Shore Behavioral Health Wins Award for Clinical Program Excellence

The UM Shore Regional Health Behavioral Health Services team has won a top award from Horizon Health, LLC. The award marked Behavioral Health’s selection as the most outstanding clinical program from five hospital behavioral health programs that were nominated in this category. The award was presented on February 21, 2017, at the Behavioral Health suite at UM Shore Medical Center at Dorchester.

Horizon Health specializes in helping hospitals better serve patients by establishing safe, effective and financially stable psychiatric programs, managed to the highest standards of accountability. At present, the organization serves approximately 90 hospitals that have inpatient behavioral health programs.

Photo: Shore Behavioral Health Award Presentation (l. to r.): Melissa Budzinski, vice president, Clinical Services, Horizon Health, LLC; Jack DeVaney, president, Horizon Health, LLC; Corlette Fezzia, vice president, Operations, Horizon Health, LLC; John Mistangelo, program administrator, Shore Behavioral Health; Jacki Crawford, nurse manager, Shore Behavioral Health; Ida Jane Baker, president, Dorchester General Hospital Foundation; Brian Leutner, executive director, UM Shore Medical Center at Dorchester, the Cancer Center and the Clark Comprehensive Breast Center; Eric Anderson, MD, medical director, Shore Behavioral Health; and Ken Kozel, president and CEO, UM SRH

Horizon Health representatives Corlette Fezzia, vice president, Operations, and Jack DeVaney, president, presented the award and spoke glowingly of the great progress made by Shore Behavioral Health in enhancing its clinical programs and in developing a full staff of quality practitioners to provide psychiatric care to the Mid-Shore population.

On hand to accept the award and celebrate the honor were Ken Kozel, UM SRH president and CEO, Ruth Ann Jones, senior vice president, Nursing and Patient Care Services, and several members of the Shore Behavioral Health team, including Eric Anderson, MD, medical director, John Mistrangelo, program administrator and Jackie Crawford, nurse manager, Ida Jane Baker, chairman of the Dorchester General Hospital Foundation also attended and accepted the check that accompanied the award, thanking Horizon Health and congratulating the SBH staff on their achievement in receiving the award.

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.

Good Stuff: Yoga Helps YMCA in QAC

Every Body Yoga will be offering a weekend of donation-based yoga classes March 17 – 19 at its Centreville Studio, 205 E. Water Street. All donations go to the Queen Anne’s County Family YMCA’s summer camp fund. Participants are asked to give whatever amount they feel is right.

Summer has many iconic associations: long, sticky days; catching fireflies at dusk; sunburns sitting poolside. Time at a summer camp ranks as one of the most memorable events of the three or so month hiatus from school. Camp provides a safe space for kids to experiment—to try out new things that are not in their comfort zone, under the supervision of a caring mentor—they make new friends, camp aids in helping them build social skills through teamwork based activities, it helps prepare them to lead brighter more focused lives as they grow.

This experience isn’t guaranteed to all kids. Many families are financially unable to send their children to camp. The Queen Anne’s County Family YMCA is stepping in to make sure kids who want to go to camp have that opportunity. In 2016, one out of four kids who attended their camps required financial assistance.

Located at The Gunston School, the Queen Anne’s County YMCA’s summer camp offers a wide array of activities from field and water sports to arts, academics, environmental and cultural experiences. The YMCA, as a whole, has a philosophy that they don’t turn anyone away. With this idea in mind, Every Body Yoga, has decided to try and help raise some funds for this important program.

The weekend kicks off with Foundations of Yoga, on Friday, March 17 at 6:30 PM. Saturday offers three classes Chakra Opening at 9:00 AM, Yoga Flow at 10:30 and Chair Yoga at 1 PM. Rise-n-Shine yoga class will take place at 9:00 AM on Sunday morning. Each class will be an hour long and will be taught by one of Every Body Yoga’s Teacher Trainees.

Every Body Yoga offers group and private instruction, stress management and wellness workshops as well as a Yoga Teacher Training Program(RYT). It is the only Registered Yoga School on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. Instruction is provided by Yoga Teacher Trainer, Phyllis Johnston M.Ed, E-RYT. Ms. Johnston has 30 years of yoga experience and Every Body Yoga has been serving the mid-shore since January 2000. More information available at or contact Phyllis Johnston at or 410-310-6803.

Bayside Elementary Student Recognized with Creating Healthier Communities Together Award

At the February meeting of its Board of Directors, University of Maryland Shore Regional Health presented its Creating Healthier Communities Together Award to Gregory Couch, an 11-year old 5th grader at Bayside Elementary School in Stevensville.

The award was established by UM Shore Regional Health to recognize residents of the organization’s five-county service area who participate in realizing its mission of Creating Healthier Communities Together. The award recognizes individuals or groups who have made an outstanding contribution to improve the health and well-being of the communities within Caroline, Dorchester, Kent, Queen Anne’s and Talbot counties through efforts including: raising awareness about a chronic disease or health-related issue; participation in a community service project and/or health-related program or service that provides the region with greater access to health care services.


Gregory Couch of Kent Island (center) receives the Creating Healthier Communities Together Award from Kenneth Kozel, president and CEO, UM Shore Regional Health (left) and John Dillon, chairman, UM Shore Regional Health Board of Directors (right).

Gregory, son of Paul and Kimberly Couch of Kent Island, was selected for the Creating Healthier Communities Together Award for his planning and execution of opening a chapter of Project Linus that covers Caroline, Kent, Queen Anne’s and Talbot counties. Through his newly opened chapter, Gregory donated handmade blankets to UM Shore Regional Health’s Shore Emergency Center in Queenstown and Shore Medical Center in Chestertown for young children who come in to medical facilities under harsh circumstances and in need comfort.

“Team members of our Chestertown and Queenstown locations are so grateful for the hard work and effort Gregory puts into helping some of our youngest  community members through Project Linus,” says Mary Alice Vanhoy, manager of the UM Shore Emergency Center at Queenstown and the Emergency Department at UM Shore Medical Center at Chestertown. “We see many frightened children come through the doors of our emergency departments after unfortunate circumstances and these blankets offer a sense of comfort in times when they need it most.”

Project Linus is a non-profit organization represented by chapters covering all 50 states. Volunteers or “blanketeers” create blanket drives, make the blankets and then donate them to healthcare facilities. Gregory continues to collect and make blankets from various donations received through the community and plans to donate even more blankets to medical facilities in the counties his chapter covers.

“The leadership team and Board of Directors of University of Maryland Shore Regional Health were ecstatic to learn about the hard work and commitment Gregory has put behind advancing the wellbeing of patients and families at our medical facilities,” comments Ken Kozel, president and CEO, UM Shore Regional Health. “Gregory is a great example of how community partnerships can help Shore Regional Health continue to put patients first and achieve our mission of Creating Healthier Communities Together.”

More information about Project Linus and volunteering with the mid-shore chapter may be obtained by visiting, or calling Kimberly Couch at 410 924-2488.

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.

UM SRH Comprehensive Rehabilitation Team Member Receives Autism Specialist Certification

Diane LorsongDiane Lorsong, of Queen Anne’s County, was recently certified by the International Board of Credentialing and Continuing Education Standards (IBCCES) as a Certified Autism Specialist. Lorsong is a speech-language pathologist for University of Maryland Shore Regional Health Comprehensive Rehabilitation and currently sees patients at the UM Shore Medical Pavilion in Queenstown.

Lorsong completed the IBCCES Autism Competency exam along with meeting rigorous professional standards, demonstrating experience and education in autism. A Certified Autism Specialist has a minimum of a Master’s degree and 2 years of experience or a Bachelor’s degree and 10 years of experience. The Certified Autism Specialist obtains 14 continuing education hours in Autism every two years in order to stay up to date in the field.

“I love the variety and the different ways that I get to help people communicate,” says Lorsong. “I have a passion for working with those diagnosed with Autism; not every patient is the same and each one is a puzzle that requires me to think outside the box often.”

Prior to joining UM Shore Regional Health, Lorsong gained valuable experience working with children in a school setting focusing on developmental delays including Autism, Down Syndrome, Cerebral Palsy, Stuttering, Apraxia, and articulation disorders.  Diane has been trained in picture exchange communication system (PECS) and is also fluent in American Sign Language (ASL).

As a speech-language pathologist, certified by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association and licensed by the state of Maryland, Lorsong identifies, evaluates, and treats those with communication and related disorders.  She provides a customized treatment plan for a broad range of disorders including:  loss of speech and/or cognitive impairments due to stroke or brain injury, language comprehension, swallowing dysfunction and voice disorders.  In addition, Lorsong is certified in Deep Pharyngeal Neuromuscular Stimulation and Vital Stim Therapy as well as Lee Silverman Voice Therapy (LSVT), a program that was developed to help individuals diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease.

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.

Compass Regional Hospice Offers Adult Grief Support Group in Caroline County

Compass Regional Hospice is offering a grief support group for adults who have experienced the death of a loved one. The first meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, March 21, 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m., at St. Luke’s United Methodist Church, 100 S 5th Avenue in Denton. The group will meet every Tuesday through May 23. Participants are asked to commit to attending all or most of the 10 sessions in order to benefit the most from the group. 

The grief support group will be co‐facilitated by Ann OConnor, LCSW‐C, and Wayne Larrimore, MEd, bereavement counselors for Compass Regional Hospice.


Bereavement counselors Wayne Larrimore, MEd (left) and Ann OConnor, LCSW‐C (right) will co‐facilitate a new grief support group beginning March 21.

In a culture that often avoids talking about loss, many end up feeling alone, which makes navigating through their grief journey difficult.  Participation in our adult grief support group offers companionship and understanding from others who “get it,” and are experiencing the similar challenges that living with grief brings.

“Our grief groups are a combination of education and support,” says OConnor. “In this confidential and intimate setting participant’s will have a chance to share their stories openly and guilt-free, while learning ways to cope with their changed lives.”

For more information about the adult grief support group, call Compass Regional Hospice, 443‐262‐4100, or email Ann OConnor, or Wayne Larrimore, To learn more about other grief support programs available through the Compass Regional Hospice Hope & Healing Center, visit

JHU Doctor to Speak to Easton CMT Group

thomas lloydCome with a pocket full of questions when Thomas Lloyd, MD, PhD, Associate Professor of Neurology at Johns Hopkins Medicine, visits the Easton Charcot -Marie-Tooth Disease (CMT) Support Group on Saturday, March 11, 10 AM until Noon. The group meets at the Talbot County Free Library, 100 Dover Street, Easton.

Dr. Lloyd specializes in neuromuscular disorders in adults, with a particular interest in neurogenetics and motor neuron diseases including amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), motor neuropathies, peripheral nerve disorders such as Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease (CMT) and muscle diseases such as muscular dystrophy. Dr. Lloyd is developing genetic and pharmacologic screens to identify novel drug targets for motor neuron diseases. .

Dr. Lloyd’s research interests include understanding the mechanisms of motor neuron degeneration using simple genetic model systems. Having received his M.D. and Ph.D. from Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas, he then went to Johns Hopkins Hospital for residency training in Neurology, after which he completed a fellowship in Neuromuscular Medicine.

Charcot-Marie-Tooth Disease was discovered by theee doctors in the 1880s–Dr. Charcot and Dr. Marie from France and Dr. Tooth from England. To date there is no cure. CMT is a slowly degenerative disorder causing severe weakness in the feet and legs, and hands and arms. While it will not cause death, it may ultimately keep the patient wheelchair-bound.

All interested persons are invited to meet Dr. Lloyd and to ask appropriate questions pertaining to their own CMT or that of friends or family. We look forward to seeing you there on March 11–with your questions.

For further information, please contact Missy Warfield, Easton CMT Support Group leader, at 410-820-0576.

What’s New in the Treatment of Multiple Myeloma?

Dr. Rodrigo B. Erlich of Bay Hematology/Oncology of Easton will speak at the quarterly meeting of the Chesapeake Multiple Myeloma Network (CMMN) on Saturday, March 4th at 4:00 PM in the Large Conference Room of the Eastern Shore Conservation Center (114 S. Washington St., Easton). The talk, What’s New in the Treatment of Multiple Myeloma?, is free and open to the public. Dr. Erlich, a highly regarded cancer researcher and clinician, will discuss rapidly developing and promising clinical strategies in the treatment of multiple myeloma—a cancer of the bone marrow. The talk should be helpful to myeloma patients and their families in discussions with their physician about treatment options. CMMN’s meetings last about an hour and a half.

The Chesapeake Multiple Myeloma Network (CMMN) is an informal Eastern Shore group of individuals affected by multiple myeloma.  Its mission is “to provide ongoing resources of information, 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 Programand is an affiliate of the International Myeloma Foundation. 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 please contact Bob Kelly at 410-226-5345 or

UM Shore Regional Health Announces Nominees for 2017 Nursing Awards

University of Maryland Shore Regional Health has announced the 56 nominations for the 2017 Nurse Excellence Awards program, set for May, 8, 2017 at the Rufus M. and Loraine Hall Todd Performing Arts Center at Chesapeake College.

According to Ruth Ann Jones, senior vice president, Patient Care Services and chief nursing officer for UM Shore Regional Health (UM SRH), the annual nursing awards ceremony, now in its sixth year, will as a kick-off event for the celebration of National Nursing Week, May 8-15, 2017. “The Nurse Excellence Awards recognize nursing excellence and serve as a great tribute to their hard work and commitment to our patients and to Shore Regional Health,” Jones said.

nursing awards

2017 Nurse Excellence Awards Committee, L to R: Kathy Elliott, RN, Jackie Moriarty, Elizabeth Todd, RN (chair), Jean Volz, RN, Jamie Riley, RN, Jane Flowers, RN, Tara Smith, RN and Kathy Cvach, RN. Not shown are Eden Kinser, RN, Dawn Ford, RN and Bill Shertenlieb, RN.

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

Nurses nominated this year for the award, Commitment to Others, are: from Chestertown, Michael Parker, Kimberly Seward and Marjorie Shaffer; from Dorchester, Tonya Barker; and from Easton, Alyssa Baker, Robin Ford, Dannielle Fretterd, Dawn Ruby, Amy Saia, Emily Uyttewaal, Karen Van Trieste, Dorothy Waters and Taffie Wilson.

Professional Nursing Practice award nominees are: from Chestertown, Jeanette Mooday-Walsh; from Easton, Alyssa Baker, Renee Edsall and Gretchen Maans; and regional, Hope Honigsberg.

Nominated for the Leadership award in nursing are: from Chestertown, Rebecca King, Kellee McLean and Cindy Simmons; from Dorchester, Tammy Bradshaw; and from Easton, Kim Brice, Lisa Eisemann, Grace Gonzalez, Dawn Ruby, Melissa Smith, Vernon Usilton, Dorothy Waters and Jason Weaver.

An award for the most “Promising Professional” is new to the Nurse Excellence Awards this year. First-ever nominees for this honor are; from Chestertown, Sarah Postles; from Dorchester, Lashon Adams and April Ewing; and from Easton, Joseph Brun, Heather Downes, Ashley Higgs, Rebecca Lyons, and Kelsey Mills.

The 2017 nominees for the nurse excellence award in Mentorship/Advocacy are: from Chestertown, Debbie Fulton and Melanie Iacona; from Dorchester, Tonya Barker; from Easton, Dianne Baxter, Connie Collins, Dawn Ruby, Dyshekia Strawberry, Keri Tucker and April Venables; and regional, Madeline Steffens.

Several nursing inpatient units and outpatient services were nominated for the unit award for excellence in Empirical Outcomes, as follows: from Chestertown, Chester River Home Care and the Infusion Clinic at UM Shore Medical Center at Chestertown; from Easton, the Birthing Center, the Emergency Department, and the 2 East and 3 East units of UM Shore Medical Center at Easton; from Queenstown, the Ambulatory Surgery Center; and regional, the Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation program.

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.

Talbot Hospice Offers Memoir Workshop

Anne McCormick

Anne McCormick, M.Ed.

Talbot Hospice is offering an eight-week memoir workshop – Looking Back with Gentle Eyes – facilitated by Anne McCormick, M.Ed.,Tuesday mornings 10:30 a.m. – 12 p.m., March 7 – April 25, 2017. The class is free of charge and open to the public. Class size is limited to ten participants. Advance registration is required and can be made by calling 410-822-6681.

McCormick is the retired Associate Director of the Learning and Counseling Center and adjunct professor of English at American University, Washington, D.C. She is the co-author of two books and numerous journal articles about accommodating college students with disabilities. Since retiring to the Eastern Shore, Anne has co-offered numerous workshops in memoir writing and served on multiple advocacy boards for individuals with disabilities.

Compass Regional Hospice Patient Volunteer Training Scheduled for March

In March Compass Regional Hospice will offer two training options for individuals interested in becoming a patient care volunteer. The first session will be held on March 7, 8 and 9 at the Presbyterian Church of Chestertown, 905 Gateway Drive in Chestertown from 9:00 am to 3:00pm. The second session will be held on March 21, 22 and 23 at Compass Regional Hospice’s Hope & Healing Center, 255 Comet Drive in Centreville from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm. Attending all three days of one of these sessions is required for volunteers who wish to work directly with hospice patients and their family members in Queen Anne’s, Kent and Caroline counties.

“Volunteering for hospice is like being a good neighbor,” says Courtney Williams, Manager of Volunteer and Professional Services for Compass Regional Hospice. “It is all about helping others and being there when they need you. Direct patient care volunteers provide companionship and support to our patients and their loved ones.”

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

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

For more information about becoming a volunteer for Compass Regional Hospice, visit or contact Courtney Williams, 443-262-4112,