Compass Regional Hospice Patient Volunteer Training Scheduled for May

In May Compass Regional Hospice will offer a training session for individuals interested in becoming a patient care volunteer. This session will be held on Tuesday, May 1 through Thursday, May 3 from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. at the Presbyterian Church of Chestertown, 905 Gateway Drive in Chestertown. Attending all three days of this session is required for volunteers who wish to provide companionship and support to our patients and their loved ones in Queen Anne’s, Kent and Caroline counties.

“Volunteers are a vital part of the care we provide,” says Courtney Williams, Manager of Volunteer and Professional Services for Compass Regional Hospice. “It is all about helping others and being there when they need you; whether that is in our hospice centers in Centreville, Denton and Chestertown, or wherever a patient calls home.”

Photo: From L-R,  front row, seated Coletta Miller, Denton; Anita Morris, Centreville; Connie Zaruba, Centreville; middle row, standing Debbie Dant, Denton; Sandy Hartmann, Chestertown; Darby Cissell, Centreville; Mary Maier, Centreville; back row, standing Myrle Yoash, Queen Anne; Nedra Spry, Worton; CiCi Terry, Centreville and Jessie Gibson, Centreville.

Topics include an overview of hospice; the process of dying; spiritual care and its place in hospice care; the stages of grief; effective communications techniques; family dynamics; stress management; and self-care for caregivers.

Compass Regional Hospice relies on more than 300 volunteers of all ages to support its mission of “Care on your terms.” These individuals volunteer their time in a variety of ways. Whatever your motivation to volunteer, there is a place for you at Compass Regional Hospice.

For more information about becoming a volunteer for Compass Regional Hospice, contact Courtney Williams, 443-262-4112, or visit to download the patient care volunteer training registration form.

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 & Healing Center. For more information about Compass Regional Hospice, visit

Memorial Walk to Benefit Talbot Hospice

Talbot Hospice will hold its 3rd Annual Memorial Walk on Oxford Day, Saturday, April 28th at 8 a.m. Check-in, a light breakfast and memorial activity begin at 7 a.m. The public is invited to walk in memory or in honor of a loved one to benefit hospice programs and services in Talbot County. A brief ceremony will be followed by a 0.8-mile walk to the Strand, finishing at 8:30 a.m. with a dove release and another opportunity to remember loved ones who have passed.

“Our Memorial Walk is a wonderful time to honor the lives of our loved ones,” said Vivian Dodge, Executive Director, Talbot Hospice. “We are grateful to the Oxford Day Committee and the Town of Oxford for recognizing the value of end-of-life care and including Talbot Hospice in this event. We look forward to spending time with our hospice family members”

Registration for adults is $25, students are $10, and children 12 and under are free. The fee includes an adult t-shirt and light breakfast. Check-in and breakfast begin at 7 a.m. To register visit or call 410-822-6681. For more information contact Laura Richeson at

Talbot Hospice Trains 20 New Volunteers

Twenty new Talbot Hospice volunteers completed orientation and comprehensive training in March. This specialized training provides in-depth understanding of the special needs of hospice patients and their families at end of life. The 16-hour training session focuses on an array of topics such as hospice philosophy, listening skills, family dynamics, grief and loss,and patient safety.

Pictured: 19 of 20 new Talbot Hospice volunteers who recently attended the 16-hour spring training session. Seated (l-r): James Steele, Melissa Martelli, Jennifer Brohawn, Cynthia Orem, Sandy Kepler, Leslie Jackson, Carol Koste, Cindy Gerber, Talbot Hospice Director of Finance Amy Stitcher, and Ellen Schiller; Standing (l-r): Eileen Van Dyke, Eunice Roberts, Rose Miles, Gloria Finn, Sue McLaughlin, Colin Perry, Christian Jackson, Simon Arnstein, Royce Ball, Francine Verwiel, and Talbot Hospice Director of Volunteer Services Lori Miller.

According to Talbot Hospice Executive Director Vivian Dodge, volunteers are an integral part of Talbot Hospice, and they enrich the lives of patients, families, and staff each day in a multitude of ways. “Their dedication, compassion, and expertise are priceless, and we thank them for joining our organization. We treasure volunteers as valuable members of our hospice team,” said Dodge.

Talbot Hospice has more than 200 volunteers who contribute an average of 15,000 hours annually doing a variety of jobs such as hands on patient care in Hospice House, cooking meals, gardening, transporting patients to appointments, serving as a companion in a patient’s home, answering the phones, and greeting visitors, to name a few. For more information on volunteering, visit or call Lori Miller, Director of Volunteer Services, at 410-822-6681.

Recovery: Healthy Tilghman Sponsors Workshop on Mental Health and Addiction Stigma

For Bay Hundred residents seeking to understand those suffering mental challenges or substance use and dealing with the stigma of addiction and mental health, Healthy Tilghman is co-sponsoring a free community workshop Stigma … in Our Work, in Our Lives on Tuesday, April 24 at the Tilghman Island Fire Hall from 6 -8 pm.

Stigma … in Our Work, in Our Lives is an interactive workshop designed to help attendees identify stigmatizing attitudes and behaviors, examine their impact, and formulate a plan to combat these harmful beliefs. The program is open to anyone in the Bay Hundred community interested in or dealing with mental health and addiction issues, including family members and mental-health professionals.

“The workshop will help us challenge perceptions and learn tools and strategies to identify stigmatizing attitudes and behaviors that might impede a person’s recovery,” said Rose Regan, Peer Coordinator of Healthy Tilghman. “We’d like to share how to carry a positive message to all in our community.”

The workshop, which is being presented by On Our Own of Maryland Inc.’s Anti-Stigma Project, will take place on Tuesday, April 24, at the Tilghman Volunteer Fire Department, 5996 Tilghman Island Road, Tilghman Island from 6 – 8 pm. No sign up is required.

For more information about Healthy Tilghman contact Michael Flaherty 412-260-6946 or the TUMC website For more information about the Anti-Stigma Project visit

Healthy Tilghman is an outreach program that includes mental health and substance abuse counseling, educational programs to foster healthy body, mind and spirit, peer support, and substance abuse programs to support families and those with addiction issues in the Bay Hundred area. Healthy Tilghman is partnership between Tilghman United Methodist Church and For All Seasons, Behavioral Health and Rape Crisis Center.

April is National Alcohol Awareness Month

While the use of heroin dominates our news, alcohol remains the most commonly used and abused substance among our youth. According to the latest youth survey, about 65 percent of Talbot County high school students have had at least one drink. And, about 12 percent of our high schoolers have driven after drinking.

Parents are a powerful source of positive and reliable information. In fact, research has shown that kids who have conversations with their parents and learn a lot about the dangers of alcohol and drug use are 50 percent less likely to use these substances than those who don’t have such conversations.

According to the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, here are some guidelines that can help parents talk about alcohol and drug use:

Listen before you talk: For kids, knowing that someone is really listening is most important. Ask open-ended questions. Be involved. Be honest and open. Be positive: talking about these issues can build bridges rather than walls. And remember, addiction is a chronic, progressive disease that can be linked to family history and genetics. So, if you there is a family history of problems be matter of fact about it, as one would be with any other chronic disease, such as heart disease, diabetes or cancer.

The longer children can delay drinking and drug use, the less likely they are to develop problems.Parents can make a difference – that’s why it is so important to help your child connect the dots and make smart decisions.

To learn more about how to prevent alcohol and other drug use or abuse in your child, contact Alexandra Duff, Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse Prevention Supervisor at Talbot County Health Department, at 410-819-5600.

The Talbot County Health Department Prevention Office helps community groups, agencies and individuals in providing programs and activities to prevent alcohol, tobacco and other drug abuse, and to build a healthier community. Resources include parenting skills, video and resource loan library, awareness campaigns and educational workshops.

Free Seminars Offered in April for Cancer Patients, Caregivers

The Cancer Program at UM Shore Regional Health has announced free informational and support programs scheduled this month to help patients and their families navigate cancer care and recovery. “Our goal is to help patients understand and manage their care for optimal recovery, and to assist them and their family members in meeting the medical, financial and lifestyle challenges that cancer can bring,” says Patty Plaskon, social work coordinator at the Cancer Center.

A new support group designed for caregivers, “Cancer Caregivers’ Coffee” will meet for the first time on Saturday, April 14, 9-10:30 a.m. at the Cancer Center and will include discussion of varied issues and challenges facing individuals and families assisting patients with cancer.

“Everything You Need to Know About Lymphedema” is the subject of a presentation by Jennifer Pierson, certified lymphedema therapist with UM Shore Regional Health’s Comprehensive Rehabilitation Services, set for Tuesday, April 17 at 4 p.m., at the Cancer Center.

On Friday, April 20, 10 a.m. – 2:30 p.m., the Clark Comprehensive Breast Center will host a Prosthesis Clinic for Breast Cancer Patients. An advance appointment for this clinic is required; call 410-822-1000, ext. 7156 for details.

Dental hygienist Amanda Ward will provide an overview of “Oral Care During and After Cancer Treatment,” on Wednesday, April 25 at 3 p.m. at the Cancer Center.

According to Plaskon, additional programs will be offered in the coming months on a variety of topics related to cancer treatment and recovery. To RSVP for these events or receive information about upcoming programs on cancer topics and UM SRH cancer support groups, call 410-820-6800, ext. 5361.

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.

Recovery: Upcoming Addictions Training at Hope Fellowship

The opioid epidemic has left healthcare providers and community outreaches looking for new ways to engage people in treatment. Often addicts are also struggling with mental health and social challenges. Special populations that have low literacy abilities or difficulty expressing themselves may slip through the cracks of standard treatment.

Seeking creative solutions, counselor Melissa Stuebing developed the “Literacy-Free 12 Step Expressive Arts Therapy” curriculum under the editorial oversight of Dr. Lauren Littlefield. It was made for people with co-occurring mental health and substance use disorders, as well as for illiterate participants and those with self-expression difficulties.

It integrates cognitive behavioral techniques and different expressive arts modalities as means of working through the 12 Steps of addiction recovery. It has since been the subject of 4 clinical studies which found it to promote engagement in treatment. Participants had much higher completion/ retention rates, lower drop-out rates and enrollment in follow up services than non-participants.

“The A. F. Whitsitt Center started incorporating the “Literacy Free 12 Step Expressive Arts Therapy” curriculum into our regular activities schedule several years ago. We consistently get good feedback from the patients and the trainers enjoy leading the sessions.” says Andrew Pons, CAC-AD, clinical director. A.F. Whitsitt Center is an inpatient rehabilitation facility that specializes in treatment for co-occurring mental health and substance use disorders.

“The curriculum is beneficial because it teaches those with all the different types of learning styles. I always receive great feedback from participants. They appreciate the change of pace from the lecture format and enjoy being able to express themselves using the different types of media”, remarks counselor Julia Garris.

It is also being used at Kent County Crisis Beds. “Many patients are anxiety ridden and typical verbal skills is a challenge. Melissa’s curriculum allows patients to share their feelings and stabilize in a more natural and comfortable manner.” says Alice Barkley, LCSW-C, crisis beds manager.

There will be 2 upcoming trainings in “Literacy-Free 12 Step Expressive Arts Therapy” on May 8th and September 20th held by Melissa Davis Stuebing, MA, CAC-AD at Hope Fellowship 892 Washington Ave in Chestertown, MD. This program has
been endorsed by the MD Board of Professional Counselors and Therapists for 6 CEUs.

Register at

Talbot Hospice Staff Complete Pediatric Palliative Care Training

Talbot Hospice Associate Medical Director Michele Williams, DNP (left), and Clinical Director Molly Kirsch, BSN, RN

Talbot Hospice Associate Medical Director Michele Williams, DNP, and Clinical Director Molly Kirsch, BSN, RN, recently completed the year-long pediatric palliative care training (PANDA) at Children’s Hospital in Washington D.C.

According to Williams, the training for PANDA focuses on how to provide extra supports for infants, children, adolescents, and young adults with serious illnesses and their families. The goal is to prevent, reduce, and soothe suffering, and to help patients and their families cope with the stress of dealing with complicated medical problems.

As a final project Williams and Kirsch presented a quality improvement project to classmates which involved training Talbot Hospice interdisciplinary team members on pediatric palliative care.

“Talbot Hospice is deeply committed to pediatric hospice and palliative care and to the special needs of children,” said Vivian Dodge, Executive Director. “We congratulate Michele and Molly for this accomplishment and are honored and fortunate to have their expertise. “

Easton Nurses Nominated for 2018 Nurse Excellence Awards

University of Maryland Shore Regional Health has announced the 56 nominees for the 2017 Nurse Excellence Awards program, set for May 7, 2018 at the Rufus M. and Loraine Hall Todd Performing Arts Center at Chesapeake College.

There are six categories in the Nurse Excellence Awards program — five awards given to individual nurses and one to the nursing staff of a unit or department. Nominations are submitted through an online process that is managed by the Nurse Excellence Awards Committee and is open to all staff throughout UM SRH.

The 24 Easton nurses honored as candidates for this year’s individual Nurse Excellence Awards are as follows: for the Commitment to Others Award – Alyssa Baker, Nancy Dail, Caren Grant, Chelsea Lewis, Chris North and Dyshekia Strawberry; for the Professional Nursing Practice Award -Robin Ford, Chanelle Lake, Dawn Ruby, Marcia Shapiro, Patricia Tindall and Keri Tucker; for the Mentorship/Advocacy Award -Amanda Alto, Thomas Bush, Mary Camper, Lee Rosendale, Madeline Steffens, Keri Tucker and Abby Weese; for the Professional Promise Award – Brian Clark, Colby Hall and Kristen Wilczenski; and for the Leadership Award – Jakisha Downing, Katherine Jones and Keri Tucker.

Two UM Shore Medical Center at Easton nursing units – the Orthopedic Center and the Neurology Unit – are among the contenders for this year’s Unit Award for Excellence in Empirical Outcomes Award

According to Ruth Ann Jones, senior vice president, Patient Care Services and chief nursing officer for UM Shore Regional Health (UM SRH), the annual nursing awards ceremony, now in its seventh year, will serve as a kick-off event for the celebration of National Nursing Week, May 7-14, 2018. “The Nurse Excellence Awards recognize nursing excellence and serve as a great tribute to our nursing staff’s hard work and commitment to our patients and also to Shore Regional Health,” Jones said.

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.

Peebles’ Community Counts Program Supports Talbot Hospice

Talbot Hospice has been selected as the beneficiary of Peebles Department Store’s “30 Days of Giving” event from April 1 – April 30.  During the month of April, shoppers may contribute $1, $5, or $10 to Talbot Hospice and receive a coupon for 30% off a purchase in May.

Over the past four years, more than $5,000 has been contributed to Talbot Hospice through Peebles “Community Counts” Program which is designed to give back to the communities they serve.

“We are so grateful to Peebles for choosing to support Talbot Hospice again this year,” said Executive Director Vivian Dodge. “Community partnerships such as this are crucial to our ability to continue to provide a broad array of programs above and beyond core hospice services.”