Time Change for Compass Regional Hospice’s All Losses Grief Support Group

All Losses Grief Support Group — Fourth Tuesday of each month; July 24Aug. 28 and Sept. 25From noon to 1:15 p.m. at the Caroline County Public Library, Federalsburg branch, 123 Morris Ave., Federalsburg. A drop-in group for individuals, 18 and older, who have experienced any type of loss. Please bring a lunch. For more information, contact Wayne Larrimore at 443-262-4108 or wlarrimore@compassregionalhospice.org.

Compass Regional Hospice – Care on your terms

Compass Regional Hospice is a fully licensed, independent, community-based nonprofit organization certified by Medicare and the state of Maryland and accredited by the Joint Commission. Since 1985, Compass Regional Hospice has been dedicated to supporting people of all ages through the challenge of living with a life-limiting illness and learning to live following the death of a loved one. Today, the organization is a regional provider of hospice care and grief support in Queen Anne’s, Kent and Caroline counties. “Care on your terms” is the promise that guides staff and volunteers as they care for patients in private residences, nursing homes, assisted living facilities and the residential hospice centers in Centreville and Chestertown. Grief support services are offered to children, adults and families of patients who died under hospice care, as well as members of the community who are grieving the loss of a loved one, through The Hope and Healing Center. For more information about Compass Regional Hospice, visit compassregionalhospice.org.

Evergreen Lifestyle: Everything Under the Sun with Healthy Sun Exposure by Freya Farley

Summer, a time when longer sun-filled and warm days invite you to enjoy all the fun and activities offered by the Eastern Shore. Whether on the boat, beach, in a backyard, or at a local park, soaking up the sun has many benefits. However, it’s important to also remember that frequent overexposure to UV radiation can damage your skin.

Benefits of Sun Exposure

Spending moderate time in the sun plays a vital role in:

  • Boosting hormones, such as vitamin D
  • Reducing blood pressure and improving cardiovascular health
  • Improving mood by releasing endorphins
  • Contributing to pain relief in people with fibromyalgia

Vitamin D Production & Deficiency

The most commonly known benefit of sun exposure is how it induces the production of vitamin D, a critical steroid hormone that acts on receptors throughout the body, influencing bone health, heart function, and inflammation. When UVB rays from the sun strike exposed skin, the body can synthesize vitamin D3, which is transformed by the liver and kidneys into the biologically active hormone.

Due to a variety of factors including lifestyle and environment, vitamin D insufficiency affects almost 50% of the population worldwide. In our practice, we often run across people with symptoms of vitamin D deficiency, which include:

  • Excessive Sweating
  • Fatigue & Muscle Weakness
  • Chronic Pain
  • Broken Bones
  • Depressed Mood

Your doctor can run a simple blood test to measure your Vitamin D levels if a deficiency is suspect.

While there are different ways you can increase your Vitamin D levels, emerging research suggests that natural sun exposure may regulate vitamin D in a way that supplements cannot mimic. For example, vitamin D produced in the skin may last at least twice as long in the blood compared with ingested vitamin D.

Risks of Sun Overexposure

Just as there are multiple benefits to sun exposure, there are also risks. Sunlight includes rays of invisible ultraviolet light of varying wavelengths (UVB and UVA), which can contribute to:

  • Sunburn
  • Damage to collagen leading to accelerated skin aging
  • Skin cancer
  • Cataracts

The majority of UV radiation reaching the Earth’s surface is UVA, which penetrates more deeply into the skin (compared to UVB rays) where it can indirectly damage DNA via the generation of free radicals.

Like most things related to health, bio-individuality and lifestyle habits are important when it comes to sun exposure. Certain groups of people are more susceptible to the negative impacts of UV sun exposure and may require different strategies to avoid harm. For example, those with certain autoimmune conditions such as lupus can be exceptionally sun sensitive. Further, medications such as tetracycline antibiotics, used to treat various infections, can increase sun sensitivity.

People with a personal or family history of skin cancer or other genetic susceptibilities, which can make it more challenging to repair UV-induced DNA damage, need to be more vigilant to avoid too much sun exposure.

Limit Your Sun Exposure

According to studies done at NIH the best time for sun exposure is around noon, when UVB rays are most likely to reach your skin and boost vitamin D production, and when UVA rays, which increase the risk of skin cancer and photodamage, are minimized. For maximum benefit, expose unprotected skin (backs of hands or face) to the sun for 10 to 20 minutes daily. 

Incorporate Natural Dietary Skin Support

There are a variety of foods that can reduce your skin’s susceptibility to ultraviolet damage. Aim for a mix of carotenoids including lycopene (found in tomatoes and watermelon), lutein (found in spinach and other dark-green veggies), and beta-carotene (found in orange, red, and yellow produce). Astaxanthin, a carotenoid pigment found in microalgae and seafood like salmon, shellfish, and krill, also contributes to skin health. Our area is fortunate to have access to not only fresh and healthy fruits and vegetables at various roadside stands but also plenty of seaside fare.

Find Stress-Reduction Practices

Studies have led researchers to believe that chronic stress can increase the susceptibility of your skin to UV damage. Stress weakens the immune system and makes you more susceptible to the effects of free radicals, which can lead to skin damage and cancer.  In fact stress alone, without sun exposure, has been shown to damage DNA and increase signs of early aging. Adopting regular stress management practices, such as those offered by our center, which includes meditation, yoga, and mind-body practices, can make you more resilient to resist the damaging impacts of chronic stress.

Throw Some Shade

One of the best ways to enjoy a sunny day without suffering damage is to minimize your time spent in the strongest rays. Stay in the shade when possible and wear lightweight, long-sleeved shirts, pants, and wide-brimmed hats that are specifically designed to block UV rays.

Choose a Safer Sunscreen

Sunscreen provides either a chemical or physical barrier against the sun’s rays. Look for ingredients that don’t contain toxic endocrine-disrupting chemicals that potentially affect reproduction and development hormones and/or cause skin irritation. Avoid oxybenzone, octinoxate, retinyl palmitate, and homosalate.

Synthetic fragrances should also be avoided in all personal care products, including sunscreens. These chemicals, such as parabens, phthalates, and synthetic musks, are linked to endocrine disruption, reproductive impacts, and even cancer. Instead, look for non-nano  (meaning the particles are less likely to be absorbed by your skin) physical or mineral-based sunscreens like zinc oxide.

Some of our favorites include

Bare Republic Mineral Face Sunscreen Lotion

 

Sun Bum Signature Mineral-Based Moisturizing Sunscreen Lotion

 

Australian Gold Botanical Sunscreen SPF 30 Mineral Lotion

 

Brush on Block Broad Spectrum SPF 30 Mineral Powder Sunscreen

 

All Good Lips Tinted – SPF 18 Lip Balm- Alpine Pink

Freya Farley is Evergreen’s Executive Director and an Acupuncturist at the Wellness Center at Evergreen. Her practice focuses on Women’s Health and Fertility. Along with acupuncture, and herbal medicine, Freya practices a food-as-medicine approach. She offers Open Studio morning yoga sessions, private consultations & treatments, as well as a weekly Community Acupuncture Clinic.

*The information in this article is intended for your educational use only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health providers with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition and before undertaking any diet, supplement, fitness, or other health program.

Camp New Dawn Registration Open for Campers and Volunteers

Registration is open for the 24th annual Camp New Dawn, a grief retreat summer camp offered through Compass Regional Hospice.  Camp New Dawn is a four-day, three-night retreat held each summer at Camp Pecometh in Centreville.  The retreat is designed to meet the needs of all ages and stages of grief, serving children and teens between the ages of four and 17 and their families.

“Under the guidance of professional grief support staff and specially trained volunteers, participants are taught healthy ways to express their grief in a safe, supportive and fun environment while also getting to know others who are on a similar journey,” says Camp New Dawn Director Rhonda Knotts.

This year’s Camp New Dawn kicks off on Saturday, August 18 at 12:30 pm, when campers ages seven through 17 arrive at Camp Pecometh.  The campers attend therapeutic workshops, age specific grief support groups and may participate in supervised camp activities such as swimming, fishing, and arts and crafts. A mini retreat for children ages four to six is held on Monday, August 20 from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm. The retreat for campers wraps up after the closing ceremony on Monday, August 20 at 4:30 pm.

Camp New Dawn also includes an overnight adult and family retreat that begins on Sunday, August 19 at 4:00 pm. While their campers are busy learning how to cope with their grief, parents and guardians are invited to attend the adult retreat designed to help restore participants to a place of wholeness as they learn to navigate their own grief journey.  Activities include grief support groups, therapeutic workshops, and restorative activities like sunrise yoga and nature walks. The adults are then joined by their children for overnight family camp where they come together to learn skills that they can take home with them. Family camp ends on Tuesday, August 21 after the closing ceremony at 7:00 pm.

Camp New Dawn would not be possible without the support of our specially trained volunteers. Over 100 volunteers help to ensure that the weekend encompasses fun, friendship and learning. The most visible volunteers are Buddies— caring and compassionate adults who are paired up with campers to provide support.  There are also support staff volunteers who tend to every detail of camp by helping plan, set up and facilitate activities.  Former campers, PALS and Campatiers, can be found helping in an assortment of ways around camp and sharing their own personal camp experiences with new campers.

The cost of Camp New Dawn is $30 per camper and $75 per family.  These fees represent a small fraction of the actual cost of operating Camp New Dawn.  No one is ever turned away due to inability to pay.  To offer your financial support  toward the cost of camp or to sponsor a child to attend, contact Kenda Leager, development officer, Compass Regional Hospice, 443-262-4106, kleager@compassregionalhospice.org.

For more information or to register for Camp New Dawn, contact Rhonda Knotts, Camp New Dawn director, Compass Regional Hospice, 443-262-4109, rknotts@compassregionalhospice.org. To become a volunteer, contact Courtney Williams, Assistant Camp New Dawn Director, 443-262-4112, cwilliams@compassregionalhospice.org.

Compass Regional Hospice – Care on your terms

Compass Regional Hospice is a fully licensed, independent, community-based nonprofit organization certified by Medicare and the State of Maryland, and accredited by the Joint Commission. Since 1985, Compass Regional Hospice has been dedicated to supporting people of all ages through the challenge of living with a life-limiting illness and learning to live following the death of a loved one. Today the organization is a regional provider of hospice care and grief support in Queen Anne’s, Kent and Caroline counties. “Care on your terms” is the promise that guides staff and volunteers as they care for patients in private residences, nursing homes, assisted living facilities and the residential hospice centers in Centreville, Chestertown and Denton. Grief support services are offered to children, adults and families of patients who died under hospice care, as well as members of the community who are grieving the loss of a loved one through The Hope & Healing Center. For more information about Compass Regional Hospice, visit compassregionalhospice.org.

Talbot Hospice Appoints Two New Board Members

Talbot Hospice Executive Director Vivian Dodge has announced the appointment of Lee Gordon and Dick Granville to the board of directors and Steve Slack as board president. “I am pleased to welcome our two new board members as ambassadors for Talbot Hospice and congratulate Steve Slack as our new Board President,” said Dodge. “I am delighted to be working with them, and all our board members, to help guide our organization through the next several years.”

Lee Gordon is an attorney at Parker Counts where she focuses on estate planning and administration. She currently serves on The Country School board and the Talbot County Advisory Board for Mid-Shore Community Foundation. Gordon has served as President of the Board for Christ Church Day School andis a former Treasurer for the Baker-King Fund.

Lee Gordon, Dick Granville. Steve Slack

Richard (Dick) Granville returns to the Talbot Hospice board for a second term after having served 2001-2004 and as honorary chair of the most recent capital campaign ending in 2015. Granville was President of Celeste Industries Corporation before retiring in 2000 after 27 years. Over time, he has served in various capacities on several local boards including Shore Bancshares, Mid-Shore Community Foundation, Shore Health System, Talbot County Free Library, Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum, The Country School, and the Academy of the Arts.

New board president Steve Slack joined the Talbot Hospice board in 2016. He began volunteering for Talbot Hospice in 2014 and has served as breakfast cook, End-of-Life Doula, and member of the Veterans Recognition Program, Faith Initiative and Communications committees. Slack is retired from Tyco Electronics where he managed the North American sales force for the telelcommunications division. He served four years as a Naval supply officer including a tour in DaNang, Vietnam.

Leaving the board are Tony Principi and Lynn Sanchez. Dodge said, “We are grateful for the diverse talents and experience Tony and Lynn have brought to our organization. Their passion and commitment to our mission has had a positive impact during an important period of change and growth.”

Qlarant Hosts Annual Grant Awards Event

Qlarant Foundation, the philanthropic arm of nationally recognized program integrity and quality company, Qlarant, has awarded charitable grants to fourteen Maryland and District of Columbia organizations seeking to improve health equity. Members of the Board of Directors for Qlarant Foundation held a reception for the 2018 Qlarant Grant Awards.

“Giving out these grants is so gratifying,” said Dr. Molly Burgoyne-Brian, Board Chair for Qlarant Foundation. “This is the 11th year that we have provided these grants to the community and each year it gets better. This year we’ve added four new grantees to the list of organizations that have received funds from Qlarant Foundation. We’ve now given over four and a half million dollars to fantastic organizations like these since 2007.”

Photo: Qlarant Foundation presented $385k to fourteen organizations: (left to right) front row: Brenda Crabbs (Qlarant Foundation Board Member), Sen. Addie Eckardt, Dr. Molly Burgoyne-Brian (Qlarant Foundation Board Chair), Deb Keller (VP Qlarant), back row: Robert Valenti (Qlarant Foundation Board Member), Amanda Neal (Qlarant Foundation Board Member).

This year’s grant recipients include previous grantees Access Carroll, Inc., Breast Care for Washington, D.C., Channel Marker, Inc., Community Ministries of Rockville, Help and Outreach Point of Entry, Inc., La Clinica del Pueblo, Maryland Foundation of Dentistry for the Handicapped, Miriam’s Kitchen, Mission of Mercy, and University of Maryland Medical Center’s Breathmobile. All of these organizations are dedicated to providing health and human services to underserved populations. First time grantees included Eastern Shore Wellness Solutions, University Legal Services, Inc., as well as Shirley Grace Pregnancy Center, Inc. and Girls in the Game; the latter two were honored for their commitment to women and young girls. Also attending the ceremony were Delegate Johnny Mautz and Senator Addie Eckardt. Sen. Eckardt presented citations to the organizations in her district.

During the luncheon, catered by Blue Heron Catering, the grantees were given the opportunity to present a summary of their organizations’ work and successes followed by workshops focused on partnership and networking.

“Our Foundation Grants Event is one of our favorite parts of what we do at Qlarant,” said Deb Keller, Qlarant Vice President. “Our ability to do the good work that we do and provide support for even more positive impacts to the community is what makes Qlarant so special.

About Qlarant Foundation

Qlarant Foundation is the philanthropic arm of Qlarant, a not-for-profit nationally respected leader in fighting fraud, waste & abuse, improving program quality, and optimizing performance. The organization was founded more than 45 years ago to improve health care and human services for all. Qlarant Foundation is focused on reinvesting in our people and resources to better support our clients’ missions. www.qlarant.com/about/qlarant-foundation

If you would like more information about this topic, please contact Glennda Moragne El at 410.872.9632 or email at moragneelg@qlarant.com.

On a Rare Occasion You Know When You Have Changed the Life of a Child by Liz Freedlander

In the universe of adults whose work careers (or volunteer time) is focused on improving the lives of children – teachers, social workers, non-profit staffs – it is rare to know if you’ve really made a difference.

But occasionally, a young adult comes back and identifies you as the mentor whose dedication, professional skills and ideas changed his or her life.

Rashaan Rhoden was a Dorchester County student who was referred to Channel Marker’s youth program. His disruptive behavior indicated a need for redirecting his impulses, learning coping skills and receiving positive reinforcement for his good qualities.

Rashaan, now 20, wrote a letter to Arville Johns, his Channel Marker case worker, and read it aloud to him at a recent staff meeting. Tears flowed. It was quite a moment!

While letters like this are few and far between, there are surely many young adults who share Rashaan’s sentiments about the people who changed their lives only they never told you.

June 2018                                                                                   

Dear Mr. Arville,

I’m writing this letter to you to express how much I appreciate you and how thankful I am for you being a part of my life, especially during my teenage years. The bottom line is that you mean the world to me and I love you to death. Channel Marker was a great “safe zone” for me in high school and I’m glad I stuck through it, even though I felt as though I did not need it. My mother knew I did. I can’t speak for all of the Channel Marker county locations, but the one in Dorchester County is the best one and you Mr. Arville are a big reason for that.

Looking back at it, I miss our times together. From the rides to Ocean City to the basketball games at Sandy Hill, there was never a dull moment when I was around you. Whenever my mother and I got into it, I always wished you could just come get me because you knew how to calm me down. It seems as though you just have that effect on kids. Our times together weren’t always dandelions and roses. We didn’t have the perfect relationship, but I can 100% say that we had and still have a quality relationship.

You taught me life lessons and skills that will make me succeed, not only as a person but as a professional such as yourself. Just watching the way you talk to other adults and professionals impressed me. Even watching you handle other disruptive kids impressed me. I admit that patience is an important skill to adapt and I feel as though I improved tremendously with that skill because of you. Other skills I learned from being in Channel Marker are: opening up more in a group setting, being an active leader, and ways to take and give constructive criticism. All of these skills/attributes (and much more) are why I am so successful today.

This upcoming Fall, I will be moving to Orlando, Florida to attend the University of Central Florida’s Graduate Program for Hospitality & Tourism Management. This is HUGE for me. Not only did I get accepted into graduate school, but I got accepted to my #1 college choice! It’s easy for me to thank my advisors and teachers at Frostburg, but I would never have even thought about college if it wasn’t for you. You were my role model in high school. You went to college and you always talked about it to me. So, I decided to focus on college instead of working or joining the military.

  I want to end this letter by again saying thank you for caring for me. Obviously, you’ve done more than what I mentioned in this letter, but I just want you to know that I am successful because of you and Channel Marker. This may sound corny but YOU ARE Channel Marker. God did not put you in my life for the money you earned to do a job.  You proved that to me numerous times. I love you Mr. Arville (like my own father) and keep up the good work.

Love,

Your Son, Rashaan

 

Talbot Declares Independence from Substance Abuse

The towns of Easton, Oxford and St. Michaels are again supporting Talbot Goes Purple with purple fireworks displays at Independence Day celebrations this year.

The purple fireworks are part of Talbot Goes Purple, an initiative from the Talbot County Sheriff’s Office and Tidewater Rotary that empowers our youth and our community to ‘Go Purple’ as a sign of taking a stand against substance abuse. Anyone who wishes to support the project can wear purple at the Independence Day celebrations.

“We’d like to give a thank-you to Al Bond at the Avalon Foundation; Ted Doyle, chairman of the St. Michael’s Fireworks Committee and Debbie Collison from Rotary Club of St. Michaels; and Vicky Van Loo and the board at Tred Avon Yacht Club for supporting our project,” said Lucie Hughes, of Tidewater Rotary. “Their generosity helps kick-off this project again this year and shows the towns continuing to support our communities by taking a stand against substance abuse.”

Talbot Goes Purple promotes education and awareness, including the creation of purple clubs in our middle and high schools, through which students learn that they do not need drugs or alcohol to meet life’s challenges. The project also encourages the ‘new conversation’ between teens and parents, one that includes messages that prescription painkillers aren’t safe to use recreationally.

“With your help we did a great job educating our communities last year on the importance of having the ‘new conversation,’ – the one that includes the dangers of misusing prescription painkillers,” said Talbot County Sheriff Joe Gamble. “We need to continue the conversation if we’re going to turn the tide on this deadly epidemic.”

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.

Herren visited Talbot County last year with his inspirational message. This year, Talbot Goes Purple will screen ‘If Only,’ a film from the Wahlberg Youth Foundation and Millennium Health created to increase awareness of youth prescription drug abuse and opioid use disorder.

Leading up to the film and starting Sept. 1, local businesses and communities can again ‘Go Purple’ as a show of support and solidarity in addressing our substance abuse program.

Talbot Goes Purple is in partnership with Talbot County Public Schools and Mid-Shore Community Foundation.

More information is available at www.talbotgoespurple.org. Find us on Facebook @TalbotGoesPurple or contact us at talbotgoespurple@gmail.com.  Anyone wearing purple is encouraged to post pictures and tag us on Facebook.

All support is tax-deductible and made through the Mid-Shore Community Foundation.

Fireworks this year are scheduled as follows: Easton – Wednesday, July 4; St. Michaels – Saturday June 30; Oxford – Tuesday, July 3. Please check with each respective town for additional information on scheduled activities and rain dates.

Compass Regional Hospice’s Calendar of Events, July through September

July…

Volunteer Training for Camp New Dawn — Tuesday, July 10, 6 to 9 p.m., at The Hope and Healing Center, 255 Comet Drive, Centreville. Camp New Dawn is a four-day, three-night grief retreat summer camp for children, teens and families, and is a program of Compass Regional Hospice. Camp New Dawn would not be possible without the support of Compass Regional Hospice’s specially trained volunteers. More than 100 volunteers help to make sure the camp is fun and full of friendship and learning. For more information, contact Courtney Williams at 443-262-4112 or cwilliams@compassregionalhospice.org.

Estate Treasures Warehouse Sale — Saturday, July 21, 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., at 106 Log Canoe Circle, Chesapeake Business Park, Stevensville. Come find deeply discounted furniture, tools, sports equipment, small appliances, lawn and garden items, silver pieces, precious moments figures, children’s items, art, area rugs, clothing and more. Proceeds will benefit Compass Regional Hospice. For more information, call Estate Treasures, an affiliation of Compass Regional Hospice, at 410-643-7360.

Volunteer Training for Camp New Dawn — Monday, July 30, 6 to 9 p.m., at The Hope and Healing Center, 255 Comet Drive, Centreville. Camp New Dawn is a four-day, three-night grief retreat summer camp for children, teens and families, and is a program of Compass Regional Hospice. Camp New Dawn would not be possible without the support of Compass Regional Hospice’s specially trained volunteers. More than 100 volunteers help to make sure the camp is fun and full of friendship and learning. For more information, contact Courtney Williams at 443-262-4112 or cwilliams@compassregionalhospice.org.

August…

Camp New Dawn — Saturday, Aug. 18, through Tuesday, Aug. 21, at Camp Pecometh, 136 Bookers Wharf Road, Centreville. A four-day, three-night grief retreat summer camp for children, teens and families, through Compass Regional Hospice. For more information or to register, contact Rhonda Knotts at 443-262-4109 or rknotts@compassregionalhospice.org. For more information about volunteering, contact Courtney Williams at 443-262-4112 or cwilliams@compassregionalhospice.org.

September…

Volunteer Training Session — An online/classroom hybrid where volunteers can complete their online classes before joining Compass Regional Hospice for the classroom segment. We will be meeting from 6 to 9 p.m. on Tuesdays; Sept. 11, 18 and 25, at the Hope and Healing Center, 255 Comet Drive, Centreville. Registration is required, and completing the entire class is necessary for volunteers who would like to work with patients and families. For more information about volunteering, contact Courtney Williams at 443-262-4112 or cwilliams@compassregionalhospice.org.

Estate Treasures Art Auction — Saturday, Sept. 22, from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. at Cascia Vineyards, 1200 Thompson Creek Road, Stevensville. Featuring silent and live auctions, including a variety of art, some created and signed by local artists whose work reflects scenes from the Eastern Shore. Enjoy light refreshments and a complimentary glass of Cascia Vineyards wine. Tickets are limited for this exclusive event and are $25 in advance and $30 at the door. All proceeds will benefit Compass Regional Hospice. Estate Treasures is an affiliate of Compass Regional Hospice. For more information and to purchase tickets, contact Kenda Leager, at 443-262-4106 or kleager@compassregionalhospice.org.

Ongoing…

Bereaved Parent Grief Support Group — First Monday of each month; July 2, Aug. 6 and Sept. 3. From 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at The Hope and Healing Center, 255 Comet Drive, Centreville. A drop-in group for individuals, 18 and older, dealing with the loss of a child. For more information, contact Rhonda Knotts at 443-262-4109 or rknotts@compassregionalhospice.org.

HALOS-Healing After a Loved One’s Suicide Grief Support Group — Second Wednesday of each month; July 11, Aug. 8 and Sept. 12. From 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at The Hope and Healing Center, 255 Comet Drive, Centreville. A drop-in group for individuals, 18 and older, dealing with the loss of a loved one from suicide. For more information, contact Rhonda Knotts at 443-262-4109 or rknotts@compassregionalhospice.org, or Wayne Larrimore at 443-262-4108 or wlarrimore@compassregionalhospice.org.

Drug Overdose Grief Support Group — Third Thursday of each month; July 19, Aug. 16 and Sept. 20. From 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at The Hope and Healing Center, 255 Comet Drive, Centreville.  A drop-in group for individuals, 18 and older, dealing with the loss of a loved one from drug overdose. For more information, contact Rhonda Knotts at 443-262-4109 or rknotts@compssregionalhospice.org, or Linda Turner at 443-262-4120 or lturner@compassregionalhospice.org.

All Losses Grief Support Group — Fourth Tuesday of each month; July 24, Aug. 28 and Sept. 25. From 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the Caroline County Public Library, Federalsburg branch, 123 Morris Ave., Federalsburg. A drop-in group for individuals, 18 and older, who have experienced any type of loss. Please bring a lunch. For more information, contact Wayne Larrimore at 443-262-4108 or wlarrimore@compassregionalhospice.org.

Evergreen Lifestyle: Seven Tips to Help Kick the Sugar Habit by Freya Farley

Spring and summer are often times that inspire us to make healthier choices. Whether the goal is to lose weight, gain more energy, sleep better, or make a change, reducing sugar intake is often a top priority. The benefits of diminishing its consumption are plenty, as 80% of processed American food is laced with some form of sugar. Frequently, they masquerade under a variety of names including anhydrous dextrose, crystalline fructose, and evaporated cane juice, to name just a few.

High sugar content in processed food has been shown to contribute to common diseases such as high cholesterol, heart disease, fatty liver disease or cirrhosis, hypertension, hepatic insulin resistance, slower metabolism, and obesity. Increased appetite, insomnia, brain fog, mental chatter, depression, and various other symptoms have been shown to generate from excessive sugar consumption.

Sugar itself is a refined carbohydrate and a source of calories that our bodies either use as energy or store as fat. Keep in mind that not all sugar is bad; it naturally occurs in fruits and other foods that, along with their healthy fiber content, provide our body with necessary nourishment. The problem is that sugar is addictive and alters biochemical pathways in our brain by tampering with our dopamine receptors; the same ones that make us feel good. To get the next dopamine spike, we need a higher dose of sugar.

That’s why it’s essential that when contemplating a sugar cleanse psychological preparedness and a plan that you can stick to is important. Here are some useful tips I use to help clients kick the sugar habit:

1. Find the sweetness in your life

It is vitally important to invest in our well-being through self-nurturing. Creating space for ourselves, and finding time to do things that bring joy are necessary to our health and wellness. Often, the people who are most susceptible to sugar cravings are working stressful jobs, living stressful lives, and feel out of balance. In these cases, we may disconnect from what our passions are in life, to the point where life has become a series of obligations rather than enjoyment. Taking the time to invest in ourselves is a great long-term strategy to give up habits that do not serve us. Try mindfulness-based exercises like yoga, tai chi, and meditation. When we are at ease and feel satisfied with life, the impulse to reach for sweets when stressed is significantly reduced.

2. Drink apple cider vinegar

Raw apple cider vinegar helps to destroy candida yeast overgrowth in the body, which is often a contributing factor in sugar addiction. The body needs sugar to feed this yeast, which continues to grow and cause more cravings (as well as a host of other unpleasant symptoms). I have found people have fewer cravings when they sip apple cider vinegar throughout the day. Apple cider vinegar also helps to change taste buds, and after a while of supplementing with it, sugary foods often end up tasting too sweet. Use this vinegar to make a healthy salad dressing or in cooking. Be sure to buy only raw vinegar (apple cider or otherwise), as regular pasteurized vinegar can feed candida overgrowth and cause more sugar cravings. Try: Braggs Raw Apple Cider Vinegar

3. Properly fuel your body

In general, you want to get your calories from a balanced diet of the protein, carbohydrates, and healthy fats.

Protein helps your body feel full longer, so increasing it in your diet will help to curb sweet cravings, especially at that midday snack time. Try snacking on nuts, yogurt, or a hardboiled egg instead of processed and packaged snacks. Your body will thank you for it.

Carbs fall into three categories—sugars, starches, and fibers—but the body breaks down complex carbohydrates into simple sugars. Find yourself drawn to French fries, bread, and pasta? Your sugar fix originates in excess carbs. Avoid white and refined flour, rice, pasta, bread. Substitute nuts, seeds, and whole grains instead. If the carb is in its natural, unadulterated form, then it’s a good choice. When your cravings hit, try high-fiber foods, such as whole grains, fruits, and vegetables, to fill your belly and keep your digestive system moving. And don’t get stuck in the meal-label game—switch it up! Have eggs for dinner, avocado for breakfast, or oatmeal for lunch.

4. Stay hydrated

Cravings, particularly for sweet foods are common when the body is dehydrated because it interferes with brain levels of serotonin, a neurotransmitter responsible for feelings of well-being and happiness. Dehydration also makes it more difficult for the body to produce glycogen, a significant source of fuel for our cells. A lack of fluids can cause difficulty in the production of energy output and can trigger sugar cravings. It’s also not uncommon for the body to confuse the feeling of thirst with hunger, meaning that you may feel hungry when what you need is water.

5. Train your taste buds to like bitter

Train your taste buds to like the taste of bitter—it really does a lot to suppress the cravings for sugar. Try plain unflavored yogurt and bitter greens like watercress, arugula, chicory, endive, and kale are a couple of tasty ways. Within 30 days, your taste buds will reset, and you’ll crave less sugar.

6. Take the “sugar destroyer” herb

Gymnema sylvestre, an herb in the milkweed family, is known as a “sugar destroyer” in Ayurvedic medicine since it desensitizes our taste buds to sweet items and helps deal with the cravings. We think we need sweets when: we’re low on energy (not enough insulin or cells are resistant), stressed (increased cortisol causes the body to use sugar, so we need to replenish), are eating poorly (causing spikes in blood sugar, or have trouble sleeping (also increases cortisol).

Gymnema promotes healthy blood sugar levels, reduces cholesterol, regenerates beta cells in the pancreas, and helps make cells more sensitive to receiving insulin. A few drops on your tongue before a meal can offset desiring sugar and last for about three hours, especially in conjunction with a nutritious diet and the desire to quit sugar. However, use caution if taking oral medication or insulin, as it can alter prescription dosages. Try: Himalayan Herbals Gymnema

7. Use peppermint essential oil

Many studies have shown that you can retrain your brain, curb the sugar cravings, and revitalize your life by using high-quality essential oils. A leading research by Dr. Alan Hirsch found that INHALING peppermint oil is amazingly effective at curbing cravings, while also awakening the senses and enabling the brain to focus. Other essential oils that may help to curb cravings include black pepper, bergamot, cassia, cinnamon, clove, fennel, grapefruit, lemon, marjoram, and wild orange.

8. Try amrita therapeutic essential oils

We all have things we can change in our diets, our lives, and our mindsets. Reducing sugar intake can be just the start of rebalancing your life. Don’t drastically cut out sugar from your diet and cause uncomfortable detox. Take it slow, let your body adjust, and use some of the tips discussed. Starting today become aware of labels, of what you put in your mouth, of your triggers, and of your wellness. You can make this change in your life by replacing sugar with a positive lifestyle that fuels your mind, body, and spirit!

Freya Farley is Evergreen’s Executive Director and an Acupuncturist at the Wellness Center at Evergreen. Her practice focuses on Women’s Health and Fertility. Along with acupuncture, and herbal medicine, Freya practices a food-as-medicine approach. She offers Open Studio morning yoga sessions, private consultations & treatments, as well as a weekly Community Acupuncture Clinic.

*The information in this article is intended for your educational use only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health providers with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition and before undertaking any diet, supplement, fitness, or other health program.

The Future Plans of City of Cambridge, Dorchester County and UM SRH for Health Care Facilities and Services

The City of Cambridge, Dorchester County and the University of Maryland Shore Regional Health took an important step forward in future plans for new state-of-the-art health care facilities and services in the county and a milestone in development of the Cambridge waterfront as a community asset and economic development engine.

L-R: Dorchester County Council President Ricky Travers, Dorchester County Council member Don Satterfield, Cambridge Mayor Victoria Jackson-Stanley, and Ken Kozel, President and CEO of UM SRH.

On June 8, Mayor Victoria Jackson- Stanley, Council President Ricky Travers, and UM SRH CEO Ken Kozel signed a Letter of Intent (LOI) which, along with the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed last month by the City and County creating a waterfront development entity, will serve as the framework for continued negotiations regarding the future sale and development of the current hospital property when the emergency department and outpatient services occupy a proposed new site in Cambridge.  This move is anticipated by 2021, although that date is contingent upon local and State approvals in order to move ahead. The City of Cambridge and Dorchester County MOU created an entity, Cambridge Waterfront Development, Inc. (CWDI), which ultimately will purchase the current hospital property, prepare it for development, and negotiate its sale by the spring of 2021.

“The County Council is very excited to continue the working relationship with the City and we thank them for the opportunity to participate as a partner in this monumental place-making endeavor,” says Council President Ricky Travers.  “We look forward to the completion of the CWDI board appointment process and we are excited about the direction this will take the waterfront for Cambridge. I was overwhelmed with the willingness of both the City and UM SRH to work as a team to guarantee success of this project,” Travers says.

Council member Don Satterfield adds, “This historic project and partnership is the product of significant effort from both City and County employees as well as the elected boards. It is a pleasure working with the City and I have full confidence that the project will be professionally managed and developed to its fullest.”

“We, as a community, are incredibly excited at the opportunity this provides the City and County,” states Mayor Victoria Jackson-Stanley. “The ability to combine the two land areas into one project, as well as the two primary governing entities working as one,create perfect alignment for a successful centennial project that will profoundly improve the viability of the Cambridge waterfront for years to come.”

While the LOI signed June 8 does not directly impact the health system’s required Certificates of Exemption (COE) application process, it does provide University of Maryland Medical System (UMMS) and UM SRH with an interested buyer, who shares the health system’s commitment and vision for a campus supporting the health care needs of people in Dorchester and neighboring counties, as well as the revitalization of Cambridge.

“We applaud the vision and leadership of Mayor Jackson-Stanley, President Travers and their councils,” says Ken Kozel. “It is our intent that through our shared process, we will reach agreement on the sale of our Cambridge property by the end of calendar 2018 and ultimately, transfer ownership of our property in the spring of 2021,  when we anticipate re-locating our services to the new UM Shore Medical Campus at Cambridge.”

UM Shore Regional Health plans to initiate the regulatory approval process in July with the Maryland Health Care Commission.  The health system will request converting the hospital to a freestanding medical facility, with a new, state-of-the-art emergency department and medical pavilion for needed health care services.  Plans call for the facilities to be constructed on a new medical campus in Cambridge by 2021.