Time to Volunteer for Hospice – Training Starts March 19

Talbot Hospice Volunteer Training is scheduled for March 19 and 21, 8:15 a.m. – 5 p.m. The 16-hour Volunteer Training Course is offered twice annually. Volunteers working directly with patients need to attend the entire training. Other positions require the morning session only of the 19th. Currently, we have specific needs for in-home companions, drivers to transport patients to appointments, Hospice House caregivers, greeters, cooks, and musicians.

To learn more about volunteering at Talbot Hospice, call Lori Miller, Director of Volunteer Services, at 410-822-6681 or visit TalbotHospice.org/Volunteer.

Haven Ministries Resource Center Connects Community Members of All Ages

Haven Ministries Resource Center at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church at 301 S. Liberty Street in Centreville, MD, was established to offer a place of referral and case management services to residents of Queen Anne’s County who need information on financial counseling, job training, and wellness, as well as limited pastoral counseling and enrichment classes.

The Resource Center’s classes are meeting the growing needs of the community, including everything from budget and financial workshops to empowerment workshops for recovering addicts. There is something for everyone. According to Krista Pettit, Executive Director of Haven Ministries, “We are also trying to connect with community organizations that might want to bring their clients to benefit from some of our classes, including recovery groups, social services organizations, health departments, schools and nonprofits.”

Haven Ministries’ classes were originally offered to its shelter guests as a way to engage them as they transitioned to more permanent housing and employment – providing encouragement and information to assist them in their journey. As the Resource Center grew, the classes became available to anyone in need of resources to help them with their lives.

According to Jessica McCarthy, Case Manager for Haven Ministries, the classes benefit people of all ages. The job readiness workshops focus on resume building, job searching, and interview skills. There are even classes to teach people about healthy relationships, healthy boundaries, and visioning their future.

McCarthy states, “The space at St. Paul’s lends itself so well to workshops and we really have been successful with our offerings. People often come back to us after a workshop and work with us individually on issues or needs that they may have.”

Edwin Gibbs, another Case Manager for Haven Ministries, links people to resources and coordinates activities for shelter guests. His empowerment workshops for recovering addicts being treated at the A. F. Whitsitt Center in Chestertown have a growing following. He says, “These three-hour workshops give addicts tools to work with when they complete their treatment. We focus on teaching life skills to help them maneuver back into society. Workshop topics include fear, shame and guilt, coping mechanisms, employment, transitional housing, accessing medical resources, and building relationships.”

Participants of Gibbs’ empowerment workshops are mostly 19 to 30 years of age and a majority of them are women. Gibbs adds, “People who attend the workshops open up with me. They enjoy the relaxed environment of the Resource Center and often use the tools we provide to help as they finalize completion of their treatment at the Whitsitt Center. It’s all about self-awareness and that is the work of the Spirit.”

In addition to empowerment workshops, the Resource Center also offers classes in cooking and therapeutic art projects, as well as prayer lunches. For further information on the Haven Ministries Resource Center or a list of available classes, contact Krista Pettit at 410-739-4363.

Love shapes the ministry, love transforms people, and hope prevails at Haven Ministries.  Haven Ministries operates a Resource Center at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Centreville, Monday through Friday, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. with job training, educational programming, and case management services.  The Haven Ministries Food Pantry is held on the third Friday monthly at Safe Harbor Presbyterian Church in Stevensville from 5:30 to 7 p.m.  Our Daily Thread Thrift Store is open Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. For further information about Haven Ministries, visit haven-ministries.org or call 410-739-4363.

UM SRH Issues Request for Purchase Proposals for Poplar Hill Farm

University of Maryland Shore Regional Health (UMSRH) has issued a Request for Purchase Proposals for land which it owns known as “Poplar Hill Farm” located south of Oxford Road and west of the Easton Parkway.  The RFP solicits proposals for the land purchase, the proceeds of which will be allocated by UMSRH to the replacement of University of Maryland Shore Medical Center at Easton.  The site comprising approximately 126 acres is one of the largest undeveloped parcels in the Town of Easton and has direct access to both State roads and public utilities.

Poplar Hill Farm was purchased by the hospital in February, 1979.  For years, it has been designated by the Town’s Comprehensive Plan as a potential site for a replacement hospital. However, UM Shore Regional Health is committed to its more recent plans to replace the University of Maryland Shore Medical Center at Easton on the large site it owns adjacent to the Talbot County Community Center.

A six-acre parcel of Poplar Hill Farm was subdivided from the farm last year and sold to the Temple B’Nai Israel Congregation of Easton, Maryland for construction of a new facility that is expected to open later this year.  The remainder of Poplar Hill Farm is no longer necessary for development of a UM Shore Regional Health facility and funds from its sale can be used to support the development of a replacement hospital north of the Easton Airport.

The deadline for responses to the RFP is April 30, 2018, after which UM Shore Regional Health will complete a thorough evaluation of all proposals.  UM Shore Regional Health reserves the right to accept or reject any or all proposals.  For information regarding Poplar Hill Farm, please contact Doug James or James Real Estate Services at (410) 310-1350 or dljcommercial@gmail.com.

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 2,200 employees, medical staff, board members and volunteers works with various community partners to fulfill the organization’s mission of Creating Healthier Communities Together.

UM CMG – Surgical Care Announces Addition of Charles DiNapoli, MD

University of Maryland Community Medical Group (UM CMG), is proud to announce the recruitment of our very own Easton-based General Surgeon, Charles E. DiNapoli, MD.

Dr. DiNapoli hails from Italy where he completed his Medical Doctorate at the University of Bologna, Faculty of Medicine and Surgery in 1978. He went on to complete his general surgery residency at Yale University affiliate, Saint Raphael Hospital in New Haven, Connecticut. He further completed a cardiovascular surgery fellowship at the Texas Heart Institute in Houston, Texas, and subsequently settled down in Easton where he has since practiced for more than 30 years. He is certified by the American Board of Surgery and has additional expertise in colonoscopy. He serves as director of Eastern Shore Endoscopy and director of the UMMS Vascular Lab in Easton.

Dr. DiNapoli is seeing patients at 500 Cadmus Lane, Suite 205 in Easton. Patients may make an appointment with Dr. DiNapoli by calling 410-822-4553.

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. DiNapoli is affiliated with UM Shore Regional Health.

“We are very excited to have Dr. DiNapoli join our team at the University of Maryland Community Medical Group in our surgical care practice,” comments Michele Wilson, Chief Operating Officer for UM CMG. “Dr. DiNapoli brings with him a vast amount of experience and knowledge that will benefit our surgical patients on the Shore.”

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.

UM SRH Announces Free Events for National Nutrition Month

UM SRH registered dietitian Mary King, center, will lead a “Food Shopping for Health” grocery store tour.

University of Maryland Shore Regional Health dietitians and diabetes educators have planned a series of events for National Nutrition Month® which is observed annually in March by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. This year’s campaign, “Go Further with Food,” focuses attention on the importance of making informed food choices as well as developing sound eating and physical activity habits, and also offers strategies to cut back on food waste.

“We are excited to help people in our region learn more about how to avoid health problems and maximize their quality of life through proper diet and nutrition,” says Katie Ewers, registered dietitian and nutrition associate manager for UM Shore Regional Health. “Simple changes in the way you shop for food and prepare meals and snacks can significantly reduce your risk – and your family’s risk — for chronic conditions like diabetes and cardiovascular disease. The events we’re offering are designed to share nutrition information and dietary strategies that people of any age can employ to maintain their best health.”

“Food Shopping for Health” is a free, guided grocery store tour that teaches how to shop and plan meals for optimal health. Three tours are scheduled, as follows:

In Easton on Tuesday, March 13, 1:30 p.m., Giant Foods, 8223 Elliott Rd. RSVP: 410-822-1000, ext. 5188. Tour led by Karen Hollis, registered dietitian and diabetes educator, UM Center for Diabetes & Endocrinology

In Chestertown on Wednesday, March 21, 1 p.m., at Redner’s Market, 17 Washington Avenue. RSVP: 410-778-7668, ext. 2295. Tour led by Mary King, registered dietitian, UM SMC at Chestertown

In Cambridge on Wednesday, March 21, 1 p.m., Walmart, 2775 Dorchester Square. RSVP: 410-822-1000, ext. 5351. Tour led by Katie Ewers, nutrition associate manager, Food and Nutrition Services, UM Shore Regional Health

In addition, the month-long observance will feature free nutrition education seminars in Cambridge and Chestertown, as follows:

Friday, March 23, 10 am-12 pm, “Learn about Diabetes and Nutrition,” presented by BK Eshete and Karen Hollis, diabetes educators, UM Center for Diabetes & Endocrinology, at the Food Pantry at Delmarva Community Services, 1000 Goodwill Avenue, Cambridge. Pre-registration required, call Brenda Fields, 410-901-2991, ext. 18.

Wednesday, March 28, 2 p.m. “The ‘Mind Diet’ and Healthy Weight Loss,” presented by Mary King, registered dietitian, in the Conference Center, UM Shore Medical Center at Chestertown, 410-778-7668, ext. 2295.

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.

Grants in Action: For All Seasons and Women & Girls Fund Comfort Victims of Sexual Assault

It seems like a simple enough project. Upon notification that there is a victim of sexual assault in one of the Mid-Shore’s hospitals, For All Seasons, Inc, the region’s outpatient mental health services agency, quickly provides a “comfort kit” to the victim with clothes, shoes and other personal items to replace those that will be used as state’s evidence against the offender.

And yet, this essential outreach program, which may take place up to 16 times a month throughout the For All Seasons service region, has been one of the more difficult initiatives for staff to fundraise for given the nature of the work and its relatively modest budget demands.

That is when the Women & Girls Fund stepped in.

As WGF board member Judi Loscomb noted in her interview with the Spy a few weeks ago, the philanthropic foundation’s ability to pool resources to address these unique community needs is just one of the reasons the Women & Girls Fund has been so successful with its mission and serving the region.

The Spy also talked to For All Seasons executive director, Beth Anne Langrell and the organization’s new director of development, Monika Mraz, to understand more fully how critical the “comfort kit” program is for victims, their families, and for the Mid-Shore in general.

This video is approximately three minutes in length. For more information about For All  Seasons please go here.

 This is the fifth in a series of stories focused on the work of the Women & Girls Fund of the Mid-Shore. Since 2002, the Fund has channeled its pooled resources to organizations that serve the needs and quality of life for women and girls in Caroline, Dorchester, Kent, Queen Anne’s and Talbot Counties. The Spy, in partnership with the Women & Girls Fund, are working collaboratively to put the spotlight on twelve of these remarkable agencies to promote their success and inspire other women and men to support the Fund’s critical role in the future.

Monika Mraz Appointed Director of Development at For All Seasons

Photo by Jessie Auritt.

For All Seasons has announced the appointment of Monika Mraz as its first Director of Development. Mraz comes from UNICEF USA in New York, NY, where she worked 10 years, including in her most recent position as Vice President of Global Cause Partnerships. Prior to that, Mraz worked for Conservation International in Washington, DC and Wildlife Conservation Society in New York, NY. She completed a Masters of Business Administration from University of Edinburgh in Edinburgh, UK and attended the ESSEC Business School in Paris, France. She received her Bachelor of Business Administration, International Business from The George Washington University in Washington, DC.

Mraz, who lives in Oxford with her family, comments, “I was inspired by the mission of For All Seasons. As a behavioral health nonprofit, the organization cares about delivering mental health services to the community, without regard to a person’s ability to pay. Mental health is an important component in all of our lives and a cornerstone to everything we do.”

She adds, “I am very excited to be working with the organization at this time as we work to tackle the organization’s wait list. It is an ideal time to familiarize the community better with the range of services we provide and how to access them.”

Beth Anne Langrell, Executive Director of For All Seasons, comments, “Monika brings a fresh new outlook, as well as vast experience in developing relationships with friends and donors in the community. As our first Director of Development, she will be an asset to the organization as we seek to grow support for the organization and to grow our Endowment.”

To talk with Monika, call  410-822-1018 or email her at mmraz@forallseasonsinc.org.

Honor National Poison Prevention Week with a few Simple Steps

Did you know that poisoning is the #1 cause of injury-related death in America, with most of these deaths due to drug and medicine misuse and abuse? Each year, more than two million poisonings are reported to poison control centers across the country. Most of these occur in the home, with half of all non-fatal poisonings in children younger than 6.

The third week in March each year is designated National Poison Prevention Week, which is dedicated to raising awareness about the dangers of poisonings and how to prevent them. As part of this observance, the Talbot County Health Department Prevention Office is reminding our community about the importance of proper medication storage and disposal.

Recent trends indicate that teens and young adults are increasingly misusing prescription drugs or over-the-counter (OTC) medicines. In fact, prescription medicines have become the most commonly abused drugs among 12 to 13 year olds.

Here in Talbot County, about 14 percent of our high school students and 4 percent of middle schoolers have taken prescription drugs without a prescription, according to the latest Youth Risk Behavior Survey. More than half of those who misuse these prescriptions get them from friends or family.

We can all help prevent medicine abuse with a few simple actions:

Talk with your teen or young adult. Children who learn the risks from parents are up to 50 percent less likely to use drugs than those who don’t get these critical messages at home.

Safeguard your medicine. Keep your medicines locked up, and count and monitor the number of pills you have.

Properly dispose of unused medication. Take part in national drug take back day next month from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. on April 28, at the Maryland State Police Barrack in Easton. Call us at 410-819-5600 for information on additional drop off locations.

If you suspect accidental poisoning, always call 911.

To learn more about how to prevent prescription drug abuse, contact Alexandra Duff, Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse Prevention Supervisor at Talbot County Health Department, at 410-819-5600.

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

The Art of Becoming One: Qlarant’s Ron Forsythe on Corporate Consolidation

Unbeknownst to many on the Mid-Shore, there will be a remarkable corporate transition taking place this week. Within a rather undistinguished office building located next to Target and Harris Teeter on Marlboro Street, a consolidation of three major businesses into one will officially commence with the potential to fundamentally change the Eastern Shore’s corporate profile for years to come.

We are talking about Quality Health Strategies, with its national reputation for its Health Integrity wing for reducing medical fraud, merging with its siblings, the Delmarva Foundation, with leadership and consulting services to make healthcare effective and safe, and their philanthropic arm, the Quality Healthcare Foundation, a significant contributor to Eastern Shore health needs, into one national corporation named Qlarant with over 400 employees.

The art of merging three highly successful organizations into one is a difficult task for any leader, but, as we learn from our recent Spy interview with Ron Forsythe, the former CEO of QHS, and now CEO of Qlarant, the opportunity from this kind of merger far outweighed the disadvantages as Ron and his board came to realize that their collective tools for health management and accountability could be applied to a host of other fields, from higher education to banking.

Born on the Eastern Shore of Virginia, raised in Salisbury, armed with a doctorate in chemical engineering, and a history of success at UMES before joining QHS four years ago, Ron seemed like the ideal person to oversee this delicate project and sparked our interest in interviewing him about this major milestone.

This video is approximately five minutes in length. For more information about the new Qlarant please go here 


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.


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