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.

UM Shore Regional Health Offering Free Cardiac Care Educational Events

Health care professionals are invited to advance their professional practice by attending one of University of Maryland Shore Regional Health’s free seminars, “Advancing Cardiac Care at Shore Regional Health: Primary and Elective Angioplasty.” These educational presentations will be held on Wednesday, March 7 at Layton’s Chance Winery in Vienna, Md., and March 28 at Knoxie’s Table in Stevensville, Md.; both events begin at 5:30 p.m.

These events are designed to provide registered nurses with additional tools and knowledge to take their critical care practice to the next level. On hand to share his field expertise is University of Maryland Community Medical Group Cardiologist, Jeffery Etherton, MD. Dr. Etherton currently practices at UM Shore Medical Centers at Dorchester and Easton and was one of the key contributors to bringing Percutaneous Coronary Intervention to UM Shore Regional Health and to patients of the mid-shore.  Additional education will be provided by a member of UM Shore Regional Health cardiology team.

Healthcare professionals are encouraged to attend the event and network with leaders from critical care, emergency departments, patient experience and Magnet®& professional practice. Registered Nurses who attend the event are eligible to earn 1 CEU credit.

For more information or to RSVP please contact Kathy Freund at 410-822-1000, extension 5936 or kfreund@umm.edu.

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.

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.

Multiple Myeloma Talk on March 3

Mr. Ray Wezik, Director of the Public Policy & Advocacy Program of the International Myeloma Foundation (IMF), will speak at the quarterly meeting of the Chesapeake Multiple Myeloma Network (CMMN) on Saturday, March 3rd, at 4:00 PM in the Large Conference Room of the Eastern Shore Conservation Center (114 S. Washington St., Easton). Mr. Wezik’s talk, Multiple Myeloma: Public Policy, Advocacy, and You, is free and open to the public. He will discuss the IMF and its sister organizations’ legislative priorities and how they advocate at the state and federal levels on behalf of myeloma patients and their families on issues such as health care and drug insurance availability, coverage, & costs, myeloma clinical and research funding, the regulation of the development and approval of new treatments, and the availability of financial and other forms of support services for myeloma patients and their families. He also will discuss how members of the myeloma community may become more effective advocates on these issues.  Mr. Ray Wezik’s presentation also should be of interest to health care providers dealing with cancer, and to patients and families experiencing other blood cancers similar to myeloma such as leukemia and lymphoma.

The Chesapeake Multiple Myeloma Network is an informal Eastern Shore group of individuals and families affected by multiple myeloma, a bone marrow and blood cancer.  Its mission is “to provide ongoing resources of education, support, shared experiences, and hope for persons with multiple myeloma, their families, and friends.” CMMN partners with the University of Maryland’s Shore Regional Health Cancer Center’s Outpatient Oncology Support Program and it is an affiliate of the International Myeloma Foundation.

CMMN’s meetings are informal and last about an hour and a half. In addition to the speaker’s presentation, there is time for sharing and catching-up among members. Parking is available in the Conservation Center’s Washington St. lot and on Washington St. itself. The Center is handicapped accessible. For further information about CMMN, contact Bob Kelly at 410-226-5345 or kellyrf@lemoyne.edu or visit http://chesapeake.support.myeloma.org/

Channel Marker to Host “The Greatest Party on Earth”

Channel Marker, Inc., will celebrate 35 years of service to the community with nothing less than “The Greatest Party on Earth,” Saturday, March 3 from 7:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m. at the Waterfowl Festival headquarters at 40 S. Harrison Street in Easton. In recognition that fun is good for mental health, the event promises to lift the winter doldrums with the high energy sound of Hot Tub Limo, fortune telling, magic, and a caricature artist.  Enjoy delicious food, wine, and Maryland craft beers featuring RAR Brewing, Evolution Craft Brewing Company, and the Eastern Shore Brewing Company. The event will also honor the family of Dr. David Hill, one of Channel Marker’s great families. Tickets are fifty-five dollars.

Channel Marker staff prepare to celebrate 35 years of service to the community with “The Greatest Party on Earth.”

Proceeds will go toward Channel Marker’s Capital Campaign for the recently purchased Regional Wellness Center, allowing the agency to provide a wider variety of integrated health care services and accommodate the overall health, safety and well-being of individuals with severe and persistent mental illness. “Renovations to our new facility will offer the convenience of multiple services all under one roof, including case management, and health and wellness services,” said Debbye Jackson, Executive Director.

In addition to raising funds, Eddie Bishop, event chair, said it’s important to raise awareness of the impact this nonprofit organization has on the community. “Channel Marker offers help and hope for families, youth, and adults on the mid-shore, reducing rates of homelessness, addiction, suicide, hospitalization, and unemployment. I am honored to help celebrate 35 years of service to the community.”

Channel Marker provides mental health services and supports to approximately 400 youth and adults on the mid-shore and reduces the stigma of mental illness through programs that enhance the functioning of individuals recovering from severe mental illness. To purchase tickets to “The Greatest Party on Earth,” be a sponsor, or learn more contact Shakia Linthicum at 410-822-4619, or go to www.channelmarker.org, and click on the “Fun is Good for Your Mental Health” tab.

Turkish Doctor Studying Rural Access to Transplant Care Visits UM SMC

Trish Rosenberry, regional director, UM Shore Regional Health Specialty Clinics, recently hosted a visit from representatives of the International Transplant Nursing Society (ITNS) at the Multispecialty Clinic in the Freeman Outpatient Center at UM Shore Medical Center at Easton.

The International Transplant Nurses Society (ITNS) promotes the education and clinical practice excellence of nurses who are involved in the care of solid organ transplant patients. A leading respected transplant organization with active members worldwide, ITNS offers nurses a forum for learning about the latest advances in transplantation and transplant patient care.

Shown are Penny Keaney, Wendy Greenwood, Karen Davies, Debora Evans, Laura Taylor, Dr. Yaprak Ordin, Trish Rosenberry and Sandra Cupples.

According to Rosenberry, who is president emeritus of the local Greater Chesapeake Chapter of ITNS, the honored guest at the meeting was Yaprak Ordin, PhD, MD, RN, a faculty member at Dokuz Eylul University in Izmir, Turkey and a clinician in the liver transplant clinic at Dokuz Eylul University Hospital. Dr. Ordin has been involved in a variety of activities to advance transplant nursing in Turkey and was traveling to different sites in the U.S. as part of a post-doctoral study on how hospitals in rural communities meet the needs of transplant patients.  During her time in the states, she visited the National Institutes of Health, Kaiser Permanente and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs as well as the Transplant Clinic at UM Shore Medical Center at Easton.

During her visit to the Transplant Clinic at UM Shore Medical Center at Easton, Dr. Ordin was accompanied by Penny Keaney, ITNS president and transplant coordinator at Kaiser Permanente in Rockville, Maryland; Laura Taylor, president elect, ITNS, and professor Daniel K. Inouye Graduate School of Nursing and Family Nurse Practitioner Program, Uniformed Services University; Sandra Cupples, president emeritus, ITNS, and national director, Clinical Services, U. S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Joining Rosenberry at the meeting were UM SRH transplant coordinators Wendy Greenwood, RN, Karen Davies, RN, and Debora Evans, RN.

“Our meeting included a fascinating exchange of information,” Rosenberry says. “For example, in Turkey, 75 percent of the kidney transplants are from living donors, and in the United States this number is closer to 35 percent. Another interesting fact shared was that the Turkish government pays for all health care needs for patients with kidney disease and cancer. So transplants and follow-up care including medications are completely covered.”

The Transplant Clinic at UM Shore Regional Health evaluates patients for kidney and/or pancreas transplantation 16 times a year. The clinical team case manages about 150 patients at any given point in time, and the average number of transplanted organs is 30 per year. As Rosenberry explains, “We provide care for patients in the pre-transplant phase, as well as see patients with the surgeon post-transplant. Our team also travels four times a year to Peninsula Regional Medical Center in Salisbury to expand access to care for pre-transplant workup.”

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.

Bringing Fun to Mental Health: Eddie Bishop, Hot Tub Limo, and Channel Marker Come Together

While it is sometimes hard to connect fun and good times with the challenges that come with mental illness, or the organizations that support those afflicted with brain disease, it may, in fact, be an essential bridge for better mental health for everyone.

Study after scientific study is showing documentation that the feeling of joy is an essential part of a human’s defense system against numerous conditions that wreak havoc on thinking and behavior.

So it should come as no surprise then to hear that Channel Marker, the region’s primary nonprofit organization providing essential support services to those in our community with severe and persistent mental illness, was using fun as part of their theme for their major fundraising event of the year.

And with that goal in mind, the organization could not find a better person to chair this venture than Easton native Eddie Bishop. A commercial airline pilot by day; devoted fan of local music scene when back home, Ed loved the idea of organizing a party with that theme in mind.

Eddie also knew the perfect band to headline the event. With a early exposure to the Hot Tub Limo band out of Kent Island, he felt there was a perfect match.

The Spy sat down with Eddie and Channel Marker executive director Debbye Jackson for a short chat about this decidedly “fun” event.

This video is approximately minutes in length. For ticket information please go here



Recovery: Bill gives Parents ‘New Tool’ to Fight Child’s Addiction

One more day without treatment for a person struggling with opioids — as a Maryland delegate, a recovery expert and parents of children mired in addiction have said — could be the difference between life and death.

A relatively recent spike in deaths related to the synthetic opioid fentanyl, its cousin carfentanil and ever-emerging variations of the two has emphasized the importance of getting addicts into treatment immediately, said Delegate Nic Kipke, R-Anne Arundel.

That’s why Kipke, the Maryland House minority leader, is sponsoring a bill granting parents of adults struggling with addiction more authority to act on their children’s behalf.

Fentanyl has overtaken heroin as the deadliest drug in Maryland. Statewide, deaths related to fentanyl surged from 192 over the first three quarters of 2015, to 1,173 fatalities over the same period in 2017 — a 510 percent increase, Maryland health department data show.

Carfentanil — a drug commonly used to sedate elephants — also continued its emergence. There were 57 carfentanil-related deaths statewide over the first nine months of 2017 compared to zero over the previous two years, according to the state health agency.

Fentanyl is 50 times stronger than heroin; carfentanil is 5,000 times more potent than heroin, according to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.

Fentanyl “can be lethal in the 2-milligram range,” the DEA says, while the lethal range for carfentanil is uncertain, but minute.

Considering the potency of the drugs, which are often created in clandestine laboratories in China and Mexico, “this is a different kind of addiction, a different problem,” Kipke told the University of Maryland’s Capital News Service.

His 2018 bill would allow parents or guardians of adult children — who must be dependent through health insurance — to involuntarily admit their child to an in-patient treatment facility. Kipke introduced then withdrew the same bill during the 2017 General Assembly session after the House Health and Government Operations Committee delivered an unfavorable report on it.

The person must “not be a minor,” must have “experienced a drug overdose” and have “health insurance coverage as a dependent under the individual’s parent’s” plan, according to a fiscal and policy note for the 2017 bill.

“What I’m seeking to do is provide parents of children who are still dependent … an opportunity to interrupt their child’s addiction,” Kipke said.

The Maryland State Medical Society, MedChi, agrees with Kipke that the scale of the opioid epidemic warrants new tools, said Gene Ransom, the organization’s chief executive officer.

“Given that we’re in a crisis,” Ransom said, there needs to be more options to get people into
treatment. “Giving parents another tool to help solve the problem is a no-brainer.”

Survivors’ perspectives

Carin Miller, president and co-founder of Maryland Heroin Awareness Advocates, said that her oldest son started using then abusing Percocet — a common opioid painkiller — in his early 20s, developing an addiction before turning to heroin.

“It was frustrating and heartbreaking when you see your son so sick and gray and on death’s door,” she said. “As a mother, when your child is sick or hurt … you always work your hardest to make them better.”

“But when they’re addicted,” Miller said, “you can’t.”

Kipke is concerned for many of his constituents, many of whom have asked him for a tool to help their children, he said.

This year there were 108 opioid-related overdoses in Anne Arundel County through Feb. 8, compared to 113 through the same date a year prior, according to county police data.

But 18 of the 108 overdoses resulted in death — a 100 percent increase over the nine fatalities through the same date in 2017.

Over the first nine months of 2017, the county recorded 145 fatal opioid-related overdoses, a 12 percent increase over January-September of 2016, state data show.

A non-fatal overdose can be an important opportunity for intervention, experts say, but in Maryland and other states, those who are hospitalized because of overdoses can sign themselves out.

“If somebody who needs Narcan because they just overdosed, they need to be committed,” Miller said.

Narcan is a brand name of the overdose-reversing opioid antagonist, naloxone. All first responders in Maryland are equipped with a form of the life-saving drug, which comes in a nasal spray form.

Miller, a Frederick County, Maryland, resident said these kind of tools weren’t available to her as a mother throughout her son’s struggle with addiction. Had involuntary admission been an option, Miller said she “most certainly would have” utilized the authority to admit her son.

“I would’ve done anything in the world to save my son,” she added.

Pasadena, Maryland, native Rob Snead, 24, said he’s been clean for seven months after using and abusing drugs for a decade. He has overdosed.

“When you come to, you’re in withdrawal,” he said. “And the only thing you can think about is getting yourself in a position to get well again.”

Snead said that in the moment, addicts “don’t care about seeking the accurate help, they think about what they can do immediately to feel better.”

Snead described withdrawal from opioids as “overwhelming” and “a miserable state of being,” and said that often the quickest way to feel better was to score more drugs and to take them.

Treatment community divided

It’s been said that an addict must be ready for treatment in order for it to be successful, a notion Kipke acknowledged.

But that line of thinking could be outdated.

“If we continue to look at it like they’re not ready,” Miller said. “There are some that will never be ready.”

Dr. Sally Satel, a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute who works part time in a methadone clinic in Washington, said the idea that addicts must be ready for treatment is “so wrong,” and called it “one of the many cliches” surrounding the opioid crisis.

“Why do you think drug courts work?” she said.

But other addiction treatment experts have concerns about the practicality, effectiveness and safety of involuntary commitment.

“You really can’t force someone to participate in treatment if they don’t want to,” said Vickie Walters, executive director of the Baltimore-based REACH substance abuse treatment program at the Institutes for Behavior Resources.

Getting an assessment of a patient is always important, but that if that patient was forced, Walters said, “it’s tough to get good information.”

Howard Ashkin, president of the Maryland Association for the Treatment of Opioid Dependence, said he worries that involuntary commitment could lead to a litany of problems.

“I’ve never read anything that has borne out any good outcomes,” of forced treatment, Ashkin said. “I don’t envision good outcomes.”

Involuntary admission could make some of the adult children angrier, he said.

Ashkin said he worries that addicts will go along with the treatment, then go out to use again. But their tolerance will have diminished, he said, which increases the odds of overdose and possibly death.

Involuntary treatment programs, like drug court, Satel said, often work because it gives the individual a chance to take a step back to think about their situation and “internalize the values of the program.”

Involuntary admittance could lead the individual to resent the family member who mandated their admission, Ashkin said.

Ashkin and Walters said they aren’t convinced that it’s worth the risk. Addicts rarely recover successfully their first time through treatment, and about 40 percent to 60 percent relapse, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse.

Forcing an addict to get help could “leave a bad taste in (their) mouth about treatment,” discouraging them from seeking treatment in the future, Walters said.

Both Ashkin and Walters were concerned about whether treatment facilities around the state were capable of or ready to admit involuntarily committed patients.

“The court will only order this type of thing if there is a bed for the individual,” Kipke said.

“Are there enough beds? No,” the delegate said. But they’re becoming “increasingly available as this problem is getting support and funding from the government.”

Is this bill the answer?

More than 30 other states have enacted similar statutes that allow for the involuntary commitment of adults for substance abuse, according to the Journal of the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law.

Massachusetts is one such state, and its “system has become an unintended mechanism for getting people into treatment,” said Leo Beletsky, associate professor of law and health sciences at the Northeastern University School of Law. In many ways the statute “was designed to be a system of last resort.”

Massachusetts has been using prisons as treatment facilities for those who are involuntarily committed, Beletsky said. Many of the patients’ treatment is un-medicated, increasing the risk for overdose and death after treatment, according to Beletsky.

The law professor said that putting somebody into treatment without their consent is “fundamentally un-American,” and that the Massachusetts policy “basically fails” from the perspective of health and civil liberties.

“Evaluating what other states have done was extensively considered and we’re open to any other suggestions as to how we could gain the support of the legislature to enact a reasonable policy, like this,” Kipke said.

Snead said that Kipke’s bill “has the potential to be very beneficial to people,” but that success varies depending on the individual — treatment works differently for everybody.

Self-described as stubborn, Snead said that for him, the decision to get clean had to come from within.

“I had to decide myself. I had to decide that I was done,” he said.

But, he said, he understands the standpoint behind his delegate’s bill, as “a lot of parents are losing their kids.”

Through her organization, Miller hosts family peer support groups in Frederick County. She’s heard many heart-wrenching stories, some from parents who weren’t able to save their children “from this dark path to death.”

Miller’s son is alive, but she lost him for the six years of his life that were “hijacked by heroin.” Now, she said, he lives in another state, away from temptation and connections back home.

He’s “a good man who has a bad disease,” she said.

She supports Kipke’s bill because she doesn’t want other parents to feel like she did, “Like you’re a failure as a mother because you can’t make (your child) better.”

By Alex Mann

Community Invited to Tour Hospice Center on February 21

On Wednesday, February 21 at 3:30 p.m., Compass Regional Hospice is hosting an open house to celebrate the opening of the Hospice Center at 100 Brown Street in Chestertown. Following the ribbon cutting ceremony guests are invited for tours until 5:30 p.m. Compass staff will be on hand to answer questions about hospice care and grief support services available in Kent County. Light refreshments will be served.

Compass Regional Hospice leases a unit on the third floor of the University of Maryland Shore Medical Center at Chestertown from University of Maryland Shore Regional Health. After months of renovations, Compass transformed the unit into a comfortable, medically supportive alternative for patients who need around-the-clock care. The staff of Compass Regional Hospice provides all patient care at the Hospice Center. The four-bed residential hospice center is scheduled to open for patient care in the coming weeks.

“Opening the Hospice Center allows us to expand the services we have been providing,” says Heather Guerieri, executive director, Compass Regional Hospice. “We are excited to bring a new, and much- needed level of ‘Care on your terms’ to the residents of Kent County.”

Compass Regional Hospice has been providing hospice care and grief support services in Kent County since becoming the sole provider of hospice care in 2014. When the Hospice Center opens, Compass Regional Hospice will staff the facility twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, and continue providing hospice care in private residences, nursing homes and assisted living facilities.

Guerieri adds, “We are grateful to UM Shore Regional Health for helping us to respond to the end-of-life needs of Kent County patients and their loved ones through facilitating the lease with Compass. We also want to thank the many people of our community who have donated their time, materials and expertise to make it possible for us to renovate the unit into the Hospice Center.”

Guests are asked to use the main entrance where they will be greeted by a Compass representative and directed to the Hospice Center on the third floor.

For more information about the February 21 Hospice Center open house or to RSVP, contact Kristen Majchrzak, development assistant, 443-262-4126kmajchrzak@compassregionalhospice.org. To become a hospice supporter in Kent County, contact Kenda Leager, development officer, 443-262-4106kleager@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 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 compassregionalhospice.org.