Senior Nation Fitness: Time to Take Care of Your Heart

February isScreen Shot 2017-02-14 at 8.12.13 AMand a great time to take care of your heart. The heart beats approximately 100,000 times a day to pump blood through the 60,000 miles of blood vessels. Just like other parts of the body the cardiovascular system is made stronger and more efficient with healthy behaviors like exercise and healthy eating and is negatively affected by unhealthy lifestyle choices like a sedentary lifestyle, smoking and poor eating habits. Just like the rest of the body the cardiovascular system experiences age related changes resulting in less efficient blood flow and greater risk of cardiovascular disease. The National Institute on Aging reported that 40% of all deaths in people between 65 and 74 are related to heart disease and 60% of deaths in people over 85 are related to heart disease

Although age related changes account for some of the risk of heart disease, lifestyle also plays an important role. The World Health Organization says that modifiable risk factors such as unhealthy diet, physical inactivity and smoking account for 80% of diagnosed cardiovascular disease. Other risk factors that can be modified by lifestyle choices include high blood pressure, high cholesterol, high blood sugar, and obesity.

The good news is that cardiovascular disease can be prevented and existing cardiovascular disease can be managed by participating in regular exercise, maintaining a healthy weight and healthy diet, avoiding smoking, and lowering cholesterol, blood pressure and blood sugar levels. Exercise has been proven to play a vital role in the prevention and management of cardiovascular disease.

The American Heart Association (AHA) and the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) recommend that all people participate in 150 min of moderate intensity physical activity a week, to decrease risk of cardiovascular disease. This would include activities that increase heart rate and blood flow such as walking, jogging, swimming or riding a bike. ACSM also recommends that anyone not accustomed to regular exercise or experiencing symptoms that might be related to cardiovascular disease (dizziness, shortness of breath, chest pain) consult a medical professional prior to beginning an exercise program.

Kimberly Huff, MS, CSCS
Fitness Director
Heron Point of Chestertown

Senior Nation Tips: Do Less, But Do it Better

A recent Washington Post Home Section had an interesting piece dealing with people, in general, having a common sense of feeling overwhelmed, all of the time. This certainly applies to those in the “older” group.

The Post reported that, “We’re driving ourselves crazy trying to do everything, instead of identifying ways to do fewer things and a few things better.”

They offered five suggestions on how one might simplify and prioritize his/her “to-day” lists as well as to think through what can be  eliminated or integrated. And, perhaps most important, when they can say no.

Turn off your cellphone at the same time each night: The endless emails and texts that arrive on our computers and phones, 24 hours a day, are a major reason we feel constantly overwhelmed. There’s never a break in the action. The Post Home Section recommends that you turn off your phone and computer each night at 9:00 PM and wait until the next day to deal with whatever may have come up.

Manage expectations about having a clean and tidy home: No matter how hard you work at keeping your house spotless and orderly, it’s a battle you’re never going to win. So think about which spaces are nonnegotiable – those areas that you absolutely need to have clean and tidy – and just let the other rooms go. It will vary from household to household. No-one’s house looks like a picture in a magazine anyway.

Don’t try to attend every social event: Many people feel guilty if they are unable to attend every social event to which they are invited. It’s okay if you are not at every event. No one will think less of you if you are not at every event.

Find at least two things you can delegate: It can be easier to do household work ourselves rather than explain it to someone else (and then worry that it’s not being done correctly). We just do it ourselves.

But it’s important that we delegate tasks when we can, even if the person doing them doesn’t do them the way we would. Asking for help, is not a sign of weakness, it’s a sign of leadership and efficiency.

Schedule time to do something for yourself: Make yourself a priority. This is not selfish. If you don’t schedule time to do things you need and want to do, it will make you less organized. Block off time on your calendar and commit to giving yourself at least an hour or two each week when you are doing something for yourself. If you don’t give yourself a break, no one else will.

Senior Nation Fitness: Staying Balanced in the New Year – Part Three

There are many systems in the body that work together to maintain balance. There are medical conditions and environmental conditions that challenge the body’s ability to maintain balance and increase the risk of falling. The good news is, there are simple things that can be done to improve balance and decrease the risk of falling:

Using night lights and eliminating trip hazards will reduce the risk of falling in the dark.

Being aware of obstacles and changes in surfaces inside and outside of the home, such as curbs, walking across grass or going from carpet to tile flooring. This is especially important when carrying grocery bags, laundry baskets or boxes.

Participate in vision screenings. Wearing proper glasses can improve vision and decrease the risk of falling. Bifocals can make it difficult to walk on uneven surfaces or climb stairs, remove glasses if possible.

Discuss all medical conditions and medications with physicians to determine if they increase the risk of falling. Also discuss symptoms that can increase risk of falling such as dizziness, lightheadedness, shortness of breath, fatigue, numbness in the feet, and joint or muscular pain.

There may be simple solutions that will improve functional mobility and decrease the risk of falling.

The American College of Sports Medicine recommends that adults 65 and over participate in an exercise program that includes balance exercises a minimum of twice a week. Balance exercises should challenge static (stationary) and dynamic (moving) balance. Standing on one foot for 10 to 30 sec will challenge static balance. Marching in place or alternating tapping your heel on a step for 20 or 30 sec will challenge dynamic balance.

Exercises that strengthen the legs and torso and stretching exercises will also improve posture, allow for more stable movements and reduce the risk of falling. A certified fitness professional will be able to provide specific recommendations to improve or maintain balance. A Physical Therapist could also provide recommendations to improve balance if medical conditions are increasing the risk of falling or if balance concerns are limiting mobility.


Kimberly Huff, MS
Fitness Director
Heron Point of Chestertown


Senior Nation: Stress and the Holidays

It’s officially the holiday season and, according to William C. Cox of the Baltimore Washington Disc Institute and Odenton Chiropractic Holistic Wellness Center, it also can be an extremely stressful and hectic time.

Making preparations for holiday meals, planning parties, coordinating schedule and shopping for gifts must be accomplished on top of everyday tasks.

All of these things add up and can really take a major toll on our minds and bodies.

These emotional stressors don’t just affect our heads, but also lead to physical tension, pain and a whole array of other health issues. When we experience stress, our bodies react by releasing the stress hormone Cortisol.

Cortisol is a hormone related to our fight or flight response. Although this response is our body’s way of protecting us in potentially dangerous situations, when activated repeatedly over a period of time, a vicious cycle in thrown into motion. When we experience repetitive stress, the protective responses in our body actually become harmful.

When cortisol levels in the blood are chronically high, inflammation in your body skyrockets. This causes all sorts of pain and muscle tension throughout the body.

One example of this that you may be familiar with is tension you might experience in your neck, shoulder and upper back when you are stressed or tense. Many people “hold their stress” in these or other areas. Then, to make matters worse, these aches and pains create even more emotional stress. Not only are you stressed out mentally, but now
are in pain. The vicious cycle begins.

Chiropractic can be a very effective means to relieve chronic pain, muscle tension, aching joints, headaches and other related problems. During this stressful time, Chiropractic care treatment can break this cycle, ensure your body is working properly and get you back on track of feeling healthy and less stressed.

Your Chiropractor may not be able to do your shopping, planning, cooking or thousand other things on your to-do list, but at least you can feel better and healthier so you can survive the holidays.

UM Shore Regional Health Sponsors Largest Health Event in Kent County

University of Maryland Shore Regional Health is a leading sponsor of the upcoming HomePorts Health & Wellness Expo set for Thursday, October 20, 8:30 a.m. – 1 p.m. at Kent County High School.


UM Shore Medical Center at Chestertown team members Sherrie Hill, left, and Kelly Bottomley.

UM SRH has been actively involved with the HomePorts Expo since its inception in 2011. As a lead sponsor, UM SRH contributed $5,000 to this year’s event, which HomePorts staff have predicted will be the largest health event ever held in Kent County.

In addition to its lead sponsorship, UM SRH will be well represented at the event by expert treatment providers and health educators offering presentations on a variety of key health issues. These experts include: Bobbi Atkinson, CRNP, UM Center for Diabetes & Endocrinology; Stephanie Blades, a nurse and licensed massage therapist, UM SRH Center for Integrative Medicine; Katie Davis, clinical supervisor, UM Chester River Home; Sharon Dundon, outpatient addictions program specialist, Shore Behavioral Health Substance Disorders Program; Mary King, nutrition services coordinator, UM Shore Medical Center at Chestertown; and Stewart Seitz, director, UM Shore Nursing and Rehabilitation Center.

In addition to these expert presentations, UM Shore Regional Health staff from diverse departments will be on hand at the Expo to share information with visitors about prevention strategies and access to care related to breast cancer, diabetes and wound care, fall prevention, heart health, home care, medication safety, men’s health, neurosurgery, palliative care, rehabilitation and long-term care, respiratory and sleep, stroke, and women’s health and ob-gyn.

“We at UM Shore Regional Health are committed to supporting HomePorts in its efforts to expand access to important health and wellness information for all citizens,” says Ken Kozel, president and CEO, UM SRH. “We have been strong supporters of HomePorts for several years and look forward to working with this key Kent County organization on more initiatives that support our mission of Creating Healthier Communities Together.”

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.

Christine Clarke Named to New Position at UM Shore Regional Health

clarkeChristine Clarke, who previously worked at UM Shore Regional Health for 15 years, has returned health care network in the new, regional position of service excellence coach-trainer. Clarke, who resides in Easton, was director of Leadership and Workforce Development at Shore Regional Health in 2015 when she became director of Leadership and Organization Development/Consulting Services for the University of Maryland Medical System.

“Christine’s return is an exciting development for everyone at UM Shore Regional Health,” says Susan Coe, senior vice president, Human Resources and chief experience officer. “Our organization knows firsthand how effective she is in motivating people and teams to achieve higher goals, and in providing the tools to make their success possible. In her new role, she will educate leaders, team members, volunteers, and other stakeholders in the tools and tactics of our Patient, Family, Team Member, and Physician Engagement programs.”

“I’m thrilled and honored to be back on the Shore full-time and in this new role as service excellence coach–trainer,” says Clarke, who began her new position on October 3. “I am looking forward to working with everyone at UM Shore Regional Health to achieve positive changes in the culture of our organization that will improve the care of our patients and the environment in which we provide that care.”

Clarke’s professional credentials include: certification from the University of Maryland/University College as a Training and Development Specialist; a Human Performance Improvement Specialist Certificate (HPI) from the American Society for Training and Development (ATD); and completion of the Leadership Development Institute offered through the University of Maryland/ University College and Center for Creative Leadership in North Carolina; and the ACTP certificate in Leadership Coaching from Georgetown University. ACTP is one of the few coaching programs accredited by the International Coach Federation (ICF), the largest worldwide resource for business and personal coaches. In addition, she completed the Associate Certified Coach (ACC) designation with the ICF.

October 20 Health Expo Becomes Mega Event

The free Health and Wellness Expo being held Thursday, October 20, 2016, from 8am to 1:30pm at Kent County High School in Worton, features an unsurpassed number of health screenings, exhibits, and expert talks— a one-stop, one day opportunity geared to all ages.

HomePorts, Inc. and Kent County Public Schools, in partnership with the Kent County Health Department, the University of Maryland Shore Regional Health, and Anne Arundel Medical Center, have enlisted over 80 exhibitors and arranged for ten expert talks. In addition, hospitals will have free screenings for lung function, pulmonary health, stroke risk, balance and fall risks, and pre-diabetes checks. Local dentists will conduct free oral health screenings, and local vision specialists will check eye health.

Free flu shots are available to those without insurance, compliments of Walgreen’s. Attendees can experience the results of distracted driving using the Texting While Driving Virtual Reality Simulator, a collaboration between the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration and AT&T. In addition to over 50 health and wellness exhibits, exhibitors include legal and financial services, food vendors, safety advocates, and home modification companies—a plethora of information about local resources.

Ten “Ask the Expert” talks will be held throughout the morning on topics ranging from new cancer findings to weight management and vitamin needs. Local health care practitioners are featured who are donating their time to answer questions and offer free guidance and information.

Topping off the day at 1pm will be a presentation by Deborah Mizeur, Co-Chair of the Rural Health Care Workgroup formed by the 2016 Maryland General Assembly to study and make recommendations on rural hospitals in the state. She will discuss “Designing an Integrated Health System for the Eastern Shore.”

“I encourage everybody to plan their time so they can come out to this. We’re doing this to help Kent County stay healthy. It’s an unprecedented opportunity,” said Wayne Benjamin, MD, local primary care physician and Chair of the Planning Committee.

As a local nonprofit organization serving the aging population in Kent County, HomePorts understands the importance of health care and preventive medicine, and maintains an active role in the community. Kent County strives to be a “community for a lifetime.” The aging population needs those of all ages to have access to preventive health screenings, wellness programs, and latest health, wellness and safety information.

For more information, call 443-480-0940, email or visit

Talbot Hospice Appoints Four New Board Members

Four new members were recently appointed to the board of directors at Talbot Hospice. They include Jack Batty, Steve Burleson, Dr. Ludy Eglseder and Steve Slack. “We are pleased to welcome this distinguished group of community leaders to our Board,” said Susan Piggott, outgoing President of the Board of Directors. “Each of them brings diverse talents and experience as well as passion and commitment to our mission.”

(Front l-r) Outgoing Talbot Hospice board president Susan Piggott and incoming board president Diane Rohman. (Back l-r) New Talbot Hospice board members Steve Burleson, Ludy Eglseder, M.D., Steve Slack and Jack Batty.

(Front l-r) Outgoing Talbot Hospice board president Susan Piggott and incoming board president Diane Rohman. (Back l-r) New Talbot Hospice board members Steve Burleson, Ludy Eglseder, M.D., Steve Slack and Jack Batty.

Jack Batty is a retired media and communication executive who spent 35 years at General Electric Company, where he also served as executive director of GE Elfun, the company’s volunteer service organization. A history/journalism major, he has a BA from Ohio Wesleyan University. His board experience includes Critchlow Adkins Children’s Centers in Easton; Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge, Massachusetts; Fresh Air Friendly Town of New York and Pittsfield, Massachusetts, and the YMCA of Pittsfield. Batty moved from Connecticut to Easton in 2001. Currently he volunteers with the Food Link surplus food distribution program.

Steve Burleson was a Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of eBay and PayPal from 2006 – 2015. He has 35 years’ experience in start-up environments and Fortune 500 global organizations in the technology, retail, distribution and financial services industries. Burleson is a CPA with an accounting degree from George Mason University. He currently serves on the advisory boards of Treatment Diaries and Pay2Day Solutions. Past board seats include Bill Float in San Francisco and Paragon Financial Corp in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida. Burleson will serve as Treasurer of Talbot Hospice.

Ludy Eglseder, M.D. comes back to the Talbot Hospice board after a three-year hiatus. He has been practicing general internal medicine in Talbot County since 1986. Eglseder received both his undergraduate and medical degrees from University of Maryland. He is a member of the American College of Physicians, the Medical and Chirurgical Faculty of Maryland, the Alpha Omega Alpha Medical Honor Society and the American Society of Internal Medicine.

Steve Slack retired from Tyco International Corporation in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, where he was the Vice President of Sales, Telecom Division, for North and Central America. Slack has a B.S. in Economics from University of Vermont. He and his wife, Anne, moved to Easton in 2013. Slack served in the U.S. Navy from 1965-1969 as Supply Officer aboard the USS WASP. He was Logistics Officer, Naval Support Activity, DaNang, Vietnam and was awarded the Navy Achievement Medal with combat “V.” He was honorably discharged as Lieutenant (jg). Board service includes the United Fund Appeal Board and Eastern Shore Navy League. Slack volunteers at Choices Pregnancy Center and at Talbot Hospice as a cook, companion and end-of-life Doula.

Leaving the board are Addie Eckardt, John Merceron, Cammie Passarella, Lee Phillips and J.T. Smith. Piggott said, “These board members have been tireless ambassadors for Talbot Hospice during their tenure, and have made immeasurable contributions to the well-being of our institution. We have been fortunate and honored to benefit from their time and talents as they helped shepherd Talbot Hospice through the past several years.”

Assuming the leadership role of board president is Diane Rohman who has served on the board for two years and who will follow Susan Piggott. “I am just thrilled to be a part of such a dynamic group of board and staff members,” said Rohman. “The hospice philosophy and mission are near and dear to my heart, and I look forward to being an integral part of ensuring that we continue to provide the highest standard of excellence in the care we deliver to those who need our services at the end of life.” Rohman has been an administrative volunteer since 2009 and was co-chair of the 35th anniversary Barn Dance celebration in April, 2016.

UM Shore Regional Health Partners with The Orthopedic Center

TOC SRH LogoThe Orthopedic Center and University of Maryland Shore Regional Health have entered into a partnership that will strengthen orthopedic care in the area for years to come. Now known as The Orthopedic Center – a Partner of University of Maryland Shore Regional Health, the practice will continue to provide the same exceptional care for conditions related to the neck, spine, hands, feet and joints at its existing locations.

The Center’s team of physicians, advance practice providers, athletic trainers and physical therapists includes Myron Szczukowski, Jr., MD; Thomas Stauch, MD; Richard Mason, MD; James Palumbo, MD; William Montague, Jr., MD; Jason Jancosko, DO, MPT; Glenn Hardy, MD; Karen Luethy, PA-C; John Vandever, PA-C; and Caryn Calka, PA-C. The Orthopedic Center team members continue on the Center staff.

The Orthopedic Center has long served as a strong supporter of community sports, offering athletic training services from a Certified Athletic Trainer and physician participation in various local high school sports. This support will continue to be a hallmark of The Orthopedic Center practice.

“Our team is very excited about the recent partnership, which solidifies the long-time affiliation The Orthopedic Center has shared with Shore Regional Health,” says Thomas Stauch, M.D, orthopedic surgeon. “This partnership allows the practice to continue to use full resources of Shore Regional Health for the residents of the Eastern Shore and patients will continue to receive the high-quality, comprehensive care they have grown accustomed to.”

The Orthopedic Center – a Partner of UM Shore Regional Health – sees patients in Easton at 510 Idlewild Avenue, as well as UM Shore Medical Pavilion at Queenstown, located at 125 Shoreway Drive, suite 270. Surgical procedures are offered at the Surgery Center of Easton, UM Shore Medical Center at Easton and UM Shore Surgery Center at Queenstown. The orthopedic providers will continue to play the leading role on the hospital’s joint replacement team at Easton.

“This integration of care is another building block of quality clinical care in our community,” says Kenneth D. Kozel, president and CEO of UM SRH. “With great pride, we will work together toward the organization’s vision of being the region’s leader in patient-centered care.”

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.

About The Orthopedic Center – a Partner of UM Shore Regional Health: The Orthopedic Center serves community members of the mid shore covering  neck, spine, hands, feet and joint needs. The Orthopedic Center staff consists of Board Certified Surgeons, a Physiatrist, and three Physician Assistants offering a multi-specialty approach to patients.

Managing Chronic Pain is Focus of Free Six-Week Program to be Offered in Easton

barbara jarrell

Barbara V. Jarrell

More Americans suffer from chronic pain than from diabetes, stroke, coronary disease and cancer combined, according to the National Academy of Science’s Institute of Medicine. The suffering takes many forms, as more than 70 percent of those reporting chronic pain indicate that depression, poor concentration and/or low energy are among the effects.

Traditionally, the medical approach to pain has been to identify and treat the cause. However, reports from the Institute of Medicine show that chronic pain can outlast the illness or injury that caused it, altering the nervous system so that pain – persistent and amplified — becomes its own disease.

On a more encouraging note, research also has shown that individuals dealing with chronic pain can benefit from strategies to help manage it. One of the more successful programs in this regard, the Chronic Pain Self-Management Program (CPSMP), will be offered locally, Wednesdays, July 13 – August 17, 5:30-8p.m. at University of Maryland Shore Regional Health’s Center for Integrative Medicine in Easton.

This six-week interactive program, taught by Barbara V. Jarrell, coordinator for the Mid-Shore Chronic Disease Self-Management Program, is offered free of charge with the optional purchase of a workbook for $20. Past participants in this course have cited rheumatoid arthritis, work-related and other injuries, car accidents and various chronic diseases as the precipitating causes of their pain.

Research conducted by clinics where CPSMP has been provided have shown that overall, patients who have completed the program report less pain and dependence on others, more vitality, higher activity levels, improved mental health and greater overall satisfaction than those who have not taken the program.

The Center for Integrative Medicine is located at 522 Cynwood Lane, Suite #300 in Easton. Advance registration for the CPSMP is required due to limited class size. For information about the course, including registration, contact Barbara V. Jarrell, 410-310-2331.