UM SRH Celebrates Nursing Excellence at Annual Awards Presentation

University of Maryland Shore Regional Health’s Nurse Excellence Awards Ceremony was held on Monday, May 6 at the Todd Performing Arts Center at Chesapeake College. The occasion was the premier event in the celebration of Nurses’ Week 2018, May 6-11.

Shown with Ken Kozel and Ruth Ann Jones are 2019 Nurse Excellence Individual Award winners (L-R) Dawn Ruby, Nicole Leonard, Chelsea Compton and Anne George. Reverend John Turner (far right) delivered the Invocation at the awards presentation.

The 2019 Shore Regional Health Nurse Excellence Award winners are:

• Commitment to Others – Anne George, Clinical Nurse, UM Shore Emergency Center at Queenstown

• Leadership – Nicole Leonard, Stroke Center Coordinator, Neuroscience, UM Shore Medical Center at Easton

• Mentorship/Advocacy – Ann Robinson, Clinical Nurse, Emergency Department, UM Shore Medical Center at Dorchester

• Professional Nursing Practice– Dawn Ruby, 2 East MultiSpecialty Unit, UM Shore Medical Center at Easton

• Promising Professional – Chelsea Compton, Clinical Nurse, Shore Behavioral Health, UM Shore Medical Center at Dorchester

• Unit/Department Award for Empirical Outcomes – 2 East MultiSpecialty Unit, UM Shore Medical Center at Easton

Also honored at the event were this year’s graduates of UM Shore Regional Health’s Nurse Residency Program: Laura Brittingham, Sarah Burns, Chelsea Compton, Kim Houtz, Olga Negrete, Uyen Nguen, Megan Schisler and Hannah Wellman. Inaugurated in 2002 in response to the challenges of filling nursing vacancies in critical care areas, the Nurse Residency Program has graduated 393 nurses, more than 60 percent of whom are still members of the Shore Regional Health nursing team.

Shown with Ruth Ann Jones, far left, and Ken Kozel, far right, are team members of UM SMC at Easton’s 2 East Multispecialty Unit (L-R) Shelby Sadler, Becky L. Hutchison, Becky Hutchison, Mary Collins, Dawn Ruby, Keri Tucker, Colby Hall.

Ruth Ann Jones, UM Shore Regional Health’s senior vice president of Patient Care Services and chief nursing officer,led the ceremonies and thanked the Nurse Excellence Awards Committee for their successful management of the awards nomination and selection process. “This awards program was established by nurses and for nurses as a way to recognize those who go above and beyond to always deliver exceptional care,” Jones said.“Given the demands of our transition to EPIC and preparation for Joint Commission reaccreditation, I am very impressed that so many individuals took the time and effort to submit nominations for this year’s Nurse Excellence awards.”

Ken Kozel, UM SRH president and CEO, and William Huffner, senior vice president and chief medical officer, also spoke during the ceremony, expressing their appreciation for the outstanding dedication of the 600-plus nurses serving patients in inpatient and outpatient care programs throughout the five county region, and also for the sacrifices made by family members of nurses who work long hours, including weekends and holidays, that take away from time together.

Before the ceremonies closed, Jones was surprised with special tribute honoring her leadership as CNO and her decades of professional nursing practice, her mentorship of scores of individual nurses and advocacy of the profession of nursing, and her modeling of the UM SRH values of Respect, Integrity, Teamwork, Excellence and Service. Several former and current colleagues shared stories of Jones’ many contributions to the ongoing advancement of nursing at UM Shore Regional Health. Speaking last, Kozel stated, “Ruth Ann has been a highly effective leader for our nursing team, helping to make us the best of the best. With her guidance and support, we have succeeded through many transitions and accomplished major goals in just the past year that would normally have taken many years to achieve.”

As part of the University of Maryland Medical System (UMMS), University of Maryland Shore Regional Health is
the principal provider of comprehensive health care services for more than 170,000 residents of Caroline,
Dorchester, Kent, Queen Anne’s and Talbot counties on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. UM Shore Regional Health’s
team of more than 2,300 employees, medical staff, board members and volunteers work with various community
partners to fulfill the organization’s mission of Creating Healthier Communities Together.

Speech-Language Therapy Services offered by UM Shore Regional Health

May is Better Speech and Hearing Month – a good time to learn about speech and language problems for adults and children, according to speech and language pathologist Amy Beth Hellman, UM SRH Comprehensive Rehabilitation Services.

Amy Beth Hellman provides speech-language therapy at Shore Rehab at Easton.

In adults, speech and language problem scan result from various causes, including brain injury, stroke, and brain diseases such as Alzheimer’s, multiple sclerosis and Parkinson’s. They can also stem from breathing problems, cancers in the head and/or neck region, and voice damage. Speech and language disorders that may be acquired in adulthood include the following:

Aphasia – problems speaking, understanding, reading, writing, telling time, and/or using numbers, often caused by stroke.
Cognitive-communication disorders – difficulty paying attention, remembering, organizing thoughts, and solving problems.
Apraxia of speech -caused by damage to the parts of the brain involved in speaking.
Dysarthria – speech difficulties due to weakness of muscles involved in breathing and/or speaking.
Voice disorders – Changes in pitch, loudness and vocal quality due to diseases such as Parkinson’s or multiple sclerosis, and others.

According to Hellman, who works with patients at Shore Rehab Center at Easton and on occasion at Shore Medical Center at Easton, speech-language pathologists can help adults with these and other communication problems. “Swallowing disorders, called dysphagia, are also treated by speech-language pathologists,” Hellman says. “Dysphagia is a common side effect of numerous diseases in adults. Treatment for swallowing disorders can transform a person’s quality of life and overall health.”

 

 

With speech and language disorders ranking among the most common disabilities in children, parents and caregivers are encouraged to learn the signs and seek an evaluation if they have concerns about their child’s ability to communicate.

Speech-language pathologists serving patients at Shore Medical Centers at Dorchester and Easton, Shore Rehab Centers at Cambridge and Easton, and The Requard Center for Acute Rehabilitation are (l. to r.) Anne Usiondek-Benjamin, Malinda Larrimore and Erin Scheele.

For young children, warning signs are: Does not babble (4–7 months); makes only a few sounds or gestures, like pointing (7–12 months); does not understand what others say (7-24 months); says only a few words (12–18 months); says p, b, m, h, and w incorrectly in words (1–2 years); words are not easily understood (18–24 months); does not put words together to make sentences (1.5–3 years); says k, g, f, t,
d, and n incorrectly in words and/or produces speech that is unclear even to familiar people (2–3 years); and repeats the first sounds of words, like “b-b-b-ball” for “ball” and/or stretches sounds out, like “fffffarm” for “farm” (any age).

For school-age children, warning signs are: trouble following directions; problems reading and writing; difficulty understanding what others say or being understood by others; and/or trouble talking about thoughts or feelings.

“Development of strong communication skills during childhood is extremely important,” says Hellman. “The common misconception that children ‘grow out’ of speech or language difficulties often delays treatment. Good communication skills are help with a child's behavior, learning, reading, social skills and friendships. The large majority of parents report significant improvement after treatment.”

Diane Lorsong provides speech-language therapy at Shore Rehab at Queenstown.

Speech-language therapy for children and adults is provided by UM Shore Regional Health’s Comprehensive Rehabilitation Services at Shore Medical Centers at Dorchester and Easton, Shore Rehab Centers at Cambridge, Easton and Queenstown, and The Requard Center for Acute Rehabilitation. To inquire about speech-language therapy for children or adults, contact Frank Rath, manager, Outpatient Services, 410-822-1000, ext. 7641.

Huffner Honored by the Maryland Academy of Physician Assistants

William Huffner, MD, senior vice president and chief medical officer, UM Shore Regional Health

William Huffner, MD, senior vice president, Medical Affairs and chief medical officer, recently received the Maryland Academy of Physician Assistants (MAPA) highest honor, the MAPA Physician of the Year Award. MAPA represents the interests of all Maryland physician assistants in the state by supporting and offering continuing education, practice support, advocacy, scholarship and fellowship.

The award was presented during a luncheon at the Tidewater Inn on April 30, 2019 by Dr. Mary Jo Bondy, assistant dean, University of Maryland Graduate School and Dr. Cherilyn Hendrix, program director, Physician Assistant Program for the Anne Arundel Community College/University of Maryland-Baltimore Collaborative Program.

Dr. Huffner was selected in recognition of his leadership that led to the development, coordination and oversight of a clinical curriculum at Shore Regional Health for Anne Arundel Community College/University of Maryland (AACC/UMB) Physician Assistants students. In 2016, when most of the enrolled students had been displaced after the University of Maryland Eastern Shore Physician Assistant program lost its accreditation, Dr. Huffner identified Shore Regional Health physician partners across many medical specialties and disciplines to support the clinical rotations of 12 students over the past three years and continues to do so. For many of these students, receiving education and training in the Mid Shore region has resulted in employment offers with the Shore Regional Health network after their graduation.

To date, three PA graduates were recruited and are now working in local physician practices. At the award presentation, Dr. Bondy stated, “We are indebted to Dr. Huffner for his leadership and very grateful to the physician community for their collective efforts to educate the next generation of physician assistants.” Dr. Hendrix added, “We look forward to our continued collaboration with Shore Regional Health to meet the health care needs of the Mid Shore region.”

7th Annual Claws for a Cause Set for July 11

Preparations are now under way for the seventh annual “Claws for a Cause,” a crabfeast to benefit University of Maryland Shore Emergency Center at Queenstown.

This year’s Claws for a Cause is set for Thursday, July 12 from 5:30 pm to 9 pm at Fisherman’s Crab Deck in Grasonville. Tickets are $90 in advance or $100 at the door and include all-you-can-eat steamed crabs as well as a buffet of fried chicken, pork barbeque and assorted sides.Raffle tickets, priced at $10 each, will offer the chance to win one of two prize packages, “Backyard Fun” or “Eastern Shore Living”.

Since its opening in 2010, more than 130,000 patients have been treated for acute illnesses, injuries and trauma the Queenstown emergency center, which is staffed by board certified emergency medicine physicians, experienced nurses, radiology technicians and medical technologists.

“The Claws for a Cause crab feast has become a wonderful tradition in this community, bringing people out to support our emergency center and the quality care we provide,” says Mary Alice Vanhoy, manager, Emergency Department, UM Shore Emergency Center at Queenstown. “Over the years, the Claws event has raised funds that have enabled us to purchase state of the art diagnostic technology and to make needed equipment upgrades. Proceeds from year’s Claws event will help us upgrade our security technology to maximize the safety of our patients, their attending loved ones and staff.”

The 2019 Claws for a Claws Committee: seated – Chris Clough, Heather Comegys and Holly Rhodes; standing – Mark Freestate, Cassie Guy, J.W. Willey, Mary Alice Vanhoy, Lisa Lisle and Graham Lee.

Sponsorship opportunities are available at the following levels: Jumbo Blue Crab, $10,000; Extra Large Blue Crab, $5000; Large Blue Crab, $2500; Medium Blue Crab, $1000; Bushel Basket, $500 and Crab Pot, $150.

Sponsors  to date  include:Large Blue Crab Sponsors– Best Care Ambulance, LLC, Eastern Shore Emergency Medicine Physicians and Queenstown Bank of Maryland; Medium Blue Crab Sponsors – Benedict A. Andrew American Legion – Post 296, Fisherman’s Inn, K. Hovnanian’s Four Seasons, Kent Island Elks – Lodge 2576, Ride Entertainment, Shore United Bank and Tri-Gas & Oil Co., Inc.; Bushel Basket Sponsors – 1880 Bank, ChoiceOne Urgent Care, Delmarva Power – an Exelon Company, Edwards & Hill Office Furniture, Graul’s Market, Hanover Insurance Group, J.C. Warner, Kelly Distributors, Peter and Diane Pappas, and Willow Construction.

For more information on how to become a sponsor, or to register for the crab feast, please visit http://ummhfoundation.org/upcoming-events/ or contact Amy Lowe, 410-822-1000, ext. 5763. alowe@umm.edu.

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.

New Early Hours Announced for UM SRH Diagnostic and Imaging Center

NEW HOURS ANNOUNCED: University of Maryland Shore Regional Health’s Diagnostic and Imaging Center (UM SRH DIC) has announced new hours, effective May 1, 2019, as follows: Monday – Thursday 6:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.; and Friday – 6:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Saturday hours will be unchanged: 8 a.m. to -12 noon. Lab and imaging services offered at the DIC are laboratory Services; electrocardiogram (EKG), X-ray/fluoro, ultrasound, CT scan PET/CT (Tuesday and Wednesday only), MRI, mammogram; ultrasound guided biopsie; stereotactic biopsies and dexascan (bone mineraldensity). To make an appointment for any lab or imaging needs at the DIC or any UM SRH location, call 410-822-1000, ext. 2600.

UM Memorial Hospital Foundation to Offer Free Financial Seminar May 14

University of Maryland Memorial Hospital Foundation will host a free, informative seminar, “Are Your Retirement Accounts, Beneficiary Designations and Asset Titling Correct?” on Tuesday, May 14, from 5:30 to to 7 p.m. at the Nick Rajacich Education Center, UM Shore Medical Center at Easton, 219 S. Washington St., in Easton.

Facilitated by well-known local attorney Patrick J. Fitzgerald of Charles T. Capute LLC and Elizabeth Spurry-Capute, president and owner, Tred Avon Family Wealth, they will discuss several topics, including titling of real property, planning and titling of retirement and financial accounts, life insurance planning and beneficiary designations, retirement account beneficiary designations and IRA rollover.

Patrick J. Fitzgerald and Elizabeth Spurry-Capute

Fitzgerald is a junior partner at the Easton law firm of Charles T. Capute LLC, representing individuals and families in the areas of trust and estate planning, trust and estate administration, and related taxation.He received his undergraduate degrees in business administration and economics from the University of Pittsburgh, and his Master of Laws in Taxation and Certificate in Estate Planning from the University of Baltimore School of Law. He is a lifelong resident of Talbot County

Spurry-Capute is the president and owner of Tred Avon Family Wealth Easton. She is a Certified Financial Planner and Certified Trust and Financial Advisor. She is actively involved with the Women and Girls Fund, For All Seasons, the May Foundation and the Planned Gifts Committee of UM Memorial Hospital Foundation.

This seminar is free and open to the public; registration in advance is recommended due to limited seating. For more information or to register for the seminar, please contact Janet Andrews, 410-822-1000, ext. 5792, or janet@umm.edu.

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 Cancer Center to Host Women’s Only Event on April 29

The Cancer Center at University of Maryland Shore Regional Health is hosting a free event for women who are in treatment or recovery from treatment for cancer from 4 to 6 p.m. Monday, April 29, at the Cancer Center, 509 Idlewild Ave., Easton.

According to organizer Patty Plaskon, oncology social worker at the Cancer Center, “For Women Only” is intended to offer support and information to women in the community who are living with cancer, in treatment for cancer or in recovery from treatment for cancer. “The event also will be a safe place for women in similar situations to draw support from one another and form meaningful connections that inspire hope through a difficult experience,” Plaskon says.

The For Women Only event will feature a Women’s Boutique to include bras, prosthetic bathing suits, summer and lounge wear, and more; presenters from “Feel More Like You,”Walgreen’s recently-launched cosmetic program for cancer patients; and information on cancer survivorship topics such as living with lymphedema, sexual health after cancer and local support groups.

Presenters include Elisa Lawson with The Women’s Boutique; Walgreens staff, including Mikayla Reynolds, a beauty consultant with the Walgreens Feel More Like You program; and UM SRH staff, including lymphedema specialist Jennifer Pierson, oncology nurse Chanelle Lake and Patty Plaskon.

The Walgreens Feel More Like You program is a first-of-its-kind pharmacy and beauty service that helps cancer patients manage the medical and physical changes associated with cancer treatment. Beauty consultants are specially trained to provide advice and support tailored toward a patient’s unique needs.Feel More Like You offers expert pharmacist advice, as well as on-demand beauty information and product tutorials to help patients adapt their beauty routines to navigate the visible changes resulting from cancer treatment.

For more information about the Cancer Center at UM Shore Regional Health’s April 29 event or to RSVP, please call 410-820-6800.

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.

Walbridge Retires from UM Shore Regional Health

Diane Walbridge, director, Acute Care and Emergency Services, Shore Medical Centers at Dorchester and Easton, recently retired from UM Shore Regional Health after more than 43 years of service in the organization’s Nursing and Patient Care Services.

Diane Walbridge, holding flowers, with (to her left) Ruth Ann Jones, Ken Kozel and many members of the UM SRH team who came out to wish her well on the eve of her retirement.

Senior leaders and scores of nurses, nursing assistants, techs, managers and team members from several departments turned out for Walbridge’s retirement celebration on Thursday, March 28. Ruth Ann Jones, senior vice president, Patient Care Services and CNO, and Ken Kozel, president and CEO, led an informal program that provided reminiscences and gratitude for Walbridge’s many contributions to UM SRH.

Describing Walbridge as a leader who “always had the answer and made herself available to provide it at any hour of the day or night,” many team members expressed their appreciation for her leadership, mentorship, high standards and unconditional support for their efforts in providing quality patient care.

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.

UM Shore Regional Health Earns Joint Commission Gold Seal of Approval

University of Maryland Shore Regional Health has announced that it has earned The Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval® for Hospital Accreditation by demonstrating continuous compliance with its performance standards. A symbol of quality that reflects an organization’s commitment to providing safe and effective patient care, the Gold Seal of Approval® applies to UM Shore Regional Health’s three hospitals, Shore Emergency Center at Queenstown, the Cancer Center, two home care agencies,  two ambulatory surgery centers, and inpatient and outpatient behavioral health programs.

UM Shore Regional Health underwent a rigorous, unannounced onsite survey in November, 2018. During the review, a team of Joint Commission expert surveyors evaluated compliance at all sites with standards related to several areas, including emergency management, environment of care, infection prevention and control, leadership, and medication management.

“UM Shore Regional Health is pleased to achieve re-accreditation from The Joint Commission, the premier health care quality improvement and accrediting body in the nation,” said Ken Kozel, president and CEO. “Team members from our three hospitals and many outpatient facilities throughout the five county region we serve work together to adopt and implement best-practice approaches that will improve care for our patients and enhance the health of our communities. I am grateful to our Medical Staff and volunteers, our Board, and staff members at all levels of our organization for their continued commitment to making Shore Regional Health ‘Where the Health of the Eastern Shore Comes First.’”

The Joint Commission has accredited hospitals for more than 60 years. More than 4,000 general, children’s, long-term acute, psychiatric, rehabilitation and specialty hospitals currently maintain Joint Commission accreditation, which is awarded for a three-year period. In addition, approximately 360 critical access hospitals maintain accreditation through a separate program. The Joint Commission’s hospital standards are developed in consultation with health care experts and providers, measurement experts and patients. The standards are informed by scientific literature and expert consensus to help hospitals measure, assess and improve performance

“Joint Commission accreditation provides hospitals with the processes needed to improve in a variety of areas from the enhancement of staff education to the improvement of daily business operations,” said Mark G. Pelletier, RN, MS, chief operating officer, Division of Accreditation and Certification Operations, The Joint Commission. “In addition, our accreditation helps hospitals enhance their risk management and risk reduction strategies.”

Founded in 1951, The Joint Commission seeks to continuously improve health care for the public, in collaboration with other stakeholders, by evaluating health care organizations and inspiring them to excel in providing safe and effective care of the highest quality and value. The Joint Commission accredits and certifies more than 21,000 health care organizations and programs in the United States. An independent, nonprofit organization, The Joint Commission is the nation’s oldest and largest standards-setting and accrediting body in health care. Learn more about The Joint Commission at

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.

UM Memorial Hospital Foundation to Host Free Advanced Care Planning Seminar

University of Maryland Memorial Hospital Foundation will host an informative seminar, “Advanced Directive and the MOLST Form – Who Needs One and Why” on Saturday, March 30, 2019 from 10 a.m. to 11:45 a.m. at the Nick Rajacich Health Education Center in UM Shore Medical Center at Easton, 219 S. Washington Street in Easton.

This informational seminar will explore the difference between Medical Orders for Life Sustaining Treatment (MOLST) and Advanced Directives, how to communicate your wishes through your Advanced Directive, understanding the Maryland MOLST form; and information about inpatient and outpalliative care.

Sharon Stagg, DNP and Madeline Steffens, BSN, RN

Guest presenters will be UM Shore Regional Health Palliative Care team members Sharon Stagg, nurse practitioner, and Madeline Steffens, program coordinator.A certified hospice and palliative care nurse practitioner, Stagg provides palliative care and related health services, including diagnosis, treatment and management of serious and/or chronic conditions, symptom management, advance care planning and care coordination.As program coordinator for Palliative Care, Steffens collaborates with core team members, hospital staff and community resources to provide quality palliative care to hospitalized patients. She also speaks to organizations and clubs to educate local citizens about palliative care and how it benefits patients and their families. She is certified as a hospice and palliative care nurse.

This seminar is free and open to the public; pre-registration is recommended due to limited seating. For more information or to register for the seminar, please contact Janet Andrews at (410) 822-1000, ext. 5792, or janet@umm.edu.

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 Memorial Hospital Foundation is a private, nonprofit organization serving the fundraising needs of UM Shore Medical Center at Easton and UM Shore Regional Health. Through its philanthropic efforts, the Foundation supports UM Shore Regional Health’s ability to provide quality healthcare to the local community by contributing to hospital programs and services.

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