Spy Intern Projects: Lighting the Way Against Substance Abuse

For weeks, the purple lights in Easton have gained notable attention and for good reason. Standing up against substance abuse is something that everyone can get behind.

On Monday, Talbot Goes Purple had their lighting ceremony in front of the Easton courthouse. Sheriff Joe Gamble and Lucie Hughes, of Tidewater Rotary, explained why substance abuse awareness and prevention is important to learn. 

The event brought together the community in a sea of purple shirts as the Talbot Goes Purple youth group officially flipped the switch. John Hines, the supervisor of electrical engineering, helped oversee the young ambassadors as the finishing touches on his masterpiece were placed. Easton Utilities wrapped a total of 152 light poles in downtown.

Chris Herren spoke the following night at the Easton High School auditorium. ‘The Herren Project’, a mission for taking the first steps to sobriety and educational awareness, was founded by Herren in 2011. Since then, Herren has dedicated his life to helping others understand the meaning of addiction and how they can help too. “If I can help just a single person in this room, that’ll make it all worth it,” he said. Herren shared his own life struggles with drugs and hopes that the youth will listen to his message. The best prevention is awareness

For more information about the Herren Project or Talbot Goes Purple click the links Herren Project or Talbot Goes Purple

Tori Pack is the Talbot Spy intern for 2017-18. A graduate of Easton High School, Tori has spent the last year as a mentor in the non-profit organization, Talbot Mentors. Tori’s interest in writing and film have ushered in a young voice for the Talbot Spy that still has much to say.

Lifting Hearts and Lives in Tilghman by Amy Steward

Since For All Seasons has been providing treatment for people with mental health and substance use disorders on Tilghman Island, hearts are being lifted there. Michael Flaherty, PhD, who lives part-time on Tilghman Island and attends the Tilghman Island United Methodist Church wanted to help with some of the issues he was seeing as a resident. Flaherty, a psychologist who practices in Pennsylvania and has national expertise in addiction and mental health issues, thought it would be nice if the church could provide healthy mind, body and spirit outreach in the Tilghman community.

Pictured left to right are Ed Langrell, Marcia Gilliam, Ricky Vitanovec, Jane Copple, Katie Cox, Beth Anne Langrell, and Zack Schlag who performed a Heart and Music fundraising concert on Tilghman Island

Pastor Everett Landon of Tilghman Island UMC agreed and the two decided to approach For All Seasons about getting services there. Flaherty recalls, “We decided to do something about the problem and For All Seasons and Beth Anne Langrell, their Executive Director, came right on board. We wanted to bring services to the Island so people didn’t have to travel ‘up the road’ to be seen. Many just couldn’t.”

Within months, For All Seasons counselors opened shop in the pastor’s office at the church and began seeing clients. To date, more than 20 have used the services of For All Seasons and a Narcotics Anonymous meeting that was launched at the church. Flaherty adds, “We are trying to make inroads through education, counseling and peer support. We did a needs assessment of the community and have identified a need for wellness programs, healthy cooking classes, and exercise programs. In June, the church hosted an Overdose Prevention Night with its partners Talbot County Health Department, For All Seasons, Corsica River, the Talbot County Sheriff’s Department. The goal of the event, which drew over 50 people, was to help residents identify and prevent overdoses. Forty participants received doses of Narcan.

Efforts are now underway to provide a peer support network in the community, as the third part of the program, which has been focused on counseling and community education.
According to Beth Anne Langrell, Executive Director of For All Seasons, “There was an obvious need for services on Tilghman Island. This has been a healthy partnership between the Tilghman community and our agency. We hope to see it grow even more.”

TUMC and Tilghman Island residents have supported the efforts there, donating $25,000 to the church to help start programs and pay for the services for those who do not have insurance or a means to pay. For All Seasons’ recent Heart & Music fundraiser also raised funds. To support For All Seasons work on Tilghman Island, contact Executive Director Beth Anne Langrell at 410-822-1018.

In the future, “Healthy Tilghman” will be partnering with the school and with Project Purple, a substance abuse awareness program to engage our community and youth to stand up against substance abuse.

For All Seasons offers individual and group therapy, general, child and adolescent therapy, marriage and couples counseling, grief counseling, school-based mental health therapy, urgent care services, Rape Crisis Response, Rape Crisis Counseling and Support, 24-Hour English and Spanish Hotlines, and education and outreach programming.

For further information about For All Seasons, call 410-822-1018. For the 24-Hour Crisis Hotline, call Toll-Free: 800-310-7273.

UM Shore Regional Health Welcomes New Board Members

Charles D. “Chip” Macleod

Three local community leaders have recently been appointed to the Board of Directors of University of Maryland Shore Regional Health. Charles “Chip” McLeod and Glenn L. Wilson, both of Chestertown, and Stephen Satchell, of Easton, officially joined the Board in July.

Charles D. “Chip” MacLeod founded MacLeod Law Group, LLC in 2017 with offices in Chestertown and Denton, and a practice representing local governments and related agencies. He is head of the firm’s Local Government Practice Group. He also concentrates in real estate, business and contract law, and serves as general counsel to various non-profit organizations and trade associations. As a registered lobbyist, he advocates for clients before the Maryland General Assembly and Executive branch agencies.

Prior to founding MacLeod Law Group, LLC, MacLeod was a member of Funk & Bolton, P.A. for more than 18 years. He was head of the firm’s Local Government and Real Estate Practice Groups while serving as special counsel to various non-profit organizations and public entities on a broad spectrum of legal matters.

MacLeod also previously served as county administrator of Kent County, Maryland; as a member and chairman of the Board of the former Chester River Health System, Inc.; as a member of the Board of Trustees of the Local Government Insurance Trust (LGIT) and chair of LGIT’s Health Benefits Committee; and associate director of the Maryland Association of Counties. He is a graduate of Washington College and University of Maryland School of Law.

Glenn L. Wilson

Glenn L. Wilson was named president and CEO of Chesapeake Bank & Trust in 2015 after five years as president and CEO of a financial institution in western Pennsylvania that included a $1 billion community bank and $1.8 billion trust company. His career in also banking includes the leadership of Citizens National of Laurel, a top performing bank under Mercantile Bankshares that was later acquired by PNC. He subsequently served PNC as senior credit officer overseeing credit operations in most of Maryland. Other career highlights include serving as past national chairman of the Risk Management Association and as vice-chair of the Pennsylvania Bankers Association and a member of the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia’s Community Institutions Advisory Council.

Wilson’s community involvement has included serving as chair of a local United Way Board in Pennsylvania and as board member for a host of several civic, economic development, and educational organizations. He presently serves as Board chair for the United Way of Kent County and as Board member for Sultana Educational Foundation.

Stephen Satchell is senior vice president and financial advisor for the SRVP Group of Baird Private Wealth Management in Easton. A graduate of Easton High School and Hampden Sydney College, he began his career in finance at Legg Mason in Baltimore in 1992, returning to Easton four years later to focus on wealth management for private clients. He is Series 4,7,63 and 65 registered and is licensed in life, health and long-term care insurance. He presently serves on the St. Johns Foundation Board of Directors and Dave Haslup/Lou Gehrig ASF. His previous Board memberships include the United Fund of Talbot County, Pickering Creek Audubon Center and Talbot Country Club.

Stephen Satchell

Speaking on behalf of the UM SRH Board, John Dillon, chairman, stated: “We are very pleased to have Chip MacLeod, Glenn Wilson and Steve Satchell join us in ensuring that University of Maryland Shore Regional Health will successfully navigate the changing landscape of health care. Their strong personal commitment to the communities we serve, as well as their outstanding professional expertise and accomplishments, make them valuable assets to our efforts going forward.”

In addition to Robert A. Chrencik, CEO, University of Maryland Medical System, and Kenneth Kozel, president and CEO, UM Shore Regional Health, current UM SRH Board members are: from Caroline County, Wayne Howard and Keith McMahan;from Dorchester County, Marlene Feldman, Michael D. Joyce, MD, Richard Loeffler and David Milligan; from Kent County, Myra Butler, Charles B. MacLeod, Charles B. Nolland Glenn L. Wilson; from Queen Anne’s County, Joseph J. Ciotola, MD and Kathleen Deoudes; and from Talbot County, John W. Ashworth,Charles Capute, Art Cecil, John Dillon, Wayne L. Gardner, Sr., Geoffrey F. Oxnam, Stephen Satchell and Thomas Stauch, MD.

“Our board members live and work in our communities. I believe their diverse knowledge and perspectives position us well to achieve our vision of being the region’s leader in patient centered care,” says Kozel.

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.

Debunking the Myths About Foster Parenting in Talbot County

Pictured back row are Jayden Carter and her foster and adoptive parent Glenda Dawson. Seated front row are her other adopted children, left to right, Jeremiah and Jayla Carter.

Talbot County does not have enough foster parent resource homes to accommodate the number of children in need of emergency placement due to unexpected family circumstances. Often, people think there are too many roadblocks to becoming a foster parent and don’t pursue the training and screening necessary to be licensed. Some of the myths surrounding becoming a foster parent are that you need to be married or be a two-parent family; you need to own your own home; you need to have a high income; and you need to have separate bedrooms in your home.

Brandon and Susan Angell with their son Nicholas Angell, along with Paris Quillet, Special Projects Coordinator with the Talbot County Department of Social Services.

According to Paris Quillet, Special Projects Coordinator with the Talbot County Department of Social Services, “Many of these myths keep people from coming to our information sessions to learn more about becoming a foster or adoptive parent. We have foster parents of all races and ethnicities, all religious beliefs, and all sexual orientations. They live in million dollar homes and they live in subsidized housing.”

Glenda Dawson of Easton has been a foster parent for 12 years with the Talbot County Department of Social Services. After raising her own family of four children as a single parent, working two jobs to pay her rent, she discovered Habitat for Humanity and was able to finally purchase her own home. Dawson, who had more love to give, was then licensed as a foster mother to care for her two great nieces and one great nephew. Eventually, through a kinship adoption, she was able to adopt all three children. She continues to provide respite and foster care for the children of Talbot County.

She recalls, “I did this for the love of family and the importance of keeping these children all together as a family.”

She adds, “You just go step by step. If it’s something you really want to do, you go for it. I am proud of what I have accomplished with these children in providing them with a safe and stable home.”

According to Dawson, the support of her extended family and the Department of Social Services has enabled her to manage her second family while continuing to work. Family members help with respite care when she needs a break and the Department helps provide what Dawson needs for the children when things come up. They are also a resource to her for advice and encouragement.

On July 25, 2017 from 5:30 to 7 p.m., the Talbot County Department of Social Services will be hosting an open house for anyone interested in becoming a foster or adoptive parent at its location at 301 Bay Street Unit #5 Easton MD 21601. For further information, call the Talbot County Department of Social Services at 410-820-7371.

 

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.”

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.

Mid-Shore Health Futures: How Our Regional Hospitals Measure Up

Susan Coe was in search of cottage cheese.

The chief experience officer and senior vice president at University of Maryland’s Shore Regional Health was looking in on a new patient at UM Medical Center at Easton. The patient, she learned, wanted her cottage cheese not in a small compartment on a tray but on a plate.

“She had her heart set on the platter,” Coe said.

The nurse immediately called food services to make the change but Coe said she decided to go get the plate of cottage cheese herself.

“It’s about respecting the patient,” she said.

That attention to patient satisfaction is part of a major change in hospitals, including at Shore Regional Health. Before 2007, hospitals largely measured their success by looking at “hard” data that evaluate patient safety and outcomes for specific procedures or events, such as heart attacks or infections. But in the past decade, the federal government began requiring that hospitals also measure how satisfied patients are with their care. Each hospital patient is given a 27-question survey that asks a range of questions, from how well the doctors and nurses communicated, to how noisy and clean the hospital was, to whether the patient would recommend the hospital to a friend.

And Shore Regional Health didn’t like what it was seeing, at least in one area.

Robert Carroll, regional director performance measurement & improvement, said that for the last eight quarters patient satisfaction ratings had been declining at the Easton and Dorchester facilities (considered one entity in ratings) and at its Chestertown hospital. The latest published data, from April 2015 to the end of March 2016, show that the Shore Regional Health hospitals score below average in patient satisfaction nationally and statewide. This is the despite the fact that the hospitals scored average or above average in most of its quality and safety ratings both statewide and nationally.

By contrast, the latest data show that Anne Arundel Medical Center in Annapolis and Peninsula Regional Medical Center in Salisbury rate better than average statewide and nationally in patient satisfaction. Peninsula also scored better than average in quality and patient safety ratings statewide and nationally. And Anne Arundel rated better than average nationally in quality and a safety, while it rated average statewide. In Maryland, consumers can go online to get information on safety, quality and satisfaction ratings at the Maryland Health Care Commission website (http://healthcarequality.mhcc.maryland.gov).

In December, Shore Regional Health launched a program called HEART to change patients’ perception of their care. And that, Coe said, required that caregivers consciously reconnect with what brought them into health care in the first place. “It’s about empathy, communication and connection,” Coe said. “It’s listening, watching, understanding.”

In the first phase of the program, 25 peer counsellors were trained. From January through March, those counsellors then led three-hour sessions among Shore Regional Health’s more than 2,000 employees. The focus, Coe said, was on helping caregivers see the hospital experience through the patient’s eyes.

“Every patient is reluctant to enter the hospital,” said Trena Williamson, regional director of communications and marketing at Shore Regional Health. “But for the medical staff, this is their normal.”

A new mother with a sick baby might see things differently than a veteran nurse with other, sicker patients, Williamson said. The HEART program helps staff “recalibrate” so as to see the situation from the patient’s perspective, she said.

Coe said patient satisfaction surveys are helpful but it is the comments that are most useful.

“The scores give us a number but the comments give us gifts of insight and direction,” she said. “We really look at comments– and we follow up.”

Keeping a patient-centered focus is “baked into the culture” at Anne Arundel Medical Center, where about 10 percent of hospital patients and 1 in 5 office visitors are from the Eastern Shore, said Maulik Joshi, executive vice president of integrated care delivery and chief operating officer.

Joshi said new hires are made based on their willingness not only to deliver the best medical care but also to make sure patients feel a personal connection.

“We own ‘I care’ behavior,” he said. “I—I sit down and talk with a patient at the beside; C—I connect with patients by smiling and saying hello; A—I answer quickly when someone has a question; R—I always tell everyone my role; and E—I always escort people.”

At Peninsula, the team approach and employees who live in the community and have worked many years at the hospital are key to both a high quality of care and patients’ happiness, said Sheri Matter, the hospital’s vice president of patient services.

Nurses and doctors together visit the patient to ensure everyone—including the patient—understands the plan of care, both in the hospital and when the patient goes home, she said.

And, she said, there is a “direct correlation” between patient satisfaction and “higher quality outcomes.”

“You have to listen,” she said.

Coe, at Shore Regional Health, would agree.

There, HEART has entered Phase 2: coaching and helping hospital staff put the program into practice. After that, “we’ll expand, go deeper,” she said.

In the meantime, Carroll said he is not worried about the ratings.

“We’re doing this because it’s a better way to do it,” he said. “The numbers will take care of themselves.”

The Regional Overview

If you have a heart attack, bicycle accident or need knee surgery, it’s useful to know how your hospital rates in quality of care, safety, and patient satisfaction.

Thanks to a growing trend in healthcare that looks at outcomes instead of just treatments, many government and private groups collect and disseminate data on hospitals’ performance. The information includes everything from specific comparisons about the likelihood of getting a hospital-acquired infection to how quiet the hospital corridors are at night. Hospitals are graded on these benchmarks and can be compared across a state or against a neighboring state.

In Maryland, which has a unique arrangement with the federal government for hospital reimbursements, consumers can go to a state website to see how their hospitals compare on many of these milestones.

The Maryland Health Care Commission, an independent agency, has an online consumer guide that can help answer many of your questions:

Sources: Shore Regional Health; Peninsula Regional Medical Center; Anne Arundel Medical Center

For example, you can use the website to look at a combined quality and safety score for every hospital in the state. Most hospitals in the state rank average on combined quality and safety compared with other Maryland hospitals, including the University of Maryland Shore Medical Centers at Easton, Chestertown and Dorchester. The only ones listed as better than average statewide are Peninsula Regional Medical Center in Salisbury, the Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center in Baltimore, and the University of Maryland St. Joseph Medical Center in Towson. Anne Arundel Medical Center, rated average statewide, is among 21 Maryland hospitals rated better than average compared with hospitals nationwide.

Much of the data come from the federal government, through the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. The federal site also has its own hospital comparison tools. You can also go directly to the centers’ site: Medicare.gov. The direct link to the hospital compare site is found here.

Using that site, you can find and compare hospitals across the nation and check them out against the ones in your own backyard.

With all the information that is collected, using the sites can be a little daunting. But there is a way to cut through the clutter to find what you’re looking for.

Start out with the overall ratings to see how the hospitals stack up

Zero in on areas that align with your procedure–for example, maternity care or orthopedic surgery.

Look at the patient satisfaction measures, which tell you things like how well the hospital staff communicates with patients about the discharge instructions, prescriptions, etc.

If you have to go to the emergency room, there’s also information on how quickly you’ll get attention from the medical staff. Easton, Chestertown and Peninsula hospitals were rated better than average in six measures for how quickly emergency room patients were handled compared with other hospitals in the state. Anne Arundel was below average in four of the six measures.

 

Spy Contributor Robert Tiernan was managing editor of Consumer Reports from 2006 to 2015. Spy Contributor Ridgely Ochs covered health care, personal health and medicine for more than 20 years at Newsday on Long Island. They both now live on the Eastern Shore of Maryland.

Talbot Hospice Receives Hospice Honors Award

Talbot Hospice was recently named a recipient of HEALTHCARE first’s fifth annual Hospice Honors.  This prestigious annual review recognizes hospices providing the highest level of quality as measured from the caregiver’s point of view. HEALTHCARE first is the leading provider of web-based home health and hospice software, billing and coding services, and advanced analytics.

“It is such an honor to receive this recognition,” said Executive Director Vivian Dodge. “The award is based on feedback from our families and is a reflection of the compassionate care and services provided by Talbot Hospice staff and volunteers.”

Award criteria were based on Hospice CAHPS (Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems) survey results for the period of October 2015 through September 2016. Recipients must achieve a score that meets or exceeds the national average on 20 of the 24 quality indicator measures on the caregiver’s satisfaction questionnaire.

Talbot Hospice was founded in 1985 and is the provider of hospice services for Talbot County. For more information about hospice programs and services call 410-822-6681 or visit TalbotHospice.org.

UM SRH Celebrates Nursing Excellence at Annual Awards Presentation

University of Maryland Shore Regional Health’s Nurse Excellence Awards was held on Monday, May 8 at the Todd Performing Arts Center at Chesapeake College. The occasion was the premier event in the celebration of Nurses’ Week 2017, May 7-12.

Individual winners of UM SRH’s 2017 Nurse Excellence Awards are shown with Ruth Ann Jones, senior vice president, Patient Care Services and CNO (third from left): From left: Hope Honigsberg, Dawn Ruby, Taffie Wilson, Vernon Usilton and April Ewing.

Leading the event presentations, Ruth Ann Jones, UM Shore Regional Health’s senior vice president of Patient Care Services and chief nursing officer, noted that this year marked the sixth anniversary of the Nurse Excellence Awards and that the 2017 honorees were selected from a total of 48 individual nominations and 10 unit/department nominations, the greatest number submitted since the awards were established. “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. “All nominees deserve our appreciation, as do their families and other supporters who help make it possible for them to go the extra mile in the care they provide.”

Ken Kozel, president and CEO, spoke glowingly of the pivotal role that Shore Regional Health’s 600 nurses play in achieving the organization’s vision of being the Region’s Leader in Patient Centered Health Care. “Our nursing team’s strong partnerships with our physicians and other members of the health care team enable us to continue to “raise the bar” on safety, quality and patient experience,” Kozel said. “I know that I speak for the entire leadership team when I express my gratitude for our nurses’ active engagement in developing new care models, recommending and adopting new technologies, creating new protocols for patient care, supporting the professional development of all team members, and adapting to the almost daily changes and challenges in the health care landscape.”

John Dillon, chairman of the Board of UM Shore Regional Health, cited “the outstanding reputation of Shore Regional Health’s nursing team – for their expertise, their dedication to our patients and family members, and their continued advancement of clinical care in all units and departments” as a constant in an era of rapid change in the health care system. “When a community member shares a story about an experience at one of our hospitals or outpatient facilities, that story almost always includes the nurse or nurses, often mentioned by name, who provided expert and compassionate care,” Dillon said.

UM Chester River Home Care won the Unit/Department Award for Excellence in Clinical Outcomes. Shown after the award presentation are UM CRHC staff members with Ruth Ann Jones (center); left of Jones, Rene Baker and Trish Focht; right of Jones, Katie Davis and Melissa Myers.

The 2017 Shore Regional Health Nurse Excellence Award winners are:

Outstanding Achievement in Care Delivery: Commitment to Others–Taffie Wilson, Regional Resuscitation Education Coordinator, Professional Nursing Practice

Outstanding Achievement in Leadership–Vernon Usilton, Clinical Nurse, Emergency Department, UM Shore Medical Center at Easton

Outstanding Achievement in Mentorship/Advocacy–Dawn Ruby, Clinical Nurse, 2 East, UM Shore Medical Center at Easton

Outstanding Achievement in Professional Nursing–Hope Honigsberg, Clinical Nurse, Ambulatory Surgery Center, UM Shore Medical Pavilion at Queenstown

Outstanding Achievement – Promising Professional–April Ewing, Clinical Nurse, Emergency Department, UM Shore Medical Center at Dorchester

Unit/Department Excellence in Clinical Outcomes–UM Chester River Home Care

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 2,500 employees, medical staff, board members and volunteers work with various community partners to fulfill the organization’s mission of Creating Healthier Communities Together.

UM CMG – Women’s Health Gynecologist Celebrates 400th Robotic Surgery

University of Maryland Community Medical Group – Women’s Health gynecologist Dr. William Katz recently performed his 400th robotic surgery on the Eastern Shore.

The 400th procedure took place on May 3, 2017 at University of Maryland Shore Medical Center at Easton. Dr. Katz has been providing gynecologic and robotic surgery on the Eastern Shore for more than 16 years, and also has been in practice for a total of more than 25 years.

Dr. Katz uses robotic surgery to treat several common conditions of the female reproductive system including uterine fibroids, uterine prolapse, endometriosis and adenomyosis.  Robotic surgery offers many benefits to patients compared to open surgery: shorter hospitalization and faster recovery times, small incisions, and reduced pain and discomfort.

“Dr. Katz has been a great mentor in the Eastern Shore community for many years,” comments Michele Wilson, vice president of operations for UM CMG. “This is an incredible accomplishment that represents the experience and expertise he uses to best serve patients on the Eastern Shore.”

Dr. Katz is affiliated with multiple hospitals on the Eastern Shore, including University of Maryland Shore Medical Center at Chestertown and University of Maryland Shore Medical Center at Easton. He received his medical degree from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine.

Dr. Katz sees patients at 490 Cadmus Lane in Easton, Suite 106. Patients may make an appointment with Dr. Katz by calling 410-822-1221.

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.