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

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

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

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 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

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

UM SRH Celebrates Nursing Excellence at Annual Awards Presentation

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

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

The 2019 Shore Regional Health Nurse Excellence Award winners are:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Speech-Language Therapy Services offered by UM Shore Regional Health

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

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

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

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

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



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Huffner Honored by the Maryland Academy of Physician Assistants

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

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

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

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

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

Talbot County Foster Parents Attend 2019 Resource Parent Conference

Foster parents across the Mid Shore recently gathered for the 2019 Resource Parent Conference, featuring Tony Hynes, a former foster youth who wrote the memoir, “The Son with Two Moms.”  After spending time in foster care for the first few years of his life, Hynes was adopted by his parents Mary and Janet in the mid 1990s. His family faced a custody battle with his birth family, who felt his adoptive parents, two white women, were not the right people to raise him.

Hynes’ presentation, “Let’s Talk About Our Families: Best Practices for Resource Parents,” focused on his experience of growing up as a transracial adoptee, former foster youth, and as a child growing up in a same-sex headed household. He is currently pursuing his PhD focusing on racial connectedness among transracial adoptees and facilitates the Transracial Adoption Group (TAG) at Family Works Together. Hynes advocates for families like his while serving on the Board of Directors for Rainbow Families.

He shared with foster parents; “Biases shape interactions with children in foster care and with birth families. Their stories started before they were in a foster home . . . Children are the owners of their own stories, you just hold the pages. It is up to you to share the book, but timing is everything.”

Back row L-R: Jeff Scharf, Audrey Hansen, Tyvon Horsey, George Wright, Kathy Jenkins, and Tyron Wilson. Front row L-R: Jeanne Scharf, Suzy Warrington, Glenda Dawson, Emprin Wilson, and Sharon Caldwell.

He added, “Details matter. I think about children in foster care not knowing the details of their lives and how it makes them feel. It is helpful to share with children when they can get therapy and process [these details] as children.”

Hynes went on to share with participants other ways foster parents can help their children and show them they care about them, including being there for them in school, letting them choose their school, reviewing their class curriculum, interacting with their teachers, getting involved in school events, and serving on school boards.

The 2019 Resource Parent Conference also featured workshops for foster parents on the Power of Healing Relationships for Traumatized Children in Foster Care; Beyond Cutting: An In-Depth Look at Self-Injurious Behaviors; Raising Children in Social Equity; Understanding Trauma and Sexualized Behavior in Children and Teens; Infant, Youth and Adult CPR; Caring for LGBTQ Youth; If Behaviors Aren’t Making Sense, Maybe It’s Sensory; Managing the Triad; and Drug Trends and Identification.

May is Foster Parent Appreciation Month. For information on becoming a foster or adoptive parent, contact the Talbot County Department of Social Services at 410-820-7371. An information session will be held on Wednesday, July 17 from 6 to 7:30 p.m. at the Caroline County Department of Social Services located at 207 S. Third Street, Denton, MD.

Easton Middle School Students Support People in Recovery

As part of a service learning project, students in Mrs. Lauri Bell’s 8th grade Health classes presented care packages to Chesapeake Treatment Services, LLC.  The care packages will be given to people seeking treatment for addiction.  The 8th graders donated approximately 120 care packages, posters with encouraging sayings, and inspirational art work. With every care package, the students included notes of encouragement to the recipient.

Susan Knade and Matt James from Chesapeake Treatment Services, LLC visited Easton Middle School to pick up the care packages. Although this is not the first time Mrs. Bell has offered this project to her classes, the response this year was outstanding.  “I am very proud of my students for their generosity, and creativity,” said Mrs. Bell.  “It was wonderful to see their enthusiastic participation in this project!”

Chesapeake Treatment Services’ clinics are dedicated to the recovery of individuals struggling with opioid addiction.The mission of Chesapeake Treatment Services is to help every patient break the cycle of addiction and to get on the pathway to sustained long-term recovery.  They provide affordable care in a respectful and welcoming environment.  Find more information on their website at

7th Annual Claws for a Cause Set for July 11

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

For more information on how to become a sponsor, or to register for the crab feast, please visit or contact Amy Lowe, 410-822-1000, ext. 5763.

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.

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