4th Annual Memorial Walk to Benefit Talbot Hospice

Talbot Hospice will hold its 4th Annual Memorial Walk on Oxford Day, Saturday, April 27th at 8 a.m. Check-in, a light breakfast, and memorial activity begin at 7 a.m.The public is invited to walk in memory or in honor of a loved one to benefit hospice and bereavement services in Talbot County.  The event will begin with a brief ceremony followed by a 0.8-mile walk to the Strand, finishing at 8:30 a.m. with a dove release and another opportunity to remember loved ones who have passed.

Participants in the 2018 Talbot Hospice Memorial Walk.

“Our Memorial Walk is a wonderful time to remember and honor the lives of our loved ones,” said Vivian Dodge, Executive Director, Talbot Hospice. “It is a time to reflect on their gifts and uniqueness. We are grateful to the Oxford Day Committee and the Town of Oxford for recognizing the value of end-of-life care and including Talbot Hospice in this event. We look forward to spending this special time with our hospice family members.”

Registration for adults is $25, students are $10, and children 12 and under are free.  The fee includes an adult t-shirt and light breakfast.  Check-in and breakfast begin at 7 a.m. New this year is “Support a Walker” available through the website. To register visit TalbotHospice.org/events or call 410-822-6681. For more information, contact Laura Richeson at lricheson@talbothospice.org.

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.

Talbot Hospice Hosts Free Events for National Healthcare Decisions Day

In recognition of National Healthcare Decisions Day, April 16, 2019, Talbot Hospice will host three free public events in April. According to Vivian Dodge, Executive Director, Talbot Hospice, National Healthcare Decisions Day exists to inspire, educate, and empower the public and providers about the importance of advance healthcare planning and making your wishes known. “We like to ask individuals if they were suddenly unable to speak for themselves in the event of an illness or accident, do their loved ones and physicians know what their wishes and preferences are for the kind of medical care they want,” said Dodge. “It’s never too early to start thinking about giving this gift to your family and taking away the burden of making those decisions for you.”

On Tuesday, April 16, 9 a.m. at Brookletts Place – Talbot Senior Center, Lindy Barton, LGSW, will lead a discussion about the importance of making advance healthcare decisions and sharing your wishes with your loved ones and physicians. Barton will assist participants with understanding their options and completing advance directive paperwork, including America’s most popular living will – Five Wishes – an easy-to-use legal document written in everyday language.

On Thursday, April 18, 4 p.m. Maryland Community for Life-Talbot and Talbot Hospice are partnering to host Talbot Conversations: Making Your End-of-Life Wishes Known at Talbot Hospice, 586 Cynwood Drive, Easton. Talbot Hospice Executive Director Vivian Dodge will discuss strategies to share end-of-life care preferences with family, how to identify a healthcare agent, and ways to start the conversation about your choices. Refreshments will be served.

On Tuesday, April 30, 10 a.m., Talbot Hospice will screen the film Being Mortal, a documentary that explores the hopes of patients and families facing terminal illness and their relationships with the physicians who treat them. Afterwards, Molly Kirsch, Talbot Hospice Clinical Director, will address comments and questions about the film and discuss the steps we can take to make sure that our own wishes and those of our loved ones are expressed and respected.

Registration for these events is encouraged and can be made by calling 410-822-6681.

Talbot Hospice, founded in 1981, is Talbot County’s premier resource for hospice, palliative care, and grief support services. For more information about Talbot Hospice programs and events visit TalbotHospice.org.

Talbot Special Riders Celebrates Rebranding to Positive Strides

It was a sunny, warm afternoon on March 30, 2019 when over 100 supporters gathered to witness and celebrate the rebranding of Talbot Special Riders to Positive Strides, a Therapeutic Riding Center.

In October 2018, the board of directors voted unanimously to change the organization’s name to better reflect who they are and how they benefit their riders. “We’ve spent the last several months strategizing, planning and working towards this day,” said Kim Hopkins, executive director of Positive Strides.

Caroline County Sheriff Randy Bounds, Positive Strides Executive Director Kim Hopkins, and Caroline County Commissioner Wilbur Levengood (Photo by Greg Sharp).

“We celebrated the day with our volunteers, donors, corporate sponsors, clients, caregivers, community partners, and local and state leaders,” said Hopkins. “Their support has allowed us to provide life-changing therapies to residents of the Eastern Shore with physical, cognitive and emotional challenges.“ Dignitaries in attendance included Senator Addie Eckardt, Caroline County Commissioner Wilbur Levengood and Caroline County Sheriff Randy Bounds.

The new name, Positive Strides, reinforces the confidence, self-esteem and optimism that riders achieve through its programs. From autism and addiction recovery to PTSD and cerebral palsy, equine therapy can play a powerful role in giving a person the confidence and skills they need to live a fulfilling life. The CATCH Rider program helps youth at risk and adults recovering from family violence and sexual abuse. Just brushing and interacting with a horse can calm a person with dementia or help someone with depression.

As part of the rebrand, Positive Strides launched a new website www.positivestridescenter.org and updated its Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/PositiveStridesCenter/.

About Positive Strides
Founded in 1981, Positive Strides’ mission is to build confidence, self-esteem and a sense of accomplishment for individuals with physical, cognitive and emotional needs by utilizing equine-assisted activities and therapies. It is a registered nonprofit organization and an active member of the Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International.

Documentary Screening and Discussion of “Resilience” at the Avalon Theatre

It’s natural for adults to reminisce about childhood being an idyllic time devoid of responsibilities and the pressures of adulthood. The reality, however, is another thing altogether.

In fact, according to the Health Resources and Services Administration’s 2016 National Survey of Children’s Health, more than 46 percent of U.S. children under the age of 18 have experienced at least one traumatic event called adverse childhood experiences or ACEs. Nationally 21.7 percent of children under 18 have experienced at least two ACEs while in Maryland 15.4 percent of children have had at least two ACEs.

ACEs include a variety of traumatic events including parental divorce, physical and sexual abuse, witnessing violence or abuse and neglect. These events not only impact children while they are happening, but also well into adulthood where they can show up as physical or emotional conditions such as depression, alcoholism and substance abuse as well as chronic medical conditions like heart and liver diseases.

Award-winning filmmaker James Redford, director and co-producer of Resilience: The Biology of Stress & the Science of Hope.

The good news is that’s not the end of the story. Through child abuse prevention programs as well as teaching resilience skills, child advocates can help children and families heal thereby mitigating ACEs’ potential long-term affects.

This inspiring message is the theme of an upcoming film screening and discussion called “A Night of Hope,” which will take place on Thursday, April 18 at the Avalon Theatre, 40 E. Dover Street in Easton.

At the event, the film Resilience: The Biology of Stress & the Science of Hope will be shown at two screenings, 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. The documentary is one hour long. The event is free. Reservations are required. To RSVP for the screening, visit bit.ly/2XUXmie. For more information, call (410) 770-5369 or email Cheryl.younker@maryland.gov. For more information on the film, visit https://kpjrfilms.co/resilience/.

The event will feature the film’s director James Redford who will lead discussions after both screenings. “We started making Resilience to make this science digestible and relevant to everyone, and to showcase some of the brave and creative individuals who are putting that science into action. There is a growing group of pediatricians, educators and communities who are proving that cycles of disease and adversity can be broken,” Redford says.

For Shari Blades, Assistant Director for Adult Services and Child Welfare, Talbot County Department of Social Services, watching the film triggered a personal aha moment. “Earlier this year I sat in the audience and watched Resilience and listened to a panel discussion afterwards,” says Blades, who is coordinating April’s event. “I knew then that we had to bring that message of hope to the Shore,” she adds.

Her colleague and Coordinator of the Talbot County Children’s Advocacy Center, Lauren Krasko agrees. “Each day we work as a multidisciplinary team to serve the needs of children and their families going through trauma. Healing from ACEs and providing the tools for families to better cope with challenges to mitigate the impact of ACEs are the way we can rewrite their stories,” she says.

“In addition,” says Linda Webb, Talbot County Department of Social Services Director, “we’d like to continue learning about how we can prevent adverse childhood experiences in the first place. Our goal in hosting the Night of Hope is to promote awareness about how, as a community, we can build resilience in children, families and, ultimately, in our community as a whole,” she adds.

Talbot County Children’s Advocacy Center (CAC) and the Talbot County Department of Social Services will host A Night of Hope in partnership with Talbot County Public Schools, Talbot County Health Department, CASA of the Mid-Shore, For All Seasons, Mid Shore Behavioral Health, Talbot County Department of Emergency Services, Talbot County Sheriff’s Office and Talbot Partnership. The event is one of a series of events and activities happening in April to draw attention to National Child Abuse Prevention Month.

Other National Child Abuse Prevention events being planned include a ribbon-hanging event at the Talbot County Children’s Advocacy Center, which will be held on Tuesday, April 2 at noon. During the event, CAC partners will tie 76 ribbons on a tree at the University of Maryland Shore Medical Center, 219 S. Washington St., Easton. Each ribbon acknowledges a child served by the Talbot County Children’s Advocacy Center (CAC) during the past year. After the event, the CAC will hold an open house with tours from 1 to 3 p.m.

In addition, every Thursday in April, Doc’s Sunset Grille, 104 W. Pier Street, Oxford, will donate 15 percent of all sales to the Talbot County Children’s Advocacy Center and Talbot Community Connections, a nonprofit arm of the Talbot County Department of Social Services.

Founded in 2003, the Talbot County Children’s Advocacy Center offers comprehensive, multidisciplinary responses to alleged incidences of child sexual and physical abuse. Housed at the University of Maryland Shore Medical Center at Easton, the CAC works in partnership with law enforcement agencies, the state’s attorney’s office, medical professionals and child advocates so that mid-shore children and families impacted by sexual or physical abuse can heal. For more information, visit talbotcac.org, call (410) 820-7141 or email or talbot.cac1@maryland.gov.

Qlarant Senior Pharmacist Named Chair of ImmunizeDC Committee

Qlarant Sr. Pharmacist, Jennifer Thomas, PharmD, has been selected by ImmunizeDC a community group dedicated to promoting complete vaccine protection, to Chair their Special Projects Committee.  Thomas will lead this team to coordinate and oversee six workgroups focused on improving immunizations in the District of Columbia.

The six workgroups will focus on topics such as increasing the effective use of immunizations, educating providers about best revised practices, strengthening school requirements, and expanding awareness of immunizations and vaccines.

ImmunizeDC’s revised operational structure includes an Advisory Committee, which is comprised of the ImmunizeDC Chair, Vice Chair and Secretary, as well as several representatives from DC Health and the Chair of the Special Projects Committee. All of the current Work Groups will now fall under the Special Projects Committee, with the goal of streamlining and focusing on a few key initiatives.

Qlarant is very proud of the work of Dr. Thomas!

About Qlarant

Qlarant is a not-for-profit nationally respected leader in fighting fraud, waste & abuse, improving program quality, Agile Transformation, 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 over 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.

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 visit www.qlarant.com.

March Into Recovery for Women with Addiction Abuse April 13

The Second Annual fundraising event March into Recovery celebrating and supporting Mid-Shore Restoring Hope in Women service to women with addiction abuse will be taking place on April 13th, 2019 in Denton, Maryland.

More information is available at Restoringhopeinwomen.com.

March into Recovery will begin at 10am on Saturday April 13th at the Caroline County 4h park on 8230 Detour Road, Denton Maryland. Our focus is on those needing help finding recovery for a better way of life. Featuring more than 20 Small Businesses and Informational Recovery Resources, Gift Baskets Raffle,  Silent Auction, Face Painting, Bouncy House and Food! March into Recovery is sure to be a day of hope, courage and inspiration.

Mid Shore Restoring Hope in Women believes that every woman counts! Founded in 2013 by Sherry Collier and Cathy Bowrey, sisters, whom at the time were searching for resources for their sons who were battling their own addiction, they realized there was little to no help for women. That is when they decided to come together and provide financial relief to women actively seeking recovery. Since beginning in 2013, the foundation has relied solely on donations by individuals and organizations to provide safe housing for women battling addiction.

Admission for the event is FREE! Everyone is encouraged to attend, this will be a family friendly event. Guest speakers include Mark and Amy, who have battled their way back from addiction will tell their story. As well as Cathy and Sherry both founders of Mid-Shore Restoring Hope in Women.

Donations for the silent auction and gift basket raffle are still being accepted. To find out more about this please feel free to call Jewell at 410-739-7676 or email at Hopeinwomen13@gmail.com.

There will be donation jars set up at the event for anonymous or drop off donations. As well as you can donate directly at Restoringhopeinwomen.com.

The greatest gift you can give someone battling addiction, is the gift of recovery. The gift of a new way of life. Please join our efforts in making this a reality for women!

Ferree Fund Supports Talbot Palliative Care

Talbot Palliative Care is pleased to announce it has received a $15,000 grant from the Ferree Fund of the Mid-Shore Community Foundation to support their new community home-based palliative care program for individuals with chronic, serious illnesses, and those who care for them. Talbot Palliative Care is dedicated to improving the quality of life for both the patient and the family, whether the disease is curable, chronic, or life limiting. Talbot Palliative Care, a program of Talbot Hospice, provides consultative services and clinical oversight of an individual’s care and works with community physicians to manage symptoms.

The Mid-Shore Community Foundation awards grants through a competitive application and review process and is committed to programs that enrich the quality of life in the Mid-Shore region.The Ferree Fund is named for Margaret B. Ferree, who for 44 years until her death in 2011, was the embodiment of stewardship and generosity in the Mid-Shore region.

From L-R: Talbot Palliative Care Coordinator Shantel Matthews, RN, Talbot Hospice Executive Director Vivian Dodge, Charles Capute, Esquire, who oversees the Ferree Fund, and Mid-Shore Community Foundation President Buck Duncan.

“We are delighted to have the support of the Mid-Shore Community Foundation,” said Vivian Dodge, executive director of Talbot Hospice.  “Charitable donations make a significant impact on the quality of services and programs we can provide to patients and families.  We are excited about our new palliative care program and the partnerships we are forming with local physicians to support their patients at home.”  To schedule an appointment to learn more about Talbot Palliative Care, call 410-822-2040 or email Shantel Matthews, RN, at smatthews@talbothospice.org.

The Mid-Shore Community Foundation is a 501(c)(3) public charity serving Caroline, Dorchester, Kent, Queen Anne’s and Talbot Counties. The Foundation works with donors and non-profits to create access to opportunity for the region’s citizens through the power of charitable giving. For more information on the Mid-Shore Community Foundation, establishing a fund, or charitable giving in the region, please call 410-820-8175 or visit the Foundation’s website www.mscf.org.

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.

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.

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