Talbot County’s New Children’s Health Initiative to Address Impact of Childhood Trauma

Did you know that research and trends are indicating that children today have more early childhood trauma than their parents?

A new Children’s Health Initiative, a collaboration between the Talbot County Health Department (TCHD), Talbot County Public Schools (TCPS), and Talbot County Department of Social Services (TCDSS), provides an early intervention program for children in kindergarten through second grade with mild to moderate adjustment problems to classroom settings that produce behavioral problems. The initiative is based on studies that early childhood investments decrease the risk for many physical, behavioral, and social problems later in life.

The first year, the initiative was able to increase capacity in several areas without new county funds, however, this year, Talbot County Government is investing $100,000 in the FY2020 school health budget to support the initiative. The additional funds will predominately fund behavioral health trained workers to assist children with coping and adjustment skills, self-confidence, and interpersonal relationships using theraplay.

Fredia Wadley, MD, Health Officer, Talbot County Health Department, points to research by James J. Heckman, PhD, a Nobel Memorial Prize winner in economics and an expert in the economics of human development, which says that the best investment is in quality early childhood development from birth to five for disadvantaged children and their families. Dr. Wadley explains, “The children born now will be less prepared for success in life unless we do something during their early development to give them a healthy start.”

Heckman further explains in his research that adverse early environments across the economic spectrum create deficits in skills and abilities that drive down productivity and increase social costs—thereby adding to financial deficits borne by the public. According to research done by the Talbot County Health Department, 39 percent of Talbot County children live in single-parent households and there are 216 homeless students in Talbot County. In addition, there are a number of children in the county who are experiencing trauma with parents who have addiction and mental health problems. Multigenerational poverty, people living longer, a more mobile population, along with advances in Internet technology have all impacted this breakdown of the family support structure.

Pictured left to right are Fredia S. Wadley, MD, Health Officer, TCHD; Kelly Griffith, Superintendent, TCPS; and Linda Webb, Director, TCDSS.

Kelly Griffith, Superintendent of the Talbot County Public Schools, comments about the collaborative, “We are all working with the same families. We came to a common understanding around educating our community about early intervention and prevention so we can be more proactive.”

There had been a collaborative 10 years ago between the Talbot County Public Schools and Channel Marker, Inc. through a Substance Abuse and Mental Services Administration (SAMSA) grant which addressed some of these issues. After the grant ran out, the number of children helped in Talbot County schools was reduced from 90 students to 30 students in Kindergarten through second grade.

Dr. Wadley adds, “We looked at existing services, asking what were their capacity and where were the gaps, and started there.”

Accomplishment to date include: 1) adding a second employee to both the Healthy Families Program in TCHD and the Infant and Toddlers Program in TCPS; 2) adding a social worker to county elementary schools to support high-risk students and their families; 3) implementing a five day program with new federal dollars at the Family Support Center (Early Head Start) for children that will allow mothers to work; 4) implementing a Sobriety Treatment and Recovery Team (START) program through TCDSS and TCHD to help mothers using drugs get treatment and support for their children; 5) hosted  “Healing Neen,” the first conference on Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs), and “Resiliency,” a movie by James Redford about what children need to cope with adversity; and 6) establishing through TCHD a telehealth program with Johns Hopkins for three specialty pediatric clinics.

Among the goals of the initiative are to 1) get children born healthy; 2)concentrate on early childhood development and the prevention and mitigation of ACEs; 3) increase the percentage with school readiness skills and competencies, and 4) provide early detection of behavioral problems and services for behavioral modification.

The Children’s Health Initiative continues to seek new partners. For All Seasons has come on board to supplement the work being done by Eastern Shore Psychological Services in the schools. Through their ACE trained professionals, For All Season is also able to provide ACE training for the community.  Corey Pack, President of the Talbot County Council, comments, “We applaud these efforts as new partners are being brought on board as the initiative moves forward.”

The group started meeting when Griffith became Superintendent of the Talbot County Public Schools and she realized she needed help in meeting the needs for her families. Linda Webb, Director of the Talbot County Department of Social Services, reflects, “Our relationship is unique. As a newcomer to Talbot County, it has been valuable in helping me to learn the landscape here. And, our work together is making a real impact on expanding services in the community.”

Dr. Wadley points to changing demographics in Talbot County and the need to educate the public about these needs. She concludes, “Not everyone is seeing the needs we have in the county. In addition, people don’t know about our services and how to use them. Sharing our resources to meet the growing needs is critical.”

Shore Kids Camp for Children with Type 1 Diabetes Set for July 8-11

Summer camps for children abound on Maryland’s Mid-Shore. For many local children with Type 1 diabetes, however, enrollment in most summer camps is not possible because needed specialized nursing attention and supervision is not included. Thanks to Shore Kids Camp, a day camp offered each summer at MEBA Engineering School (located on Route 33, the Oxford Road) by University of Maryland Shore Regional Health, children with diabetes can enjoy a wonderful day camp experience while also learning about the diseases in a safe and healthy environment. The camp program is designed for children with diabetes, 7-12 years of age, who are able to fully participate in age-appropriate activities with no restrictions other than those related to diabetes. The camp is managed by pediatric nurses with experience in diabetes who are assisted by high school and college students as volunteers.

Offered this summer beginning Monday, July 8 through Thursday, July 11, Shore Kids Camp includes activities like swimming, basketball, arts and crafts, boat rides, and visits to local attractions such as organic farms and museums. Complementing these recreational experiences are on-site, educational presentations about diabetes and interactive games that teach them about their condition and how to manage it safely.

“There’s other camp like this on the Eastern Shore,” says Wynne Aroom, UM SRH patient education specialist who directs Shore Kids Camp. “The diabetes camps across the Bay Bridge are overnight camps, and often parents are reluctant to a young child with a chronic illness that far away from home or the cost may be more than they can afford. Overall, the children who attend Shore Kids Camp have a great time and many return to the camp for multiple years.”

An additional benefit for those who attend is shared experience. Aroom explains, “In many cases, they are the only child in their school class with diabetes, and this can be very challenging for them. The camp provides networking for both the children and their parents, so they don’t feel alone in the challenges they face daily. ”

Increased independence is one of the key goals of the camp. “The activities help boost the children’s confidence that they can survive without their parents,” says Aroom. We provide healthy food and snack options and help the campers in keeping track of what they eat and in trying new foods.”

The Shore Kids Camp cost is $75 at registration and a $10 fee, required in advance for application materials. Some need-based scholarships are available. Registration is limited to 15 children.  The deadline for registration is July 1, 2019.

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.

Talbot Hospice Launches Truck Raffle

Talbot Hospice recently kicked off a truck raffle, the proceeds of which will benefit hospice, palliative care, and grief support services in Talbot County. The truck, a 2019 Ford F-150 4×4 Supercrew Pickup, is made available through a partnership with Hertrich Ford of Easton. The winner has the option to receive $25,000 cash instead.

Tickets are $40 each or three for $100, and only 2,500 tickets will be sold. They will be available over the next several months at various locations around Talbot County including the Amish Market most Saturdays and major events such as the Talbot County Fair and the Chesapeake Balloon Festival. You can also purchase tickets in person at Talbot Hospice, 586 Cynwood Drive, Easton; and Hertrich Ford, 9617 Ocean Gateway, Easton; or online at TalbotHospice.org/events. The winner is responsible for state and federal taxes.

The drawing for the winning ticket will be held October 12, 2019, 12 p.m., at Hertrich Ford, and the public is invited for free food and beverages. The winner does need to be present. If you are willing to sell tickets at your place of business or have other questions, please contact Laura Richeson at 410-822-6681 or lricheson@talbothospice.org.

Talbot Hospice is raffling this Ford F-150 4×4 Supercrew Pickup or $25,000 cash, thanks to a partnership with Hertrich Ford of Easton.


Talbot Hospice Presents 4th Annual Outreach – Death is But a Dream

Talbot Hospice will present “Death is But a Dream” featuring Dr. Christopher Kerr, on Thursday, June 20, 6 p.m. at the Avalon Theatre in Easton. This 4th annual outreach event is free of charge and open to the public.

Kerr, a hospice and palliative care physician and CEO and Chief Medical Officer at The Center for Hospice & Palliative Care in Buffalo, NY, is producing the documentary Death is but a Dream based on research he is conducting about the dreams of terminally ill patients. Kerr will share what he’s learned about the dreams and visions experienced by patients who are nearing the end of their lives. Event organizers say that Kerr and his team of clinicians and researchers are seeking to demystify these experiences and understand their role and importance in supporting a peaceful transition for the patient and the bereaved. The documentary is scheduled for release in 2020. Dr. Kerr’s work will also be published in a book by Penguin Random House in 2020.

Dr. Christopher Kerr

According to Kerr’s findings, people who are close to death often report dreams or visions of loved ones who have passed at their death beds, usually “invisible” to others in the room. Seventy-two percent of end-of-life dreams & visions tend to consist of seeing deceased relatives and pets with most receiving loving reassurance or guidance of some kind. Thirty-nine percent of visions have themes of travel or preparing to travel somewhere with a loved one.

Kerr’s initial study was conducted from January 2011 to July 2012 in partnership with James P. Donnelly, PhD, Department of Counseling and Human Services, Canisius College, Buffalo, NY, and Cheryl Nosek, DNS, RN, Professor, Undergraduate Programs Director, Nursing Department, Daemen College, Amherst, NY. The resulting scientific articles drew national and international attention. A large scale follow-up study was conducted and completed in 2015.

“We are thrilled to share Dr. Kerr’s groundbreaking research with our community,” said Talbot Hospice Executive Director Vivian Dodge. “The end of life journey encompasses so much more than one realizes. Individuals find closure and meaning through dreams. Death is but a Dream will offer insight into the emotions, feelings and values our loved ones experience during this passage.”

Registration for Dr. Kerr’s talk is required and can be made by visiting TalbotHospice.org/Events or calling 410-822-6681. Talbot Hospice, founded in 1981, is the premier resource for hospice, palliative care, and grief support in Talbot County.

Anne Arundel Medical Center’s Pavilion in Easton Open

Anne Arundel Medical Center’s new pavilion in Easton is now open to patients. AAMC Pavilion – Easton features a diagnostic imaging center, lab services, and services to support physical therapy, primary care, breast care, bariatrics, cardiology, pelvic health, and orthopedics.

The pavilion is located at 28438 Marlboro Ave., Easton. Same-day primary care appointments are available, along with convenient free parking.

For more information or to schedule an appointment, call 410-822-2440. To see a complete list of services, visit AskAAMC.org/Easton. Watch video footage from the official ribbon-cutting ceremony held May 14.

Free Seminar on Creating a Will Set for June 18

Patrick J. Fitzgerald

“Your Will, Your Way,” a free seminar focusing on the importance of creating a will and what to consider in that process, is set for Tuesday, June 18, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. in the Nick Rajacich Education Center at UM Shore Medical Center at Easton. The seminar is hosted by UM Memorial Hospital Foundation.

Guest presenter Patrick J. Fitzgerald, Esq., attorney at law with Charles T. Capute LLC will review the major considerations involved in writing a will, including: estate taxes, joint assets, coordinating beneficiary designations with overall estate planning, the Register of Wills, the cost of writing a will, and what happens in the case of  dying without a will.

A native of Talbot County, 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 undergraduate degrees in business administration and economics from the University of Pittsburgh, and Juris Doctor and Master of Laws in Taxation degrees as well as a Certificate in Estate Planning from the University of Baltimore School of Law.

The seminar is free but seating is limited; to reserve your space, contact Janet Andrews, 410-822-1000, ext. 5792 or janet@umm.edu.

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 CMG – Primary Care Announces Addition of Hope Honigsberg, FNP

Hope Honigsberg, FNP

University of Maryland Community Medical Group (UM CMG), announces the addition of Easton-based primary care provider Hope Honigsberg, FNP. Hope’s specialties include disease prevention, diagnosis of acute and chronic illnesses and patient education. She is seeing patients at 500 Cadmus Lane in Easton, Suite 211. Patients may make an appointment with Hope by calling 410-820-4880.

UM CMG is a University of Maryland Medical System-owned network of more than 300 primary care physicians, specialists- and advanced practice clinicians. As part of UM CMG, Hope is affiliated with UM Shore Regional Health.

Hope graduated from Walden University, where she earned her Master of Science in Nursing in the Family Nurse Practitioner program. Previously, she graduated from Stevenson University with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing.

“We are extremely excited to have Hope Honigsberg care for patients at our Primary Care practice,” comments Dr. William Huffner, Chief Medical Officer and Senior Vice President, Medical Affairs at UM Shore Regional Health. “Joining Drs. Carolyn Helmly, Kevin Tate, and advanced practice providers Shirley Seward and Katelyn Chapman, Hope’s previous nursing experience and education will make her a great asset to the practice and our patients.”

UM CMG consists of community-based provider practices affiliated with UM Shore Regional Health, UM Charles Regional Medical Center, University of Maryland Medical Center Midtown Campus and UM Baltimore Washington Medical Center.  A list of UM CMG providers is available at http://docfind.umms.org/cmg.

About the University of Maryland Community Medical Group  

The University of Maryland Community Medical Group (UM CMG) is a multi-hospital, multi-specialty, community-based physician-led group, and part of the University of Maryland Medical System. With more than 300 primary care physicians, specialists, and advanced practice clinicians in more than 75 locations across the state, UM CMG offers patients a vast network of highly experienced providers, delivering care right in their neighborhood. For more information, visit www.umcmg.org.

Governor Hogan Signs HB 829 to Benefit Mental Health Billing

On Tuesday, May 14, Governor Hogan signed House Bill 829, which will change the way that mental health services are provided in the state of Maryland. The bill prohibits private insurance carriers from rejecting an accredited community-based health care provider solely because the provider is a Licensed Graduate Social Worker (LGSW) or a Licensed Master Social Worker (LMSW). Public assistance has long been recognizing LGSWs and LMSWs as billable providers. Now, under HB 829, private carriers must follow suit.

For All Seasons Executive Director, Beth Anne Langrell, Delegate Jeff Ghrist (Caroline County), and the Mid Shore Behavioral Health Consortium worked on the bill for over two years. Langrell testified before the Senate, the House of Delegates Committees, and the Eastern Shore Delegation to help others understand the insurance billing challenges and how they affect individuals and families who need services.

(Back row, from left) Caroline County Delegate Jeff Ghrist, For All Seasons Executive Director, Beth Anne Langrell, and Legislative Assistant, Lois Dustin look on as Governor Hogan signs HB829.

According to Langrell, “People in need of care should not have to worry about whether they carry public or private insurance when scheduling a visit. HB 829 eliminates a long-standing discrepancy and simplifies getting more individuals the mental health services they need.”

Delegate Jeff Ghrist comments, “For so long private insurance holders have not received equal treatment in the ways their mental health services are billed. This bill helps to streamline access for people who need care, rather than complicate the process.”

The bill will go into effect on October 1, 2019.

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 to donate, call 410-822-1018 or visit forallseasonsinc.org.

Caroline Foundation Accepting Grant Requests

The Caroline Foundation, in partnership with the Mid-Shore Community Foundation, invites organizations that provide medical and/or health-related services to residents of Caroline County, Maryland to apply for FY 2020 grant funding.

Applicants must be nonprofit corporations with IRS tax-exempt status, or government-related entities.  Applications are online at http://www.mscf.org/caroline-foundation. The deadline for submission of FY 2020 grant applications is July 1, 2019.

Grant decisions and distributions will be made in October 2019.  The Caroline Foundation retains the right to accept or reject applications, suggest changes, and support grant requests in full, in part, or not at all.

Organizations that would like additional information about The Caroline Foundation’s grants process should contact Buck Duncan or Robbin Hill at the Mid-Shore Community Foundation, 410-820-8175  or  info@mscf.org.

Celebration of Life to be Held June 8

The Child Loss Support Group and Talbot Hospice will host a Celebration of Life commemorating Mother’s & Father’s Day Saturday, June 8, 2019, 10 a.m. at The Healing Garden at the Easton Club.

Parents and family members who have lost a child, regardless of the child’s age, are invited to attend. Parking is on Clubhouse Drive, just past the Easton Club entrance. In case of a storm, the Celebration of Life will be held at St. Mark’s Church Fellowship Hall.

“This memorial celebration offers families a time to honor and remember their special child. Children always live in our hearts, and sharing their light and love is part of this celebration,” said Vivian Dodge, Executive Director, Talbot Hospice.

For more information, contact Talbot Hospice Bereavement Coordinator Becky DeMattia at 410-822-6681 or bdemattia@talbothospice.org.

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