated dinner will include an heirloom tomato and burrata tart, filet of beef, polenta cake with tomato and caper relish and glazed broccolini with salsa verde.  Dessert will include Italian cheeses, fruit, assorted Italian pastries, Grappa and Limoncello.  Seating is limited.

To inquire about ticket availability, please visit www.talbothospice.org/events, or contact Kate Cox, Director of Development, at 410-822-6681 x15 or kcox@talbothospice.org. 

Talbot Hospice Appoints Five New Board Members

Talbot Hospice board president Diane Rohman recently announced the appointment of five new directors to the board. They include Brenda Forbes-Butler, Liz Freedlander, Roberta Lilly, MD, Rev. Leonard Palmer and Elizabeth Todd. “I am pleased to welcome these new board members as ambassadors for Talbot Hospice,” said Rohman. “We are fortunate and honored to benefit from their time and talents. I am confident that during their tenure they will contribute to the well-being of Talbot Hospice as they help guide our institution through the next several years.”

Brenda Forbes-Butler will be serving a one year term as President of the Festival of Trees. Forbes-Butler is a consumer loan officer with 1880 Bank in Easton. She served as Chair of the Festival of Trees in 2014 and has been a Friends of Hospice board member for three years.

Seated (l-r) Talbot Hospice board president Diane Rohman, Rev. Leonard Palmer, Roberta Lilly, MD; standing (l-r) Talbot Hospice executive director Vivian Dodge, Brenda Forbes-Butler, Elizabeth Todd.

Liz Freedlander was Executive director of Talbot Hospice Foundation for 14 years from 1990 until 2004. During her tenure the Hospice House was constructed and the Pathways pre-hospice, non-medical volunteer program was instituted. Since then she has served as Director of Advancement at The Country School and has been Director of Development at Horn Point Laboratory for the past ten years. She is a registered Fund-Raising Counsel in Maryland and has provided consultant services to nonprofit organizations including the Talbot County Library Foundation, the Maryland Arts Council and Channel Marker. Freedlander is a past president of the board of directors of Hospice and Palliative Care Network of Maryland.

Roberta Lilly, MD is a breast surgeon and the medical director of the Clark Comprehensive Breast Center in Easton. She originally trained in transplant surgery, but after the death of her husband, the need to have more time for her young daughter led her to complete a fellowship in surgical oncology of the breast at Johns Hopkins Hospital. Lilly is board certified by the American Board of Surgeons and is a fellow of the American College of Surgeons. Lilly was honored as a Hometown Hero at the American Cancer Society’s Colors of Cancer in 2015.

Rev. Leonard Palmer is pastor of St. Luke United Methodist Church in Bellevue. He was previously pastor of St. George United Methodist Church in Worton. For the past 14 years, Palmer has been employed by the Department of Social Services in Anne Arundel and Talbot Counties. He is a member of Strengthening the Black Church for the 21st Century task force and volunteers for the Talbot Healthy Communities Coalition and the Mid-Shore Mediation Center.

Elizabeth Todd is currently a Risk Manager with Maryland Medicine Comprehensive Insurance Program. For 16 years prior, Todd was employed by the UM Shore Regional Health System in the Dialysis Unit, the Neurology Unit at the Requard Center for Acute Rehabilitation and as Nurse Navigator at Shore Comprehensive Rehabilitation. She has a Bachelor of Science in Nursing and a Master of Science in Bioethics. Todd’s professional activities include serving as co-chair of the Patient Care Advisory Committee and the Quality and Performance Improvement Council, Rehabilitation Services.

Leaving the board are Jack Anthony, Susan Piggott, Bill Rolle, Adrienne Rudge and Tom Seip. Rohman said, “These directors have brought a wealth of diverse talents and experience as well as passion and commitment to our mission. We were immensely fortunate to have these distinguished community leaders on our board.”

Child Loss Support Group Partners with Talbot Hospice

Beginning June 21 the Child Loss Support Group will hold its monthly sessions at Talbot Hospice for anyone dealing with the loss of a child of any age. Ongoing sessions will be held the 3rd Wednesday of each month at 6 p.m. at 586 Cynwood Drive. Summer dates are July 19, August 16 and September 20. The group sessions are free of charge and open to the public.

The Child Loss Support Group was founded in 1986 by Talbot Hospice volunteers Betts Guthrie, Millie Parrott, Rhonda Higginbottom and community members Rob and Lynn Sanchez following the loss of their 8-year-old son Rion. Higginbottom, who served as the group’s facilitator for more than 30 years, retired in January. “It seemed like a natural fit for Talbot Hospice to take on the Child Loss Support Group,” Sanchez said. “In fact, the group started at Talbot Hospice, and it has now come full circle going back there.”

The transition officially took place on June 3rd when the Child Loss Support Group held its annual Celebration of Life commemorating Mother’s Day and Father’s Day. The ceremony is held each year at the Healing Garden, located at the entrance of The Easton Club.The garden was established in 1998 by Child Loss Support Group members as a memorial to their children and a place to remember, meditate and pray. Butterflies are released at the Celebration of Life as a symbol of hope and new life.

“The death of a child is a special kind of loss and leaves parents and families feeling confused, vulnerable and fragile,” said Talbot Hospice Bereavement Coordinator Becky DeMattia. “The support group provides a safe place for parents to share and heal, and will focus on the special needs of parents, the grief experienced, the secondary losses, the impact on families, marriages, siblings and how to create meaningful rituals to honor the child’s life. Rob, Lynn and Rhonda have lovingly cared for this group for many years, and we are honored to bring the child loss group to our program”

For more information on the Child Loss Support Group or any Talbot Hospice bereavement session, contact Becky DeMattia at 410-822-6681 or bdemattia@talbothospice.org. A complete list of grief support groups can be found at TalbotHospice.org/programs/bereavement.


Talbot Hospice Volunteers Honored

Talbot Hospice Volunteers were celebrated and honored at an annual appreciation luncheon held May 10 at Talbot Country Club. Awards were distributed to 49 volunteers with 100 hours or more of service in 2016. First time recipients received the Presidential Service Award. The Distinguished Volunteer Award is given each subsequent year that a volunteer qualifies. All volunteers combined provided a total of 15,042 hours in 2016.

Special Community Partner citations were presented to Talbot Humane and Bayside Quilters Outreach Bee in recognition of their significant contributions during the past year. Talbot Humane is partnering with Talbot Hospice to provide a Pet Loss Support Group every first Thursday of the month and has assisted with pet visits to patients in Hospice House. Members of the Bayside Quilters Outreach Bee create patriotic quilts for Veteran patients as well as banners representing each branch of the service to hang on patients’ doors. They also donate quilts and afghans to other patients.

The annual Volunteer Appreciation Luncheon is funded by the Marita Menzies Endowment Fund, established in 2004 in memory of Marita Menzies, former Talbot Hospice Volunteer Coordinator.

Recipients of the Talbot Hospice Presidential Service and Distinguished Volunteer Awards for 100 hours or more of service in 2016 were recently honored at the annual Volunteer Appreciation Luncheon. Pictured from left to right are Ruth Dominick, Beverley Martin, Sally Woodall, Juanita McLaughlin, Mary Lou Malone, Emma Johnson, Mary Ann Ray, Bev Serio, Nancy Holt, Patti Case, Deborah Pulzone, Gordon Ries, Susan Haddaway, Jean Marvel, Peggy Frampton, Stu Levine, Phyllis Peddicord, Beth Hott, Kathy Unti, Bob Paulus, Emilie Joshi, Mary Ann Huckel, Steve Slack, Anne Slack, Denise Ziegler, Cindy Reed, Janet Granger and Liz Hershey. Not pictured: Jack Anthony, Preston Bascom, Sally Bent, Ginger Bevard, Betty Biliske, Susan Blankner, Sally Blizzard, Natalie Caccia, Alex Collins, Nance DuPont, Kathy Foster, Pat Harden, Suzie Hurley, Florence Lednum, Susan Piggott, Pete Rampmeyer, Adrienne Rudge, Beverly Shea, Brenda Stone, Betty Todd and Michael Tooke.