Safe Sitter Class Set for February 3 in Easton

The popular Safe Sitter® class, taught by pediatric nurses for youth ages 11-13, will be offered on Saturday, February 3, 9 a.m.to 4 p.m. at UM Shore Medical Center at Easton Health Education Center.

Safe Sitter® is a national, non-profit organization that provides programs to teach youth life and safety skills for when they are home alone, watching younger siblings, or babysitting. Over 175 lives have been saved by Safe Sitter® graduates using the skills learned through the Safe Sitter® training. More information about the program may be found at www.safesitter.org.

The cost for this one-day class is $45; some scholarships are available. Because seating is limited, advance registration is required. For more information or to register, call Michelle Emerick, 410-822-1000, ext. 5451.

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.

Talbot County Department of Social Services Maintains National Accreditation

Talbot County Department of Social Services (TCDSS) has successfully maintained national accreditation through the New York-based Council on Accreditation (COA). Accredited since 2003, Talbot County Department of Social Services provides Child Welfare, Adult Services, Child Support and Income Support services to the Talbot County community. Organizations pursue accreditation to demonstrate the implementation of best practice standards in the field of human services. COA evaluated all aspects of TCDSS’s programs, services, management, and administration.

According to Laura Heikes, President of the TCDSS Advisory Board, “We are thrilled to have maintained this accreditation. It is symbolic of the agency’s commitment to excellence and desire to make a difference in the lives of all citizens living in Talbot County. We address the needs of many and this accreditation reflects the hard work of the employees of TCDSS, who make themselves available at all times, as we strive to meet the diverse needs of our county’s population.”

Pictured are members of the TCDSS Management Team. From L-R are Simon Bredenberg, Susan Merriken, Thomas Jones, Linda Webb, Shari Blades, Debbe Fairbank, Christine Abbatiello, Paris Quillet, and Pam Wilkinson. Not pictured are Cheryl Blades, Allayne Burke, Dianne Heffernan, Lorraine Johnson, Tim Laureska, and Katie Pedersen.

COA accreditation is an objective, independent, and reliable validation of an agency’s performance. The COA accreditation process involves a detailed review and analysis of an organization’s administration, management, and service delivery functions against international standards of best practice. The standards driving accreditation ensure that services are well-coordinated, culturally competent, evidence-based, outcomes-oriented, and provided by a skilled and supported workforce. COA accreditation demonstrates accountability in the management of resources, sets standardized best practice thresholds for service and administration, and increases organizational capacity and accountability by creating a framework for ongoing quality improvement.

To achieve COA accreditation, Talbot County Department of Social Services first provided written evidence of compliance with the COA standards.  Thereafter, a group of specially trained volunteer Peer Reviewers confirmed adherence to these standards during a series of on-site interviews with trustees, staff and clients.  Based on their findings, COA’s volunteer-based Accreditation Commission voted that Talbot County Department of Social Services has successfully met the criteria for accreditation.

“Successfully maintaining our accreditation status with COA confirms Talbot County Department of Social Services’ commitment to excellence in serving our community and its residents, as well as supporting our staff,” said Linda Webb, TCDSS Director.

Founded in 1977, COA is an independent, not-for-profit accreditor of the full continuum of community-based behavioral health care and social service organizations in the United States and Canada. Over 2,000 organizations — voluntary, public, and proprietary; local and statewide; large and small — have either successfully achieved COA accreditation or are currently engaged in the process. Presently, COA has a total of 47 service standards that are applicable to over 125 different types of programs.

For further information about Talbot County Department of Social Services, call 410-770-4848 or visit http://dhr.maryland.gov/local-offices/talbot-county/. To learn more about COA, please visit www.COAnet.org.

Bonnie Hilghman Cancer Fund Continues Support for Wellness for Women Program

University of Maryland Memorial Hospital Foundation received a donation of $9,000 from the Bonnie Hilghman Cancer Fund, in support of its 2017 golf tournament benefiting the Clark Comprehensive Breast Center at University of Maryland Shore Regional Health. Proceeds from the tournament, which took place in September, 2017, support the Wellness for Women community outreach program, which promotes screening and patient education for early detection of breast cancer.

Front row: Wellness for Women community outreach workers Maria D’Arcy, Mattie Fountain and Jane Escher, community outreach workers; back row, Duane Hilghman, Brian Leutner, executive director, UM SRH Oncology Services, and F. Graham Lee, UM SRH vice president, philanthropy.

The mission of the Bonnie Hilghman Cancer Fund is to help nonprofit organizations that provide services to cancer patients, including chemotherapy, necessary medications, transportation costs, child care, housekeeping and nursing care. Since 2005, the Fund has given more than $100, 000 in grants to help residents in the five-county region served by UM Shore Regional Health who are fighting cancer.

“We cannot overstate the importance of the Bonnie Hilghman Cancer Fund’s ongoing support for cancer screening services and patient education,” said Graham Lee, vice president, philanthropy, for UM Shore Regional Health. “Annual contributions from the Fund have helped thousands of women benefit from early detection screenings and patient education that are so important to survival.”

For more information, contact Duane Hilghman, 410-310-7696 or dhilghman@verizon.net.

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.

Go Purple this Month in Solidarity Against Substance Abuse

Talbot Goes Purple is celebrating national ‘Go Purple’ week this month with educational events and student-led activities that help our youth take a stand against substance abuse.

The national observance is part of The Herren Project’s Project Purple initiative, on which Talbot Goes Purple is based. As part of Talbot Goes Purple, Easton and St. Michaels high schools have clubs comprised of students who have pledged to take a stand against substance abuse. The student-focused clubs help the kids learn they don’t need drugs or alcohol to meet life’s challenges.

“Since school started the students have really embraced Talbot Goes Purple, while the community support has been remarkable,” said Talbot County Sheriff Joe Gamble. “This is a long-term prevention initiative and we’re continuing to spread our educational and awareness messages, while working on our plan for going purple again in September.”

Go Purple week for Talbot County runs Jan. 21-Jan. 27 and provides opportunities for students and communities to take a stand against substance abuse. Anyone who wants to show support can again display purple lights and/or gear during purple week.

Several school-based events are planned for Go Purple week, in both Easton and St. Michaels middle and high schools, including student-led contests, purple-themed sports events and other activities.

Kirsten Moore, community health educator with the Talbot County Health Department Prevention Office, will have educational materials, games and prizes set up during lunch at local schools during the week. TGP club members will help man the tables.

Moore also has scheduled Narcan training with the Talbot Goes Purple student club at St. Michael’s High School. Easton’s TGP club received the training last month. Narcan is a life-saving medication that reverses the effects of an opioid overdose, yet has no abuse potential.

Go Purple week coincides with National Drug and Alcohol Facts week, a national observance that encourages community-based events between teens and experts to help ‘shatter the myths’ about drugs and drug use.

An initiative from the Talbot County Sheriff’s Office and Tidewater Rotary, in partnership with Talbot County Public Schools, Talbot Goes Purple empowers our youth and our community to ‘Go Purple’ as a sign of taking a stand against substance abuse.

More information on Talbot Goes Purple is available at www.talbotgoespurple.org. Find us on Facebook @TalbotGoesPurple or contact us at talbotgoespurple@gmail.com.

For more information on Narcan or to get trained, visit www.TalbotsGotHeart.org or call the Talbot County Health Department at 410-819-5600.

First baby of 2018 arrives at UM SMC at Easton

A Salisbury couple welcomed the first baby born at the University of Maryland Medical Center at Easton in 2018. Zachary Thomas Trice entered the world just seven hours and forty-seven minutes into the New Year on January 1, four days before he was scheduled to be delivered by cesarean section.  Zachary is the son of Andy and Marta Trice of Salisbury and weighed eight pounds, 12 ounces and was 21 inches long when born.

Zachary is the fourth baby for the Trices. Three of their four children have been born at University of Maryland Shore Medical Center at Easton. Anxiously awaiting their baby brother’s homecoming are older siblings Olivia, 7, Max, 4, and Natalie, 2.

Part of the homecoming fun will be digging into the gift basket UM Shore Regional Health awards to the first baby every January. The basket contains savings bonds from Shore United Bank and 1880 Bank, diapers, assorted baby clothing and blankets, books, a stuffed toy and personal care items.

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: National Drug and Alcohol Facts Week offers Opportunity for Dialogue

About a third of high school seniors across the country report using an illegal drug sometime in the past year, and more than 10 percent report non-medical use of a narcotic painkiller, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse. Here on the Mid-Shore, more than 7 percent of our high school seniors have tried heroin.

Drugs can put a teenager’s health and life in jeopardy, but many teens are not aware of the risks. Today’s popular culture is filled with inaccurate information about drugs. Without a reliable source of information, teens often turn to the Internet, TV or friends and often get misinformation. And when it comes to drugs and drug use, misinformation can have serious consequences.

We at the Talbot County Health Department Prevention Office think it’s time to ‘Shatter the Myths.’ With science-based information on drugs and their impact on the body, teenagers can make well-informed decisions before engaging in risky behavior.

January 22 through 28 marks National Drug & Alcohol Facts Week, which is a time for teens to shatter myths about drugs and drug use. This national observance encourages community-based events between teens and experts to address questions and concerns. As part of the national observance, the Talbot County Health Department Prevention Office is hosting informational tables at Easton and St. Michael’s middle and high schools with games and prizes for students to learn about drug and alcohol facts.

For information, resources, interactive activities and more, visit www.teens.drugabuse.gov. For local prevention resources, contact the 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.

 

Free Information Workshop on Human Trafficking

There will be a free information workshop on human trafficking entitled “Post-Conviction Relief: Removing Barriers for Criminalized Survivors of Human Trafficking.” The workshop will be on January 9, 2018, 12 – 1:30 pm, at Talbot Senior Center, 400 Brookletts Ave., Easton.

Attorneys, service providers, and community partners are all welcome to attend. Lunch will be provided.

RSVP: Contact Laurie Culkin, Human Trafficking Prevention Project (HTPP) Coordinator at Maryland Volunteer Lawyers Service (MVLS) at 443-451-4075 or email lculkin@mvlslaw.org.

Talbot Goes Purple student club trained on Narcan

Easton High School’s Talbot Goes Purple student club last week received Narcan training from the Talbot County Health Department Prevention Office.

As part of Talbot Goes Purple, Easton and St. Michaels High Schools have clubs comprised of students who have pledged to take a stand against substance abuse. The student-focused clubs help the kids learn they don’t need drugs or alcohol to meet life’s challenges.

The clubs also help students learn about the signs and symptoms of drug use and what to do if a friend needs help. Last week’s Narcan training included information on how to spot the signs of an overdose and what to do, including how to administer rescue breaths and how to put a person into the ‘recovery position.’ Students in the St. Michaels High School Talbot Goes Purple Club also are getting Narcan trained in January.

“Overdose deaths are now the leading cause of death in our youth,” said Talbot County Sheriff Joe Gamble. “We’re doing everything we can to fight this epidemic — training our students empowers them to join the fight against overdose deaths in our communities.”

Commonly sold under the brand name Narcan, Naloxone is a life-saving medication that reverses an opioid overdose yet has no abuse potential. It is easy to use is and is available over-the-counter without a prescription.

This year’s Start Talking Maryland Act mandated that all public schools provide prevention education and stock Narcan; Talbot County Public Schools is the first in the region – possibly the state – to train high school students.

“While we hope our students are never in a situation in which they have to administer Narcan, we are grateful that they are able to be trained on how to do so properly.” said Kirk Howie, Easton High Principal. “We are proud of the students in Our TGP Club for taking such an active role in fighting the opioid epidemic.”

The clubs started in September, after student ambassadors represented Talbot Goes Purple at several events during the summer. Since school started, the students have taken more than 15 school games purple, have hosted several educational speakers and are working on fun contests for the upcoming National ‘Purple Week’ in January.

An initiative from the Talbot County Sheriff’s Office and Tidewater Rotary, in partnership with Talbot County Public Schools, Talbot Goes Purple empowers our youth and our community to ‘Go Purple’ as a sign of taking a stand against substance abuse.

Talbot Goes Purple is based upon THP Project Purple, an initiative of the Herren Project that helps people struggling with drug dependencies. Former NBA player Chris Herren founded both projects after speaking to a high school about his struggles with drug dependency.

Kirsten Moore, community health educator with the Talbot County Health Department Prevention Office, provided the training for the students. Moore and Alexandra Duff, prevention supervisor with the TCHD prevention office, have trained more than 650 people in Talbot County since July.

For more information on Narcan or to get trained, visit www.TalbotsGotHeart.org or call the Talbot County Health Department at 410-819-5600.

More information on Talbot Goes Purple is available at www.talbotgoespurple.org. Find us on Facebook @TalbotGoesPurple or contact us at talbotgoespurple@gmail.com.

The Auxiliary of Memorial Hospital at Easton Welcomes New Volunteers

The Auxiliary of Memorial Hospital at Easton welcomes the addition of nine new volunteers to their organization; Don Goodliffe, Jack Lane, Frances Mason, Joyce Mumaw, Krishan Patel, Ruth Renkenberger, Mike Scheidt, Judy Smith, and Cressy Spence. These Auxiliary members join more than 160 others who provide important contributions to UM Shore Regional Health’s inpatient and outpatient medical facilities throughout Easton, by raising funds and assisting with daily operations.

“We are very happy to announce the addition of these nine volunteers to the Auxiliary,” says Art Cecil president, Auxiliary of Memorial Hospital at Easton. “The community and Shore Regional Health really benefit from the services provided by our volunteers, but just as important, our volunteers benefit from their interactions with the community and team.”

From left to right: Mike Scheidt, Judy Smith, Joyce Mumaw, Ruth Renkenberger and Don Goodliffe. Not pictured: Jack Lane, Frances Mason, Krishan Patel and Cressy Spence.

According to AARP, in 2015, the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) conducted a study to look at the benefits of volunteering for older adults. The study concluded that almost two-thirds of volunteers reported a decrease in feeling of isolation and 67 percent of those who first reported they often lack companionship found they had improved social connections.

“I was employed at Shore Medical Center in Easton for 38 years and enjoyed the social engagement that I had with the community” says Auxiliary member Judy Smith. “I wanted to come back as a volunteer so I could continue that interaction with patients and staff and also give back to the community by helping raise funds for the organization.”

The Auxiliary, which was formally organized in 1947, offers comfort care services for Cancer Center patients, hostess services for surgical patients, in-hospital transportation assistance and front desk reception at UM Shore Medical Center in Easton. In addition, the Auxiliary raises funds through its management of Maggie’s Gift Shop in UM SMC at Easton, the Bazaar at 121 Federal Street and various special vendor sales. Funds raised help pay for new technology, facility upgrades and educational needs for the hospital and local outpatient facilities.

The Auxiliary of Memorial Hospital at Easton is now seeking volunteers in all areas of service. To learn more about volunteer opportunities, call 410-822-1000, ext. 5839.

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.

Easton’s Quality Health Strategies Named “Top Places to Work” by Baltimore Sun Media Group

Ron Forsythe, CEO of Quality Health Strategies, picks up award

Quality Health Strategies (QHS) accepted a ‘Top Places to Work’ Recognition Award on behalf of its subsidiaries: Delmarva Foundation and Health Integrity. The awards ceremony was held in Baltimore at the Museum of Industry, and was hosted by The Baltimore Sun Media Group.

In attendance to accept the award were: Sandy Love, Sandra Frazier, Deb Keller, Marcus Israel, Andrea Lewis, Jonathan Haag, Nisha Shah, Ron Forsythe, Andrew Bowers and Pat Boos.

“This is a wonderful honor and a testament to the dedicated and passionate staff who represent us in our Baltimore and Columbia offices” said Ron Forsythe, CEO of Quality Health Strategies. “We are proud of our staff and it is this type of recognition that helps us showcase our talent pool. We really do live up to our tagline: Best People. Best Solutions. Best Results. And now we can add: Best place to work!”