Rally Set for Overdose Awareness Day on August 31 in Denton

A rally for Overdose Awareness Day is set from 3 until 7 p.m. on August 31 in Denton.

The rally location is 109 Market Street on the courthouse green and will include several speakers; resources and information; food, drinks and baked goods for sale. Attendees are encouraged to bring chairs and blankets.

“This event is an effort to bring awareness to the opioid/heroin epidemic many in Caroline County are facing,” said Catherine Bowery, who organized the event. “This is a nationwide event and Caroline County’s second year – last year we had 150 people attend and we hope to reach many more this year.”

Scheduled speakers include: Glenn Fueston Jr., executive director, Governor’s Office of Crime Control & Prevention; Ruth A. Colbourne, superintendent at Caroline County Department of Corrections; Judge Jonathan G. Newell, Caroline County administrative judge, Circuit Court; Brian Ebling, director of emergency services in Caroline County; John Darling, drug court coordinator; John R. Bounds, Caroline County sheriff; plus people recovering from drug use disorders and family members who have lost a child due to an overdose.

Overdose Awareness Day, a national observance, recognizes those who’ve died from overdoses, and spreads the message that overdose deaths are preventable. Attending offers a powerful way to stand together and remember those we’ve lost. The global events also help spread the message that the tragedy of overdose death IS preventable.

Melanie Rodriguez, drug and alcohol prevention specialist with the Caroline County Health Department, plans to attend the rally with a table full of resources.

“We’re working hard to help the community learn how to help prevent the use and misuse of alcohol, tobacco and drugs,” Rodriguez said. “Proper medication storage and disposal is one way the public can help prevent overdose deaths – Narcan training is another.”

The Denton rally is hosted by the local chapter of the national FED UP! Coalition, which is a grassroots coalition of people calling for an end to the epidemic of drug dependency and overdose deaths attributed to opioids. Rallies are scheduled for August 31 across the country, including Washington, D.C.

Bowrey said the goals of the event include showing that recovery is possible and showing local government the community needs help in the fight.

For more information on the event, please contact Bowrey at ccmdhaa@gmail.com. More information on the Fed Up! Coalition is available at www.feduprally.org.

For information on substance use and misuse prevention services, contact Rodriguez at 410-479-8164. Information also is available on Facebook @CarolineCountyPrevention.

Bonnie Hilghman Cancer Fund Golf Tournament Set for October 7

The Annual Bonnie Hilghman Cancer Fund Golf Tournament will be held on Saturday, October 7, 2017 at the Hog Neck Golf Course in Easton, MD 21601. This years proceeds will go to the Wellness for Women Program which supports residents of the Mid-Shore.

The Program is located at the Clark Comprehensive Breast Cancer Center in Easton.

Again, we are asking for your support. You can help by either forming a team, becoming a hole sponsor or by donating prizes (i.e. cash, merchandise, gift certificates, trips or rounds of golf, etc.). Tournament sponsors will be recognized in our pre-tournament publicity as well as our tournament program.

In light of budget cutbacks on community programs taken by state and local governments it is more important than ever to reach out and help our fellow citizens who are dealing with this potentially deadly disease, especially when the ability to get financial assistance is extremely limited.

Since it was founded in 2005, the Bonnie Hilghman Cancer Fund has given over $90,000. in grants to help those residents of the Mid-Shore who are fighting cancer. The Fund has also provided grants to Shore Health System, the Regional Cancer Center and the Choptank Community Health System to help with the costs of various renovations and to purchase diagnostic equipment. The Bonnie Hilghman Cancer Fund is a component fund of the Mid Shore Community Foundation, a public foundation designated as a 501c(3) charity. (EIN:52-17823730. Gifts to the Fund are fully tax-deductible as allowable by law.

For more information, please contact Duane Hilghman at 410-310-7696 or e-mail – dhilghman@verizon.net. You can also call Suzanne Bannan, PGA professional or John Bartlett at Hog Neck Golf Course, 410-820-6079.

UM CMG – Primary Care Announces Addition of Michael Gasparovich, DO

University of Maryland Community Medical Group (UM CMG)announces the addition of Denton-based primary care provider Michael Gasparovich, DO. Dr. Gasparovich’s subspecialties include family medicine and preventative care. He is seeing patients at 836 S. 5th Avenue in Denton. Patients may make an appointment with Dr. Gasparovich by calling 410-479-5900.

UM CMG is a University of Maryland Medical System-owned network of more than 300 primary care physicians, specialists- and advanced practice clinicians. As part of this UM CMG, Dr. Gasparovich is affiliated with UM Shore Regional Health.

Dr. Gasparovich is a graduate of the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine. He completed an internship and residency with Kennedy Memorial Hospitals. Dr. Gasparovich is board certified by the American Osteopathic Board of Family Practice.

“We are very excited to have Dr. Gasparovich join our team at the University of Maryland Community Medical Group in our Primary Care practice,”says Michele Wilson, vice president of operations for UM CMG. “Dr. Gasparovich will offer Denton primary care patients compassionate and comprehensive care for a broad range of health services.”

UM CMG consists of community-based provider practices affiliated with UM Baltimore Washington Medical Center, UM Charles Regional Medical Center, University of Maryland Medical Center Midtown Campus and UM Shore Regional Health.  A list of UM CMG providers is available at http://docfind.umms.org/cmg.

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.

Easterseals Walk With Me Event Is October 15

Register your team for the fifth annual Easterseals Delaware & Maryland’s Eastern Shore “Walk With Me Delmarva” event to be held on Sunday, October 15, 2017, at 3 p.m. at Baywood Greens, 32267, Clubhouse Way, Long Neck, DE. It will unite hundreds of Easterseals families and supporters in lower Delaware and along Maryland’s Eastern Shore to raise funds for Easterseals services in order to impact the lives of local individuals and families living with disabilities.

“Delmarva’s Walk With Me is an opportunity for families, friends, neighbors and colleagues to walk together to support people with disabilities and their families in our local community,” Linda Forte, Walk With Me even coordinator and community relations coordinator, said. “The event brings the local community together to work for a common goal to give the people we serve more independence through our programs and services.”

In addition to the Walk, enjoy fun games, activities, food and great entertainment. Registration for this year’s event is available at either www.walkwithme.org/delmarva or by contacting Linda Forte at (302) 253-1100 x 1121 or by e-mail at lforte@esdel.org.

Easterseals Delaware & Maryland’s Eastern Shore offers a range of services, including children’s therapies, assistive technology, recreational camping, day programs for adults with physical or intellectual disabilities, and respite services for caregivers. To learn more about how Easterseals helps children and adults with disabilities, call 1-800-677-3800 or visit www.de.easterseals.com.

Shore Neurocognitive Health to Hold Free Caregiver Event

Shore Neurocognitive Health to hold a free caregiver event on Friday, July 21 focusing on minimizing the behaviors of dementia. “Hands on Strategie Dealing with behaviors of dementia” will offer caregiver strategies to deal with difficult issues such as agitation, aggression and hallucinations often experienced by individuals with dementia. This interactive meeting, sponsored by Brightstar Health in Easton, Maryland, will be presented by Beth Parker-O’Brien, LCSW-C, lead clinician at Shore Neurocognitive Health.

This one-hour event will be held Friday, July 21 at 11 a.m. at Shore Neurocognitive Health, 29466 Pintail Drive #9, in Easton, Maryland. The event is free and open to the public. Space is limited and reservations are strongly suggested.

Also offered this month is a Caregiver Support Group, to be held on July 17 at 1 pm at the Talbot County Senior Center on Brooklets Avenue in Easton. Caregivers are encouraged to attend this hour long meeting for encouragement, support and help on caring for a loved one.

Located in Easton, Maryland, Shore Neurocognitive Health is directed by Beth Parker-O’Brien, LCSW-C, MSW. specializing in dementia and anxiety/depression disorders affecting the older adult. Now accepting patients, Shore Neurocognitive Health, for more information,visit our website at: http://snhealth.net. For reservations, or to schedule an appointment, call (443) 746-3698.

Program Helps Citizens in Poverty Move from Just Getting By to Getting Ahead

Poverty and low wages impact how we live. According to the Census Bureau 2015 Quick Facts for Talbot County, 11.7 percent of the county’s population are “persons in poverty.” A new collaborative program of the Talbot County Department of Social Services (TCDSS) and Talbot Family Network (TFN), “Getting Ahead in a Just-Gettin’- By World,” is designed to help its participants understand the mental models of generational poverty, along with the mental models of the middle and the upper classes. This program allows participants to explore the impact that poverty and low wages have and what it takes to move from just getting by, to getting ahead and realizing the future that they really want.

When Mary of Easton needed temporary rental assistance for six months to pay her bills, she didn’t see herself living in poverty, even though she fit the poverty guidelines for the program which had helped her. Although she was once a government employee with a good job, after a failed relationship and a move to Easton, she could not find full-time work, which caused her financial situation to deteriorate rapidly.  She comments, “I was working two jobs and helping family members with their expenses. I couldn’t get ahead.”

Photo: Pictured left to right Melissa Micriotti, Director of Administration and Finance and Getting Ahead in a Just-Gettin’-By World Facilitator, Chesapeake Mulitcultural Resource Center; James Carter, Getting Ahead in a Just-Gettin’-By World Facilitator; Paris Quillet, Special Projects Coordinator, TCDSS; Katie Sevon, Executive Director, Talbot Family Network; Jazmine Gibson, a Getting Ahead in a Just-Gettin’-By World Facilitator from Talbot Mentors; Tracy Donaghue, Getting Ahead in a Just-Gettin’-By World Facilitator, TCDSS; and Estela Vianey Ramirez, Hispanic Outreach Coordinator and Getting Ahead in a Just-Gettin’-By World Facilitator, Chesapeake Multicultural Resource Center.

Falling further and further behind, Mary was then laid off from one of the jobs and it took a long time to find another job and then she became unemployed. She adds, “I was forced into an early retirement, but was not ready financially to retire.”

After receiving rental assistance, Mary was asked if she wanted to participate in the new “Getting Ahead in a Just- Gettin’-By World” program. She comments, “When I think of poverty, I think of people who are unable to locate resources.”

She adds, “I knew I needed the right full-time job with benefits. I needed someone to give me a chance.”

Among the information Mary has learned in the program are the “hidden rules” of each economic class; the resources she already has; and how to formulate a personal plan for success. The resources are financial, emotional, language, mental/cognitive, social capital/connections, physical, spiritual, motivation/persistence, integrity/trust, and relationships/role models.

According to Paris Quillet, Special Projects Coordinator, TCDSS, “Group participants are able to identify the resources they have, versus the resources they need, to formulate personal plans for the future based on their goals. Among the benchmarks for the program are evaluating whether participants’ income, housing, education/training, transportation, childcare, and language proficiency have improved as a result of their participation.”

Among the eye-opening sessions for Mary was learning about legal resources, such as the service agencies who could help her, versus the illegal resources, such as black market goods and services. In addition, she learned that she wasted a lot of time in working toward accomplishing her goals each day. Time management exercises have helped her to improve in this area.

According to Tracy Donaghue, Getting Ahead in a Just-Gettin’-By World Facilitator with TCDSS, “Our participants are really vested in the program and freely provide insights from their own personal lives. The goal of the program is to help participants become more financially stable and to advance their careers.”

Participants in the program are known as “investigators.” The Getting Ahead in a Just-Gettin’-By World Facilitator guides the group and together, with the group, investigates and helps group members solve problems. Co-investigation is the foundation for theGetting Ahead in a Just-Gettin’-By World program.

According to Katie Sevon, Executive Director of Talbot Family Network, “This spring’s inaugural session provided childcare and transportation, if needed, and group members were also paid a weekly stipend. This helps ensure continuity of the group and remove barriers that would prevent participation.” She adds, “A lot of thought-provoking discussion and ideas have come out of the group so far. We are very excited about this new initiative and the positive impact it will have for our community.”

For Mary, despite her setbacks and personal crises, she states, “I have always had hope. This program is helping me see the things I can do to get ahead – making better use of my time and resources to do it. There is always something you can gain from a course like this.”

Persons interested in participating in this program as an investigator or as a referral source can contact Paris Quillet, Special Projects Coordinator, TCDSS, at 410-770-5870 or email paris.quillet@maryland.gov.

AAMC Weight Loss and Metabolic Surgery Program Recognized as Comprehensive Center

Anne Arundel Medical Center (AAMC) announces its Weight Loss and Metabolic Surgery Program is now accredited as a Comprehensive Center by the Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery Accreditation and Quality Improvement Program (MBSAQIP), signifying the program meets the highest standards for patient safety and quality care.

Studies show that patients have better weight loss surgery outcomes in accredited bariatric surgical centers, where the center has undergone and passed rigorous evaluation in accordance with nationally recognized bariatric surgical standards. Accredited centers are also recognized for multidisciplinary teams with experts in areas such as nutrition and psychology, to ensure a patient’s success after surgery.

The AAMC Weight Loss and Metabolic Surgery Program, led by Medical Director Alex Gandsas (r), MD, MBA, and fellow bariatric surgeon Courtney Doyle (l), MD.

“This recognition underscores the daily commitment and high quality the AAMC Weight Loss and Metabolic Surgery Program team demonstrates every day in the care of our patients,” says Alex Gandsas, MD, MBA, program medical director.

AAMC’s bariatric surgery center is designated as a Level I facility and was nationally accredited by the American College of Surgeons (ACS) in 2013. The ACS and the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS) have since combined their respective national bariatric surgery accreditation programs into a single unified program to achieve one national accreditation standard for bariatric surgery centers, the MBSAQIP.

The AAMC Weight Loss and Metabolic Surgery Program’s re-accreditation proves that it consistently meets the highest quality standards of care for the weight loss operations it performs, including sleeve gastrectomy, gastric bypass, and adjustable gastric band removal and revision.

In the United States, more than 11 million people suffer from severe obesity and an estimated 93 million people are obese. Conditions associated with obesity range from diabetes and heart disease to certain types of cancers. Bariatric surgical procedures have been shown to reduce obesity, improve mortality, and decrease the health risks from chronic diseases such as cardiomyopathy and diabetes.

The AAMC Weight Loss and Metabolic Surgery Program is located in Annapolis and Easton. To learn more about weight loss surgery, attend a free seminar at AAMC. Visit askAAMC.org/WeightLoss for more information or to register.

About Anne Arundel Medical Center

Anne Arundel Medical Center (AAMC), a regional health system headquartered in Annapolis, Md., serves an area of more than one million people. Founded in 1902, AAMC includes a 425-bed not-for-profit hospital, a multi-specialty medical group, imaging and lab services, convenience care clinics, a research institute, a substance use treatment center and health enterprises. In addition to an Annapolis campus, AAMC has outpatient pavilions in Bowie, Kent Island, Odenton, Pasadena and Waugh Chapel. AAMC is nationally recognized for its joint replacement center, emergency heart attack response and cancer care. A leader in women’s services, AAMC delivers the state’s second highest number of babies annually and has a Level 3 NICU. AAMC is among just 6 percent of U.S. hospitals to be designated a Magnet® hospital, the highest-level credential for quality patient care and nursing excellence. As a Most Wired® healthcare organization, AAMC is nationally recognized for using technology to enhance the patient experience. With more than 1,000 medical staff members, 3,900 employees and 750 volunteers, AAMC consistently receives awards for quality, patient satisfaction and innovation. To learn more, visit askAAMC.org.

Camp New Dawn Registration Open for Campers and Volunteers

Fun and friendship are the centerpiece of the healing experience of Camp New Dawn, a grief retreat offered through the Compass Regional Hospice Hope & Healing Center.

Registration is open for the 23rd annual Camp New Dawn, a grief retreat offered through the Compass Regional Hospice Hope & Healing Center. Camp New Dawn is a three-day, two-night grief retreat held each summer at Camp Pecometh in Centreville, serving children between the ages of four and 17 and their families.

This year’s Camp New Dawn kicks off on Saturday, August 19 at 12:30 p.m., when campers ages seven through 17 arrive at Camp Pecometh. A mini-camp for children aged four to six is held on Monday, August 21, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.  The campers attend therapeutic workshops, age specific grief support groups, and supervised activities such as swimming, fishing, arts and crafts through the closing ceremony on Monday, August 21 at 4:30 p.m.

Camp New Dawn also includes an adult retreat which begins on Sunday, August 20 at 4:00 p.m., when parents of campers arrive for an overnight session with other adults before they are joined by their children. While our campers are busy learning how to cope with their grief, the adult retreat helps restore participants to a place of wholeness as they learn to navigate their own grief journey.

At the end of the weekend the adults are then joined by their children for family camp where they come together to learn skills that they can take home with them, which will help them rely on one another as they heal.  Family camp ends of Tuesday, August 22 at 7:00 p.m.

Without volunteers this grief retreat program would not be possible. The most visible volunteers are buddies, caring and compassionate adults who are paired up with campers to provide support. There are also support staff volunteers who tend to every detail of camp by helping plan, set up and facilitate workshops and activities. Former campers, PALS and Campatiers, can be found helping in an assortment of ways around camp and sharing their own personal experiences with campers.

All volunteers are screened and trained to ensure the safety, confidentiality and respect for each Camp New Dawn participant.

The cost of camp is $30 per camper and $75 per family. These fees represent a fraction of the actual cost of operating Camp New Dawn. No one is ever turned way due to inability to pay. To become a sponsor or to make a donation toward the cost of Camp New Dawn, contact Kenda Leager, development officer, Compass Regional Hospice, 443-262-4106kleager@compassregionalhospice.org.

For more information about registration or volunteer opportunities for Camp New Dawn, contact Rhonda Knotts, Camp New Dawn director, 443-262-4109rknotts@compassregionalhospice.org or visit www.compassregionalhospice.org/campnewdawn.

Choptank Community Health Providers Tour UM Shore Regional Health Locations

Practitioners who recently joined Choptank Community Health System (CCHS) toured a number of outpatient facilities of UM Shore Regional Health earlier this month, including the Clark Comprehensive Breast Center, the Cancer Center, UM Shore Medical Pavilion at Easton, and the office of UM Community Medical Group – Women’s Health (OBGYN). The group was escorted by Judy Thomas, regional manager, Provider Referral and Business Development for University of Maryland Medical System (for the Mid-Shore Region).

CCHS is a private, non-profit community health center providing primary health care services in Caroline, Dorchester and Talbot Counties and the surrounding areas. CCHS health centers provide a range of primary medical, dental, and behavioral health services.

At Shore Medical Pavilion at Easton: front row, Phil, Regas, Victoria Billings, Ashley Taylor and Rachel Spellman; back row, Veronica Rigler, Judy Thomas, Katie Dadds, Peyman Otmishi, MD, Andrew Vranic, MD, and Greg Oliver, MD. Dadds, Regas, Dr. Otmishi, Dr. Vranic and Dr. Oliver are with University of Maryland Community Medical Group.

The tour, which included introductions to several UM SRH physicians, advanced practice providers, practice managers and other staff, was arranged as part of the developing partnership between UM SRH and CCHS in the interest of providing access to quality health care for all Mid Shore residents. With Victoria Billings, CCHS regional site director were new CCHS practitioners Veronica Rigler, Federalsburg Medical Center; Rachel M. Spellman, Fassett-Magee Health Center; and Ashley Taylor, Denton Medical Center.

“The goal of these tours is to enhance continuity of care for our shared patients by educating community providers about the health care services offered in the Mid Shore region and making personal introductions that will facilitate good communication between medical services, practices and providers,” Thomas says.

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.

Health Integrity Team Included in Office of Inspector General’s Cooperative Achievement Award

The Department of Health and Human Services Office of the Inspector General presented the Cooperative Achievement Award to a team including several Health Integrity staff.  The award was “in recognition of outstanding contributions to the largest criminal investigation and successful prosecution of a single physician, Dr. Jacques Roy, involving the submission of more than $375 million in fraudulent claims.” Sr. Vice President Scott Ward; Nurse Investigator and Law Enforcement Liaison Lisa Garcia, RN; and Clinical Educator and Law Enforcement Liaison Donna Large received the award at the Hubert H. Humphry Building in Washington, DC.

Quality Health Strategies CEO Dr. Ron Forsythe, Health Integrity President Sandy Love, Sr. Vice President Jaysen Eisengrein, and Sr. Vice President Carrie Ward attended the ceremony as well. “This was an unbelievable case,” said Scott Ward. “Lisa Garcia testified in the trial as the first witness. Her testimony was so strong that there was no cross-examination.”

According to the Department of Justice April 2016 press release (www.justice.gov/usao-ndtx/pr/dallas-doctor-and-three-dallas-area-home-health-agency-owners-convicted-running-large) “Jacques Roy, M.D., 58, of Rockwall, Texas; Cynthia Stiger, 53, of Dallas; Wilbert James Veasey, Jr., 64, of Dallas; and Charity Eleda, R.N., 55, of Rowlett, Texas, were each convicted of several various counts of health care fraud.

As part of his fraudulent activities, Dr. Roy “sold his signature” to process almost $375 million in false Medicare and Medicaid claims. He also signed off on services by more than 500 home-health agencies for 11,000 patients from January 2006 through November 2010.

“The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of Inspector General (OIG), and the Texas Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit (MFCU). It was brought as part of the Medicare Fraud Strike Force supervised by the Criminal Division Fraud Section and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Texas.”

“Although the award was presented to a small group,” continued Ward. “It really took a village to bring down Dr. Roy.” Investigators conducted over 700 beneficiary interviews in a span of about 5 months. Nurse Reviewers, Data Analysts, Project Support, Subject Matter Experts, and Law Enforcement Liaisons worked closely together combing through data, producing necessary documentation, and providing expert testimony. The Data team received 77 sample requests, which they processed in the 5-month time-period. The team conducted 72 Medical Reviews and processed 1,725 claims during the 9 months it took to investigate Dr. Roy. This showed the immense dedication of the ZPIC Staff to the Health Integrity mission.

U.S. District Judge Sam A. Lindsay sentenced Wilbert Veasey to 210 months in federal prison and order to pay $23,123,897.18 in restitution to Medicare and $506,880.08 in restitution to Medicaid. Jacques Roy is expected to be sentenced in late August 2017.

“We are proud of the work of our team and their part in this historic investigation and prosecution,” said Sandy Love. “They provide the same effort and achieve the same results for each and every case they work. Once again demonstrating the effect of the best people, providing the best solutions, achieving the best results.”

About Health Integrity

Headquartered in Easton, Maryland, Health Integrity www.HealthIntegrity.org is a wholly owned subsidiary of Quality Health Strategies www.qualityhealthstrategies.com and serves the entire nation in an effort to protect the fiscal and clinical integrity of healthcare systems. The company currently holds a number of federal contracts for detecting and combating health care fraud, waste, and abuse on a national and regional level.