Monthly Archives: December 2013

Holiday Message from Kenneth Kozel, President and CEO

In the midst of the holiday season and on the cusp of a new year, it always brings me joy and pride to reflect upon the year ending.  In 2013, the many accomplishments of University of Maryland Shore Regional Health are reasons to be proud.

Through the commitment and dedication of our physicians, staff, volunteers and Board members, the successes of the past year have been abundant.  In joining Shore Health System and Chester River Health System in July, we formed Shore Regional Health, providing a stronger, unified network of healthcare services to the patients we serve in our five-county Mid-Shore region.  This year, we also celebrated the grand openings of an expanded Shore Behavioral Health at UM Shore Medical Center at Dorchester, at University of Maryland Shore Convenient Care at Denton and at the Eleanor and Ethel Leh Women’s Center at UM Shore Medical Center at Chestertown. The latter are two new additions to Shore Regional Health’s services.   More recently, we celebrated the wall-breaking for the new and expanded Emergency Department at UM Shore Medical Center at Chestertown, which will provide more efficient space to match the high quality emergency care our team provides to the patients we serve.

This year, Shore Regional Health and its affiliate, Shore Medical Group, welcomed a number of highly skilled physicians to our medical staff, all of whom have world class experience and expertise in their specialties.   We also welcomed our new Chief Medical Officer, William Huffner, MD, whose experience and skills we welcome.

As we look forward to the coming year, we see many opportunities for growth and development on the horizon. Over the next several months, the community will see significant progress in the construction of the new Emergency Department at UM Shore Medical Center at Chestertown, which will be open to care for patients in fall, 2014.  We also look forward to the continuing growth of Shore Medical Group as we welcome new practices and specialties in the coming months to enhance the services we provide to the residents of our communities.

Thank you for your commitment to Shore Regional Health, the high quality care and compassion you provide to our patients and the service you offer to our region.  Each of you makes our organization the unparalleled provider of health care that it is. Thank you for all that you do.  I wish you and your loved ones a blessed holiday season and a new year that brings an abundance of health and happiness to all.

Please Make Your Voice Heard!

From Ken Kozel, President and CEO

Shore Regional Health is in the information gathering phase of its first strategic planning process since we joined our former organizations in July of 2013.  This is both an exciting and a challenging time in healthcare and the Board of Directors invites you as team members of Shore Regional Health to join in sharing your perspectives.  The anonymous survey may be accessed starting now at this link.

The survey is open through December 31.  It is a brief but important feedback process and we look forward to your participation.  Please note that results will be tabulated independently outside of SRH and will be totally anonymous.

 Thank you for your support.

UM Shore Regional Health Recognizes Accomplishments of Local Neurosurgeon

Dr. Khalid Kurtom

Dr. Khalid Kurtom

Khalid H. Kurtom, MD, FAANS, a neurosurgeon with Chesapeake Neurological Surgery, was recently reappointed by University of Maryland School of Medicine as a clinical assistant professor in the Department of Neurosurgery.  He has held a position on the School of Medicine’s volunteer faculty since 2012.

Also, an article written by Dr. Kurtom was recently published in The Spine Journal, the official journal of the North American Spine Society.  The article was written in collaboration with his brother, Muhannad H. Kurtom, who is currently finishing his undergraduate premedical studies.   The Spine Journal is an international, multidisciplinary journal that publishes original, peer-reviewed articles featuring research and treatment related to the spine.

“Having a strong academic affiliation with my colleagues at University of Maryland Medical System and the support of Dr. Howard Eisenberg, chief of the Department of Neurosurgery, has elevated the quality of care that I provide for my patients here on the Eastern Shore,” remarks Dr. Kurtom. “I consider the neurosurgery faculty at UMMS more than colleagues, they are friends.  In addition to patient care, this relationship has also provided me the opportunity to engage in academics — participating in grand rounds and resident education, and publishing articles in academic journals.”

Kurtom continues, “With the support of the administration at University of Maryland Shore Regional Health, we were able to publish two articles in two prominent international journals – The Spine Journal and Clinical Neurology and Neurosurgery.  The credit for this work is attributed to my coauthors who should all be congratulated.  I look forward to expanding Shore Regional Health’s academic affiliation with UMMS across all areas of medicine and surgery, not just neurosurgery.”

Dr. Kurtom earned his undergraduate degree from University of Maryland and obtained a master’s degree from Georgetown University. He graduated from George Washington University School of Medicine, after which he completed a general surgery internship and neurosurgery residency at George Washington University Hospital and a neurosurgery clinical fellowship at the National Institute of Neurological Disorders & Stroke in Washington, D.C. He is board-certified through the American Board of Neurological Surgery.

“Shore Medical Group and University of Maryland Shore Regional Health is most fortunate to have Dr. Kurtom on its medical staff,” comments Jonathan Cook, vice president for physician services, University of Maryland Shore Regional Health. “Dr. Kurtom’s expertise in neurosurgical treatments and procedures is truly an asset to the Mid-Shore and the patients that we serve in our local communities.  He has brought a level of knowledge and medical care to the Shore that is unprecedented.”

Chesapeake Neurological Surgery, located at 403 Purdy Street, Suite 204, in Easton, is a member of Shore Medical Group, which is an affiliate of University of Maryland Shore Regional Health. The practice offers a full spectrum of neurosurgical services. Dr. Kurtom specializes in the performance of minimally invasive and complex spine surgery, brain and spinal cord tumors, pituitary tumors, carotid artery surgery as well as shunt procedures for hydrocephalus.

For additional information about the services provided by Dr. Kurtom at Chesapeake Neurological Surgery, call 410-820-9117 or visit them online at www.cnseaston.com.

University of Maryland Chester River Health Foundation to Host Wills Seminar

JoRhea Nagel Wright, Patrick J. Fitzgerald and Maryann Ruehrmund, executive director, UM Chester River Health Foundation.

JoRhea Nagel Wright, Patrick J. Fitzgerald and Maryann Ruehrmund, executive director, UM Chester River Health Foundation.

University of Maryland Chester River Health Foundation will be hosting “Your Will, Your Way: How and Why,” a seminar about the importance of creating and maintaining an effective will, on Saturday, January 25 from 10 a.m. until 12:00 p.m. in the Kent County Public Library Meeting Room, located at 408 High Street in Chestertown.

Guest presenters at the seminar will be JoRhea Nagel Wright, Esquire, of Charles T. Capute, LLC and Patrick J. Fitzgerald, Esquire, of Ewing, Dietz, Fountain & Kehoe, P.A.

Nagel Wright received her undergraduate degree from Baylor University in Waco, Texas and her law degree from Regent University School of Law, in Virginia Beach, Virginia.  She began her law career in 1998 working for the Goldman Sachs subsidiary, The Ayco Company, L.P., headquartered in Albany, New York, where she spent nearly eight years practicing in the area of estate, gift and income tax planning and compliance.  A native of Preston, she moved back to the Eastern Shore in 2006, accepting a position with Charles T. Capute, LLC, concentrating in the areas of estate planning, wills and trusts, probate and trust administration, estate and gift tax law, and estate, gift and fiduciary income tax compliance.

Fitzgerald is an Associate Attorney at the Easton law firm of Ewing, Dietz, Fountain, & Kehoe, P.A.  He received his undergraduate degrees in Business Administration and Economics from the University of Pittsburgh and his law degree, Master of Laws in Taxation and Certificate in Estate Planning from the University of Baltimore School of Law.  Fitzgerald focuses on estate planning and administration, business formation and planning, commercial and financial transactions, real estate, land use and local government. He was born in Easton and is a life-long Eastonian.

In her presentation, Nagel Wright will be providing participants with an overview of the current income, estate, gift and generation skipping transfer tax rates, which became effective in 2013.  She will discuss common estate plans designed to save estate taxes and will outline the pros and cons of providing for outright distributions to heirs versus leaving an inheritance in the form of a trust.  Estate planning and wealth transfer techniques will also be discussed.

Fitzgerald will share with seminar participants the importance of having a will, Durable Power of Attorney and an Advance Medical Directive.  He will also discuss the various options available to individuals in crafting an appropriate estate plan and some common misconceptions associated with the estate planning process.

For more information about “Your Will, Your Way: How and Why,” or to register for the seminar, please contact Joanna Pierce, development specialist, at UM Chester River Health Foundation at (410) 810-5681 or by email at jpierce@chesterriverhealth.org.  This event is free to all attendees; seating is limited and pre-registration is required.  Light refreshments will be served and free parking will be available in the parking lot behind the library.

The UM Chester River Health Foundation is a private, not-for profit charitable organization serving the fundraising needs of University of Maryland Shore Medical Center at Chestertown, University of Maryland Chester River Home Care & Hospice and University of Maryland Shore Nursing & Rehabilitation Center at Chestertown.

Thomson and Dolby Win Honors as UM Shore Regional Health 2013 Director, Manager of the Year

From left, Jo Ann Thomson, MN, RN-BC, Director of Informatics and Practice Innovation, and Sherry Dolby, RN-BC, Manager, Requard Center for Acute Rehabilitation, are the 2013 Director and Manager of the Year.

From left, Jo Ann Thomson, MN, RN-BC, Director of Informatics and Practice Innovation, and Sherry Dolby, RN-BC, Manager, Requard Center for Acute Rehabilitation, are the 2013 Director and Manager of the Year.

Last month, Jo Ann Thomson, MN, RN-BC, Director of Informatics and Practice Innovation, and Sherry Dolby, RN-BC, Manager, Requard Center for Acute Rehabilitation, were honored as the 2013 Director of the Year and the 2013 Manager of the Year, respectively.  The two honorees were nominated and selected by their peers on the basis of their demonstrated service, relationship building, initiative, systems thinking, vision, teamwork and overall commitment to the patients, families, physicians and staff of UM Shore Regional Health.


Thomson, who lives in Trappe, has over 30 years of nursing experience.
Before coming to UM Shore Regional Health, she was a professor of nursing at Dalhousie University, Canada, and also was a critical care nurse. Nursing informatics is a high-level specialty that integrates the science of nursing with computer science and information technology (IT) to support professional nursing practice and improve patient safety and quality of care.  As Director of Nursing Informatics and Practice Innovation, Thomson uses her knowledge and experience in information technology, education, management and clinical practice to help the UM Shore Regional Health nursing team use IT to support and advance professional nursing practice, and to drive the ongoing improvement of care at the bedside.

 Commenting on Thomson’s contributions to UM Shore Regional Health, one of her peers said,

JoAnn is the consummate team member. She leads by demonstrating her expertise, building relationships, and thinking about the impact of interventions at the system level.  JoAnn explains extremely complex relationships and concepts so that non-IT staff can understand the impact of a change and determine if the impact is acceptable to the organization.”

 Sherry Dolby received her McQueen Gibbs Willis School of Nursing diploma in 1975 and in her words, “has been here ever since.” She started working on the fifth floor of the hospital in what was then a skilled nursing unit, and along the way, became certified in gerontology. She was a key team member in the planning and opening of the Requard Center for Acute Rehabilitation, which opened in 2007, and was promoted to nurse manager of the unit shortly thereafter. At present, Dolby is in the process of attaining her bachelor’s in nursing, “one course at a time,” as she continues to manage Requard.

One colleague who nominated Dolby for manager of the year wrote, “Sherry has been a driving force in the continued advancement of the Requard Center for Acute Rehabilitation. She has impressed me with exceptional leadership performance during recent periods of change. Her leadership has influenced her team to enthusiastically drive the vision and change process forward.”

 Congratulations to JoAnn Thomson and Sherry Dolby for this much deserved recognition and for their continued commitment to provide exceptional care, everyday.

 

Everyday Heroes Honored at the Requard Center for Acute Rehabilitation

The University of Maryland Memorial Hospital Foundation recently recognized two staff members from the Requard Center for Acute Rehabilitation at University of Maryland Shore Medical Center at Easton as Everyday Heroes.  The family of a recent rehabilitation patient nominated Donna Benford, MSN, RN, CMSRN, and Margaret Wood, physical therapist, for the care received during his stay.

Celebrating their recognition as Everyday Heroes are William Roth, senior director of comprehensive rehab care, UM Shore Regional Health; Dona Benford, MSN, RN, CMSRN; Margaret Wood, physical therapist; and Sherry Dolby, RN-BC, manager, Requard Center for Acute Rehabilitation.

Celebrating their recognition as Everyday Heroes are William Roth, senior director of comprehensive rehab care, UM Shore Regional Health; Dona Benford, MSN, RN, CMSRN; Margaret Wood, physical therapist; and Sherry Dolby, RN-BC, manager, Requard Center for Acute Rehabilitation.

The Everyday Hero Program provides patients and their family members an opportunity to thank a University of Maryland Shore Regional Health physician, employee or volunteer by making a financial donation to the UM Memorial Hospital Foundation in their name. The UM Memorial Hospital Foundation uses these donations to support UM Shore Regional Health in continuing its mission of delivering exceptional care, every day. For more information about recognizing an Everyday Hero, contact the UM Memorial Hospital Foundation at 410-822-1000, ext. 5481.

Updates from Chester River Hospital Center Auxiliary

Chester River Hospital Auxiliary held its first vendor sale earlier this month.  The “In the Bag” sale offered wallets, pocketbooks, brief cases, computer cases and luggage.  The staff at UM Shore Medical Center at Chestertown enjoyed shopping for the upcoming holiday season and the sale was a great success for the Auxiliary.

The Christmas tree raffle drawing was held on December 16. The winner was Michele Williams, an employee of University of Maryland Shore Regional Health in Easton.

The Gift Shop at UM Shore Medical Center at Chestertown will be closed December 24 through December 29, reopening on December 30.  There will be sale in the gift shop on December 30 and 31 featuring many discounted items.  The Nearly New Shop will be closed December 25 through December 29, reopening on December 30.

The Auxiliary is recruiting volunteers in the following service areas:

IN-HOUSE VOLUNTEERS provide assistance to the hospital staff from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. There are two shifts Monday through Friday.  They are 9 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. and 12:30 – 4 p.m. Duties include patient transport, x-ray transport, assisting with menus, messenger service, and more.  For more information, call Kathy Davis at 410-348-5114.

HOSPITAL GIFT SHOP is open from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m., Monday through Friday, with three-hour shifts for volunteers.  Volunteer duties include operating the cash register/credit card machine, stocking shelves, general tidying and changing displays.  For more information, call Lois Smith at 410-778-7668, ext. 2351.

NEARLY NEW SHOP, located at 320 High Street in downtown Chestertown, sells donated gently-used clothing, shoes, jewelry, household goods, books and more.  Volunteers assist by sorting, tagging, shelving or manning the front desk and working the cash register.  Business hours are Monday through Friday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.  All volunteers work three-hour shifts.  For additional information, call Molly Streit at 410-778-1781.

For additional information about the Chester River Hospital Center Auxiliary, which raises funds to benefit programs and services at UM Shore Medical Center at Chestertown, contact Jack Edson, Auxiliary President at 410-348-2159.

Foundation’s Year End Appeal to Benefit Cancer Services at UM Shore Regional Health

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The Requard Radiation Oncology Center at University of Maryland Shore Regional Health’s Cancer Center is the beneficiary of UM Memorial Hospital Foundation’s 2013 Year End Appeal.

University of Maryland Memorial Hospital Foundation recently kicked off its 2013 Year End Appeal which will benefit the Requard Radiation Oncology Center at University of Maryland Shore Regional Health’s Cancer Center.  Funds raised from this year’s appeal will be used to support the purchase of new hardware and software to upgrade the Center’s two linear accelerators and the high dose rate brachytherapy equipment, which are devices used for the delivery of radiation treatments for cancer patients.

“The purchase of new hardware and software to update this equipment will allow the Cancer Center to continue to supply the highest quality of care and the newest proven treatment techniques for our community,” comments Brian Leutner, director of oncology services, University of Maryland Shore Regional Health.  “These devices are critical to helping us treat and manage cancer in our Mid-Shore communities and the upgrades being funded by the University of Maryland Memorial Hospital Foundation will help to reduce treatment time for patients while increasing the accuracy of the treatment plans generated for each patient.”

“Last year, University of Maryland Shore Regional Health’s Cancer Center saw 1,675 patients from our local communities and every year, the Requard Radiation Oncology Center provides more than 8,000 treatments for all types of cancers,” remarks F. Graham Lee, vice president for philanthropy, UM Shore Regional Health.  “We are most grateful for the generous support of our community members which will enable the Cancer Center to continue to provide first-class care to our family members, friends and neighbors when they find themselves in need of the best cancer treatments available.”

University of Maryland Memorial Hospital Foundation is a private, nonprofit organization serving the fundraising needs of University of Maryland Shore Medical Center at Easton and UM Shore Regional Health. Through its philanthropic efforts, the Foundation supports UM Shore Regional Health’s ability to provide quality healthcare to the local community by contributing to hospital programs and services.

For additional information or to make a donation to the 2013 Year End Appeal supporting University of Maryland Shore Regional Health’s Cancer Center, contact Pat O’Shea, director of development, at 410-822-1000, ext. 5915 or e-mail poshea@shorehealth.org.

 

 

 

An Update from Corporate Compliance

The following Corporate-wide policies have been approved and are available on the intranet (under the Leadership section) and on Policy Manager for UMSMC at Chestertown employees:

Offering or Providing Gifts to Patients: 

  • Gifts are anything of value, including gift cards, tickets to sporting or other events, meals, etc.
  • HIPAA prohibits the offer or transfer of benefits for the purpose of influencing a patient to “order or receive from a particular provider, practitioner, or supplier any item or service.”  This requirement is intended to ensure that patients select health care providers on the basis of quality, convenience and other factors important to the patient—not on the basis of improper financial inducements.
  • The policy outlines the situations in which benefits can be given to patients including programs which foster patient compliance with treatment programs and patient transportation.  Guidance is also provided around the provision of charity care discounts, actions needed to address patient needs post-discharge, or customer service recovery.

Gifts, Meals and Entertainment to or from Referral Sources:

  • Federal and some state laws prohibit offering or receiving any form of improper “inducement” to order, refer, or purchase a health care item or services.  The purpose of these laws is to prevent personal benefit to a physician or other person from overriding considerations of service quality or patient well-being, or encouraging medically unnecessary items or services.
  • The policy outlines the situations in which benefits can be given to physicians or other referral sources including meals or sporting or other event tickets with total value not exceeding $380 per calendar year.  Exceptions are also outlined including food in physician lounges and participation in charity events.

If you have any questions about these policies, please contact Linda Pittman, Director, Corporate Compliance/Privacy Officer at x5446 or lpittman@shorehealth.org.

Biometric Screenings for Shore Shape Now in Progress

Screening for Shore Shape 2014 is now in progress.  For the most accurate results, please fast on the day of your screening (no food or drink other than water — drink two 8-ounce glasses of water prior to your screening). Each screening takes about 15 minutes, after which the screener shares the results with you.

Remaining December and January times and locations are as follows:

UMSMC at Dorchester, 3rd Floor:

Thursday, January 9, 6-10am

UMSMC at Easton, Health Education Center A & B: 

Friday, December 20, 6-10am

Tuesday, January 14, 6-10am

Thursday, January 16, 1-7pm

Tuesday, January 21, 6-10am

Friday, January 24, 6-10am

For more information, call 877-935-5262 and ask for a Wellness Coach.