Talbot Hospice to Launch Camp Courageous

Talbot Hospice is pleased to announce Camp Courageous, a new children’s bereavement camp designed for any youth, ages 6-12, who have experienced the loss of a loved one. This two-day camp will be held May 18-19, 2019, at the Talbot County Agricultural Center, and there is space for 35 participants. Each child attends the camp at no cost, to learn how to cope with the complex feelings of grief.

The goal of the camp is to provide an opportunity for children to process their losses in a healthy, peer supported environment via a curriculum of activities and therapeutic practices designed to teach children about themselves, and the grief they are experiencing. Together campers will discover ways to cope, realize they are a valuable member of the group and work together to overcome challenges ahead.  The camp will also provide grief education, support, and resources to parents and families and help strengthen the family unit as they process the loss together.

Talbot Hospice Bereavement Coordinator Becky DeMattia will lead the camp along with other specially trained staff and volunteers. “We have planned a number of activities that will help children work through some of the feelings they experience surrounding the loss of someone significant in their lives,” said DeMattia. “We want children to feel safe expressing their feelings, to have some fun while together, and hopefully walk away feeling lighter and understanding how to use newly found coping skills.”

At Camp Courageous, children will laugh, cry, talk together about their losses, share emotions, and learn healthy ways to deal with the feelings that accompany grief. Camp Courageous is offered free of charge, thanks in part to a generous donation from the Bryan Brothers Foundation. Talbot Hospice and Camp Courageous rely on the generosity of the community to provide a safe place for children to grieve.

For more information about Camp Courageous, please contact Becky DeMattia at 410-822-6681 or bdemattia@talbothospice.org.


Media Contact:

Caron James, Director Marketing & Communications




Mid-Shore Health: Compass Regional Hospice Adds Palliative Care

Since 1985, Compass Regional Hospice has been serving the Mid-Shore of Maryland with perhaps one of the most challenging moments for human beings; the management of the end of one’s life.

Through their extensive coverage in Caroline, Kent, and Queen Anne’s Counties, Compass has developed a well-deserved reputation for exceptional in-patient care for those in need as well as an extensive commitment to in-home support for those with a life expectancy of six months or less.

But like any institution with a special mission, the board and staff of Compass knew that something important was missing from their long list of services. A few years ago, after an extensive strategic planning process, the organization concluded that to serve their communities, a palliative care program must also be added.

Palliative care is entirely different from hospice care. It is an interdisciplinary approach to care for people with life-limiting illnesses rather than a terminal condition. Those benefiting from this specialized approach are provided relief from the symptoms, pain, physical stress, and mental stress at any stage of a chronic illness with remarkable improvements in quality of life.

To understand more about the significant change at Compass, the Spy sat down with Compass’s executive director, Heather Guerieri and the organized newly appointed medical director, to understand what this means for the communities they serve.

This video is approximately eight minutes in length. For more information about Compass Regional Hospice please go here.

For All Seasons Wraps Up Successful 9th Annual Heart & Music

For All Seasons recently presented its 9th Annual Heart & Music at the Oxford Community Center to large crowds for its Gala and all three show performances.  This year, Director Ed Langrell and Music Director Ellen Barry Grunden returned with “Songs from the Stage” from Broadway and Beyond with selections by Carole King, Sara Bareilles, and Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons, as well as special guests from Crashbox Theatre Troupe. Producers for the show were Beth Anne Langrell and Lisa Roth.

L-R: Delia Denny, Beth Anne Langrell, Executive Director of For All Seasons, and Diane Flagler, Heart & Music Committee Chair. Photo by Randy Bachand.

This year’s Heart & Music cast included Gail Aveson, Jane Copple, Matt Folker, Marcia Gilliam, Bill Gross, Malley Hester, Beth Anne Langrell, Ed Langrell, Lisa Roth, Zack Schlag, Heather Scott, Mike Sousa, Shelby Swann, Joe Tyler, Becca Van Aken, and Richard Vitanovec.  Crashbox Theatre Troupe members included Sarah Anthony, Sara Chapple, Logan Herron, Aiden Loeser, Sophie McGee, Jaylen Nixon, and Seth Wagner.

A special thank you to the Heart & Music Angels, Dock Street Foundation, Laurie and Michael Frame, Price Rentals and Events, and What’s Up Media.

Heart & Music benefits For All Seasons, the only non-profit Behavioral Health and Rape Crisis Center serving the five counties of Maryland’s Mid-Shore.  For All Seasons offers individual and group therapy, general, child and adolescent therapy, marriage and couples’ counseling, grief counseling, school-based mental health therapy, urgent care services, Rape Crisis Response, Rape Crisis Counseling and Support, 24-Hour English and Spanish Hotlines, and education and outreach programming. For further information about For All Seasons or make a donation, call 410-822-1018 or visit forallseasonsinc.org.

Qlarant Foundation Awards Additional Grants to Maryland Nonprofits

Qlarant Foundation, the mission arm of Qlarant, who recently awarded $385,000 in grants to 14 organizations in Maryland and Washington, DC supporting local healthcare-related quality improvement efforts, has now given an additional $4000 to two of those grantees.

A portion of the new grants were awarded to Cambridge-based Eastern Shore Wellness Solutions whose mission is to provide self-management training for individuals living with chronic disease. The organization is also a resource for the social determinants of health, including housing, food and transportation. Eastern Shore Wellness Solutions will use the funds to provide continued education training for their Community Health Workers and Peer Support Specialists.

A child receives free asthma services and preventative care on the University of Maryland’s Breathmobile.

The University of Maryland Medical System Foundation’s Breathmobile will also receive grant funding in order to purchase long-needed medical equipment. The Breathmobile’s current portable spirometer, used to measure the lung function of children at every visit, is almost 12 years old and in need of replacement. The estimated cost for a new spirometer is $2,000. The Breathmobile provides free asthma care services to underserved Baltimore City children and has been supported by grants from Qlarant Foundation in each of the last three years.

“The work these organizations do is outstanding and often goes unnoticed,” said Dr. Molly Burgoyne-Brian, Qlarant Foundation Board chair. “We are proud to provide both funding and encouragement to the many volunteers and staff members who serve the community so well.”

About Qlarant

Qlarant is a not-for-profit nationally respected leader in fighting fraud, waste & abuse, improving program quality, and optimizing performance. The company uses subject matter experts and innovative data science and technology to help organizations see risks, solve problems, and seize opportunities. Solutions are customized for health and human services organizations, government agencies, and financial and insurance companies. Qlarant employs nearly 500 people and has a 45-year record of accomplishment improving the performance of some of the Nation’s most important programs. In addition, the Qlarant Foundation has provided over $4.5 million in grants throughout Maryland and Washington D.C.. Qlarant is an AgileCxo Transformation Partner.

If you would like more information about this topic, please contact Pat Boos at 410.819.3553 or email at boosp@qlarant.com.  For more information and to view the video go to www.qlarant.com

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.

Maryland House passes Drug-aided Death Bill

The Maryland House on Thursday passed a measure that would give terminally ill patients six months from death the option to end their lives by taking prescribed lethal medication.

House bill 399, or the End-of-Life Option Act, received 74 votes for and 66 against in an impassioned chamber session.

Individuals are required to consent three times to death. “Lethal injection, mercy killing or euthanasia,” would not be legal under the legislation, according to the bill’s analysis. There would be criminal penalties for people who coerce others into ending their lives.
The debate began with some tension, but soon cooled off, as personal anecdotes of experiences with death or near-death brought tears to the eyes of members of the chamber.

Democratic and Republican delegates opposed the bill, saying they had religious and moral objections, and detailing how important each day alive was to many of their relatives who died from terminal illnesses.

“Because I am a believer,” God should be answered to, not nurses or doctors, Delegate Jay Walker, D-Prince George’s, said. “Give my Lord the opportunity of a miracle.”

“Doctors take an oath, the Hippocratic oath, to do no harm,” Delegate Haven Shoemaker, R-Carroll, told Capital News Service.

“We’re encouraging (physicians) to contravene that oath,” Shoemaker said.

“Think about vulnerable populations” who could be taken advantage of by this legislation, said House Minority Leader Nicholaus Kipke, R-Anne Arundel. “Less than 5 percent of the poor receive hospice care at the end of life.”

If many people begin ending their lives prematurely, “we wouldn’t look for a cure,” to their diseases, said Minority Whip Kathy Szeliga, R-Baltimore and Harford counties.

Delegate Cheryl Glenn, D-Baltimore, spoke of her sister who died of a terminal illness.

She would not have made peace with her only son if she had ended her life early, Glenn said. “We don’t know what tomorrow will hold.”

Democratic supporters argued that individuals deserve the right and option to choose when they die.

Delegate Shane Pendergrass, D-Howard, lead sponsor of the legislation, told the stories of two people who fought breast and brain cancer.

Knowing the medication to end your life is there gives comfort and control to an individual who is suffering, Pendergrass said.

Delegate Eric Luedtke, D-Montgomery, said he had three family members attempt suicide, and spoke of his mother who tried to end her life from the pain of her cancer.

“Despite my personal hatred for suicide, I began to ask myself what right I had as a government official, and even as her son, to dictate to her how her life should end,” Luedtke said.

Individuals can already choose to not be resuscitated and be taken off a feeding tube, Delegate Elizabeth Proctor, D-Charles and Prince George’s, said. The bill just gives people at the end of life another option, Proctor said.

Delegate Sandy Bartlett, D-Anne Arundel, told her story of anguish following mastectomies for breast cancer.

Deciding to end one’s life is up to “her, and her choice only,” Bartlett said, speaking of herself.

The bill “does not impose beliefs on anyone,” said Delegate Terri Hill, D-Baltimore and Howard counties, a physician. “I expect that the positions we’ve taken have been thoughtful and spiritually guided.”

The chamber was silent following the final vote.

Now that the legislation has passed the House, an identical bill must pass the Senate, and then must not be vetoed by Gov. Larry Hogan, R, to become law.

“I’m going to give a lot of heartful and thoughtful consideration,” to the act, Hogan said in February.

California, Colorado, Hawaii, Oregon, Vermont and Washington, as well as the District of Columbia, have legalized physician-assisted suicide, and Montana has no law prohibiting it.

Seventy-two percent of Americans would support ending a terminally ill patient’s life, according to a 2018 Gallup poll.

The legislation, originally titled the “Richard E. Israel and Roger ‘Pip” Moyer Death with Dignity Act,” was first presented to the General Assembly in 2015.

Israel and Moyer were former members of Annapolis government, and both died in 2015 from Parkinson’s disease.

Pendergrass said after years of supporting the bill, it is “just a remarkable moment” to see the vote of passage for this legislation.

She attributed the bills’ success to testimony she heard and has repeated many times: “Everyone is one bad death away from supporting this bill.”

By David Jahng

Talbot Hospice Launches New Traumatic Loss Support Group

If you have been impacted by a traumatic death, Talbot Hospice is here to help support your grief journey. Healing After a Traumatic Loss is a new grief support group for anyone in the community impacted by a traumatic death including accident, overdose, suicide, or homicide. The group meets every second Tuesday of the month from 6:30– 8:30 p.m. at 586 Cynwood Drive, Easton, and is open to the public, free of charge.

According to Talbot Hospice Bereavement Coordinator Becky DeMattia, traumatic death can create a wound that other death experiences do not; often there are unanswered questions, frustrations, guilt, which lead to anxiety, depression, and other mental and physical symptoms. “Traumatic death not only impact us personally as we navigate our lives without our loved one, it effects our families, our jobs, our marriages, our social circles, etc. In addition to processing this difficult grief, it is not uncommon for society to misunderstand our pain, or to assume things about our loved one that perhaps were not true. Traumatic deaths can bring stigma and shame and therefore further complicate the grief journey.”

The goal of Healing After a Traumatic Loss is to offer peer support, grief education, resources, and a confidential, safe place for sharing and healing and to begin processing the painful grief associated with these types of losses.

As a licensed certified social worker, certified grief counselor, and Certified Clinical Trauma Professional, DeMattia has been providing grief counseling since 2007. DeMattia has a bachelor’s degree in Psychology and a master’s degree in Social Work, both from Salisbury University. She received her Certification in Grief Counseling from the American Academy of Grief Counseling in 2012, and most recently finished training through the International Association of Trauma Professionals to receive her certification as a Trauma Counselor. She is also currently working toward a doctorate in Social Work.

Talbot Hospice is the premier resource for grief support in Talbot County offering a variety of ongoing grief and caregiver support groups, all of which meet at 586 Cynwood Drive and are open to the public, free of charge. They include Caregivers Support every Thursday at 1 p.m., Healing Through Yoga every Tuesday at 9 a.m. Pet Loss Support with Talbot Humane every 1st Thursday at 6 p.m., Child Loss Support every 3rd Wednesday at 6:30 p.m., and a monthly Grief Support Group every 4th Tuesday at 5 p.m. A four-week group, Shattering the Silence, specifically for anyone impacted by a death due to overdose or suicide, begins February 18 and meets every Monday at 6 p.m. through March 4. Exact dates can be found on the website’s calendar at TalbotHospice.org.

For more information about Talbot Hospice grief support services contact Becky DeMattia at 410-822-6681 or bdemattia@talbothospice.org.

Retreat House at Hillsboro Offers Retreat Day for Millennials

The Retreat House at Hillsboro, in partnership with Shalem Institute for Spiritual Formation, is offering a “Day of Retreat for People in Their 20’s and 30’s” on Saturday, March 16 from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. The retreat is designed for millennials who are interested in learning about the different practices of contemplative prayer. “At Day of Retreat this group of young people will learn new and interesting ways to restore their spirits when life gets overwhelming,” said Francie Thayer, Retreat House Director. Led by spiritual directors Patience Robbins and Heather Strang, the session will include meditation, time in silence and nature, and peer discussion.

“Conversations: The Road to Racial Reconciliation” is a half-day session to be held on Saturday, April 13 from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. that continues discussions initiated in 2018 by The Retreat House in Hillsboro and other eastern shore locations, such as Emmanuel Episcopal Church in Chestertown, where a monthly gathering is held on the first Tuesday. “We are hearing that people really want to see a change in how human beings treat each other,” Thayer says, “but they often don’t know how to make it happen. These conversations allow time and space to listen, remember, and consider what we can do differently.” Participants will practice “open-hearted listening and speaking,” discuss their experiences with bias and their understanding of racial reconciliation. Breakfast is included and participants are invited to bring their lunch.

Heather Strang and Patience Robbins, spiritual directors leading “Day of Retreat for People in their 20’s and 30’s”

Several workshops and retreats are scheduled this season including “Lenten Quiet Day” on Saturday, March 9 from 9:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Led by spiritual director Linda Mastro, participants will look at the nature of atonement, lessons learned from mistakes and the resulting gifts received in the process.

The Retreat House also offers monthly retreats that provide time and instruction for meditation and reflection using poetry, prayer, journaling and nature. “Quiet Mornings” take place on the fourth Fridays from 9:30-11:30 a.m. and “Sisters on the Journey,” which includes a tea ceremony, is on the second Sunday of the month from 1:30-3:30 p.m.

Many Retreat House workshops and retreats are led by spiritual directors trained at Virginia Theological Seminary in Alexandria, Virginia, Shalem Institute for Spiritual Formation in Washington D.C. or Bon Secours Retreat &Conference Center in Marriottsville, Maryland. Refreshments and meals are often included; donations are requested but not required.

Weekly offerings at The Retreat House include Monday half-hour meditation sessions at 5:30 p.m. and a 6:15 p.m. yoga class led by instructor and Hillsboro resident, Kathleen O’Brien. AA meetings are held on Friday at 7:30 p.m., Saturday Women’s at 7:00 p.m. and Sunday at 5:30 p.m.

The Retreat House at Hillsboro is located on the grounds of St. Paul’s Church at 22005 Church Street, Hillsboro, Maryland, and is open for group retreats and meetings, individual hermitages, meditation and any who seek a spiritual connection. A traditional Chartres-style walking labyrinth is always open for walking and prayer. The Retreat House at Hillsboro is a ministry of the Episcopal Diocese of Easton, MD. For more information contact Francie Thayer, Director, at (410) 507-0368 or info@retreathousehillsboro.org.

Talbot Hospice Volunteer Training Dates Announced

Talbot Hospice will hold its bi-annual Volunteer Training March 18 and 20, 2019. If you are interested in giving back to our community in a meaningful way, consider becoming a Talbot Hospice Volunteer. Perhaps you love to cook or garden. Maybe you play a musical instrument. Companion volunteers visit patients in their homes and in facilities,make check-in phone calls, shop for groceries, and transport patients to appointments and on errands. If you love to cook, we are seeking individuals to help cook breakfast and dinner, especially weekends. Other roles include musicians, greeters, Hospice House caregivers (especially weekends), and gardeners.

Topics covered during training include hospice purpose and philosophy, volunteer roles, spirituality at end of life, death and dying, listening skills and boundaries, family dynamics, cultural diversity, and grief.

If you’ve been looking for your passion and calling and would like to learn more about volunteering at Talbot Hospice, contact Director of Volunteer Services Lori Miller at lmiller@talbothospice.org or 410-822-6681, or visit TalbotHospice.org/Volunteer.

Talbot Hospice Spring Bouquet Sale in Full Bloom

It’s time to say so long to winter and welcome spring! Talbot Hospice’s 6th 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.

Talbot Hospice Spring Bouquet committee members. Pictured left to right are co-chair Julie Burleson, Joan Startt, Mary Ford, co-chair Leslie Mosier, Peggy Ford, Ruth Dominick, and Carol Smith.

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 fresh flowers are a reminder that spring is just around the corner.” Last year’s fundraiser 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 14, and bouquets will be available for pick up on March 21, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.at Talbot Hospice, 586 Cynwood Drive, Easton. 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. Sponsorship opportunities are also available.

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