Monthly Archives: July 2014

Free Prostate Cancer Screenings to be Offered at Cancer Center

Studies show that one in six men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in their lifetime.  In an effort to promote early detection of prostate cancer, which is the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths for men, free prostate cancer screenings will be offered on Thursday, September 25 at University of Maryland Shore Regional Health’s Cancer Center, located at 509 Idlewild Avenue in Easton.  Screenings are being coordinated by the Cancer Center and the Talbot County NAACP.  Drs. John Foley, Christopher Runz, John Knud-Hansen and Christopher Parry of Shore Comprehensive Urology will be assisting with the screenings, which will be provided from 5-8pm.

Those interested in the screening are encouraged to discuss the testing with their primary care providers to determine if the PSA blood test will benefit them in the early detection of prostate cancer and other prostate health issues.

The screenings are open to the public.  Uninsured and underinsured are welcome to participate.  Pre-registration is required for screening and space is limited.  For additional information or to schedule an appointment, call the Cancer Center at 410-820-6800.

MDICS Welcomes New Physician Assistant

Karen Montella, PA-C

Karen Montella, PA-C

Physicians Inpatient Care Specialists (MDICS), the hospitalist group that serves University of Maryland Shore Medical Centers at Chestertown, Dorchester and Easton, recently welcomed Physician Assistant, Karen Montella, PA-C, to its team.

Montella obtained a Bachelor of Arts from Hofstra University in Long Island, New York and later completed the Allied Health Professions Program at Nassau Community College in Garden City, New York.  She is a graduate of the Physician Assistant Program at St. Vincent Catholic Medical Centers of Brooklyn & Queens.  Prior to joining MDICS, Montella held multiple positions in New York as a Physician Assistant, specializing in primary care and cardiology.

MDICS was recently selected as one of The Washington Post Top Work Places in 2014.  Congratulations to their team for achieving this recognition and welcome Karen Montella!

Everyday Heroes Recognized at UM Shore Medical Center at Easton

Graham Lee, Vice President of Philanthropy, UM Shore Regional Health; Ruth Ann Jones, Director Acute Care Services, UM Shore Regional Health; Kenda Leager, nominator; Lisa Cook, RN; and Jennifer Miles, Nurse Manager, 2 East Unit, UM Shore Medical Center at Easton.

Graham Lee, Vice President of Philanthropy, UM Shore Regional Health; Ruth Ann Jones, Director Acute Care Services, UM Shore Regional Health; Kenda Leager, nominator; Lisa Cook, RN; and Jennifer Miles, Nurse Manager, 2 East Unit, UM Shore Medical Center at Easton.

University of Maryland Memorial Hospital Foundation recently recognized Pat West, RN and Lisa Cook, RN, members of the nursing staff at University of Maryland Shore Medical Center at Easton, as Everyday Heroes.  West and Cook were nominated by a family member of a patient for the compassion they displayed.

Ruth Ann Jones, Director of Acute Care Services, UM Shore Regional Health;  Pat West, RN; and Cindy Beemer, Nurse Manager, ICU/Telemetry Unit, UM Shore Medical Center at Easton.

Ruth Ann Jones, Director of Acute Care Services, UM Shore Regional Health; Pat West, RN; and Cindy Beemer, Nurse Manager, ICU/Telemetry Unit, UM Shore Medical Center at Easton.

In another celebration, the Foundation also recognized Noemi Antonio, RN, a member of the nursing staff at University of Maryland Shore Medical Center at Easton, as an Everyday Hero. Antonio was nominated for her compassion and professionalism.

Pictured are Ruth Ann Jones, Director of Acute Care, University of Maryland Shore Regional Health; Noemi Antonio; and Cindy Beemer, Nurse Manager, ICU/Telemetry Unit, UM Shore Medical Center at Easton.

Pictured are Ruth Ann Jones, Director of Acute Care, University of Maryland Shore Regional Health; Noemi Antonio; and Cindy Beemer, Nurse Manager, ICU/Telemetry Unit, UM Shore Medical Center at Easton.

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. For more information about recognizing an Everyday Hero, contact the UM Memorial Hospital Foundation at 410-822-1000, ext. 5481.

UM Chester River Health Foundation Welcomes New Board Member

Charles Lerner

Charles Lerner

University of Maryland Chester River Health Foundation recently welcomed Charles Lerner of Chestertown to its Board of Directors.

Lerner is the founder and principal of Fiduciary Compliance Associates, a regulatory consultant to financial institutions, and is a graduate of Cornell University and Brooklyn Law School.  Prior to his time as a regulatory consultant, he spent the majority of his career working for the Federal Government as an attorney for the Securities and Exchange Commission and the head of ERISA enforcement at the U.S. Department of Labor in Washington, D.C. After his Federal Government service, he was a senior compliance official at major banks and financial firms in New York City. Lerner is a member of the National Society of Compliance Professionals and the Chestertown Havurah, where he also serves as a liaison to Washington College’s Hillel.

“University of Maryland Shore Medical Center at Chestertown has a new Women’s Center and is about to open a state-of-the-art Emergency Department because members of our community have donated generously through the Foundation to help make those improvements possible,” comments Lerner.  “I am happy to be able to help raise funds so our local community hospital can provide high quality care long into the future.”

UM Chester River Health Foundation is a private, not-for-profit 501(c)(3) charitable organization serving the fundraising needs of UM Shore Medical Center at Chestertown and University of Maryland Shore Nursing & Rehabilitation Center at Chestertown.

UM Chester River Health Foundation to Host Advance Directives Seminar

University of Maryland Chester River Health Foundation will host an informative seminar, “The Importance of Advance Directives and the Maryland MOLST Form,” on Saturday, September 13 from 10 a.m. until noon in the second floor meeting room at Town Hall, 118 N. Cross Street in Chestertown.

Guest presenters are Wayne D. Benjamin, MD, board certified family medicine physician of Chestertown Family Medicine and president of the medical staff at University of Maryland Shore Medical Center at Chestertown; Maddie Steffens, RN, BSN, HPCN, palliative care nurse and Quality in Life Team (QUILT) Coordinator at UM Shore Medical Center at Chestertown; and Megan Bramble Owings, Esq., an associate in general practice with C. Daniel Saunders in Chestertown and in-house counsel for David A. Bramble, Inc.

This informational seminar will explore how health care providers will care for patients based on their Advance Directive selections and how those directives are translated at the bedside. Additionally, the new Maryland MOLST (Medical Orders for Life Sustaining Treatment) form will be discussed and an explanation offered of who needs a MOLST form and why. Ample agenda time is planned for questions and answers.

For more information or to register for the seminar, please contact Joanna Pierce, development specialist, UM Chester River Health Foundation at (410) 810-5681 or by email at jpierce@chesterriverhealth.org.  This event is free and open to the public. However, seating is limited and therefore pre-registration is required.  Light refreshments will be served.

The UM Chester River Health Foundation is a private, not-for-profit 501(c)(3) charitable organization serving the fundraising needs of UM Shore Medical Center at Chestertown and University of Maryland Shore Nursing & Rehabilitation Center at Chestertown.

Maddie Steffens, RN, BSN, HPCN

Maddie Steffens, RN, BSN, HPCN

Megan Bramble Owings, Esquire

Megan Bramble Owings, Esquire

Wayne Benjamin, MD

Wayne Benjamin, MD

Calendar of Events: July 31-August 31, 2014

PLEASE NOTE: If you wish to submit items for the Compass calendar and/or for the UM Shore Regional Health Monthly Health Calendar that is advertised in local media, please email Kate Gallagher, kgallagher@shorehealth.org. The deadline for the Monthly Health Calendar is always the 15th of the month prior.

Survivors Offering Support (SOS) – Program pairing women who have breast cancer with mentors who are breast cancer survivors. If you are in need of support or would like to become a mentor, call 410-822-1000, ext. 5866

Transition to Wellness Workshops – Ongoing quarterly workshops for breast cancer survivors and breast cancer patients ending treatment.  For information about the next session, call 410-822-1000, ext. 5866.

Free Blood Pressure Screenings/Cambridge and Easton — Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays, 9am-12 noon, Diagnostic & Imaging Center, 10 Martin Court, Easton; Tuesday and Fridays, 11am-1pm, UM SMC at Dorchester, Main Lobby. Recurring event (except holidays).  Provided by the hospital Auxiliaries.

Film Screening/Centreville: “The Anonymous People” – Thursday, July 31, QAC Public Library, Centreville, 6:30pm. This documentary film highlighting the 23 million Americans in long-term recovery is a clarion call for a new and enlightened awareness of the promise of recovery from alcohol and other drug abuse and addiction, and for a new and better approach to addressing the suffering caused by addiction. Admission is free but due to limited seating, advance ticketing is recommended via www.eventbrite.com. Questions may be directed to recoveryforshore@gmail.com.

Everything $6.00 Sale — Thursday, July 31, 7am-4pm, UM SMC at Chestertown.  Sponsored by the Chester River Hospital Auxiliary.

Shoe Sale — Friday, August 1, Saturday, August 2 from 10am-9pm and Sunday, August 3 from 11am-6pm, Vernon Powell Easton; Saturday, August 2 from 10am-9pm and Sunday, August 3 from 11am-6pm, Vernon Powell Salisbury.  Benefits the Cancer Center at University of Maryland Shore Regional Health.  Payroll deductions available on those dates/locations.

Chesapeake Multiple Myeloma Network (CMMN) Quarterly Meeting — Saturday, August 2, 4pm, Nick Rajacich Health Education Center. Guest speaker:  Tracy D. Orwig (MSW, LCSW-C), Director of Patient Access, Education & Advocacy for the Maryland Chapter of The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. Topic: “The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society: Resources and Programs for the Multiple Myeloma Community.” Free.  Contact: Bob Kelly,  410-226-5345 or René Fuentes,  RRFuentes46@gmail.com

Labor and Delivery Class I, II, III – Saturday, August 2, 8:30am-3pm, UM SMC at Easton, Health Education Center.  Overview of pregnancy and birth for expectant mothers, spouses and birthing coaches. Free. Contact: 410-822-1000 or 410-228-5511, ext. 5200.

Breastfeeding Support Group – Tuesday, August 5, 10-11:30am, UM SMC at Easton, Requard Social Center. Led by UM Shore Regional Health lactation consultants. New and expectant mothers encouraged to attend. Free. Contact: 410-822-1000 or 410-228-5511, ext. 5200.

Carb Counting Class –Tuesday, August 5, 1:30-3:30pm, UM SMC at Easton, UM Diabetes & Endocrinology Center. Overview of the most commonly-used method of meal planning for diabetics. Referral and advance registration required; contact: 410-822-1000, ext. 5195.

CARES Patient Support Group – Tuesday, August 5 and Tuesday, August 19, 5-7pm, Cancer Center, 509 Idlewild Avenue, Easton.  Call 443-254-5940.

Shore Shape Webinar: Promoting a Healthy Lifestyle —  Wednesday, August 6, 3-4:30pm. To register, To register, please go to www.bhsonline.com with username ‘Shore’ — click ‘Register Here for Biometric Screenings & Wellness Events’.

Mid-Shore Stroke Support Group Meeting   — Thursday, August 7, 1-2:30pm, Presbyterian Church, 617 N. Washington Street, Easton. Open to all who can benefit from support and information about stroke recovery and caregiving. Includes light refreshments; RSVP to 410-822-1000, ext. 5068, or midshorestroke@gmail.com.

Delmarva Summer Blood Challenge — Thursday, August 7, 9am – 2pm, UM SMC at Easton; Friday, August 8, 9am – 2pm, UM SMC at Chestertown.To make your appointment, call 1-888-8-BLOOD-8; or to schedule online, visit www.DelmarvaBlood.org  or download the Blood Bank app to your iPhone or Android. For information about incentive prizes, see article in this week’s Compass.

Gestational Diabetes Classes — Thursdays, August 7, 14, 21 & 28, 10am-12pm, UM SMC at Easton, UM Diabetes & Endocrinology Center.  Single-session class addressing care during pregnancy and what to expect afterward. Referral and advance registration required. Contact: 410-822-1000, ext. 5195

Diabetes Self- Management Training/Easton – Two sessions: Tuesdays, August 12, 19 & 26, 9:00am-12pm; and Wednesdays, August 13, 20 &27 1:30pm-4:30pm. UM SMC at Easton, UM Diabetes & Endocrinology Center. Medical information and strategies enabling patients to manage their diabetes for optimal wellness. Referral and advance registrations required. Contact: 410-822-1000, ext.5195. 

Diabetes Support Group/Caroline County – Tuesday, August 12, 6:30pm, St. Luke’s United Methodist Church, Denton. Topic:  “Dining Out With Diabetes.” Led by Doris Allen, RN, CDE, lead diabetes educator, UM Center for Diabetes & Endocrinology. Contact: 410-479-2161.

Diabetes Self- Management Training/Chestertown —  Thursdays, August 14, 21 & 28, 1-4pm, UM SMC at Chestertown, Education Center. Medical information and strategies enabling patients to manage their diabetes for optimal wellness. Referral and advance registration required. Contact: 410-778-7668, ext. 2175.

Shore Shape Webinar: Organizing Your Space —  Friday, August 15, 11am-12pm. To register, To register, please go to www.bhsonline.com with username ‘Shore’ — click ‘Register Here for Biometric Screenings & Wellness Events’.

Big Brother, Big Sister: Sibling Preparation — Saturday, August 16, 9:30-11am, UM SMC at Easton, Health Education Center. Designed to help parents prepare their children for the arrival of a new baby. Free. Registration: 410-822-1000, ext. 5195.

Look Good…Feel Better – Monday, August 18, 10am-12pm, Cancer Center, 509 Idlewild Avenue, Easton. Free ACS program for women with cancer includes hair, skin and make-up tips, samples and a visit to the Wig Room. Call 410-822-1000, ext. 5355.

Shore Shape Webinar: Financial Planning — Monday, August 18, 2-3pm, To register, To register, please go to www.bhsonline.com with username ‘Shore’ — click ‘Register Here for Biometric Screenings & Wellness Events’.

Health Care Uniform and Shoe Sale/Dorchester – Tuesday, August 19, UM SMC at Dorchester Lobby.  Sponsored by the hospital Auxiliary.

CARES Caregivers’ Support Group – Wednesday, August 20, 5-7pm, Cancer Center, 509 Idlewild Avenue, Easton.  Call 410-822-1000, ext. 2257.

Meet Your Onsite Shore Shape Wellness Coach — Thursday, August 21, 1-9pm, UM SMC at Dorchester, Human Resources Office. Schedule your appointment with Lisa Gritti, Certified Wellcoach (R) Wellness and Fitness Coach, who can help you set goals and design strategies for a healthier you! To make your FREE appointment, please go to www.bhsonline.com, add the username ‘Shore’ — click ‘Register Here for Biometric Screenings & Wellness Events’.

Shore Shape Webinar: Tobacco Cessation — Wednesday, August 20,  5-6pm, To register, To register, please go to www.bhsonline.com with username ‘Shore’ — click ‘Register Here for Biometric Screenings & Wellness Events’.

Health Care Uniform and Shoe Sale/Easton – Thursday, August 21 and Friday, August 22, UM SMC at Easton, Health Education Center.  Sponsored by the hospital Auxiliary.

Dementia Caregivers Support Group – Thursday, August 21, 6-7:30pm, UM Shore Nursing and Rehab at Chestertown, 200 Morgnec Road. Open to family members and anyone with caregiver responsibilities for a person suffering from Alzheimer’s or other dementia. Provides information and support regarding caregiver strategies and resources. Contact: 410-778-4550.

New Mom, New Baby: Safety and CPR — Saturday, August 23, 9am-1:30pm, UM SMC at Easton, Health Education Center. Learn about post-partum care, pain management, nutrition and more. Free. To register, call: 410-822-1000, ext. 5200.

Diabetes Self-Management Refresher Class – Monday, August 25, 10am-12pm, UM Center for Diabetes & Endocrinology Center, UM SMC at Easton. For those who have completed diabetes education classes, but want to take their self-care to the next level. Referral and advance registration required. Contact: 410-822-1000, ext. 5195.

Women Supporting Women Breast Cancer Group – Tuesday, August 26, 6:30pm, Christ Episcopal Church, Cambridge.  Call 410-463-0946 or 410-228-3161.

CARES Breast Cancer Support Group – Tuesday, August 26, 6-7:30pm, Cancer Center, 509 Idlewild Avenue, Easton.  Call 410-822-1000, ext. 5387.

Local Neurosurgeon Treats Rare Neurological Disorder

Khalid Kurtom, MD, FAANS

Khalid Kurtom, MD, FAANS

Usually a visit to the doctor means a diagnosis and a prescribed treatment that improves or cures the patient’s problem. However, people born with a Chiari malformation are often misdiagnosed many times because their symptoms mimic other medical conditions or their doctors aren’t familiar with this rare neurological disorder. People with the mildest form of Chiari malformation may never experience symptoms and first learn about their condition from a diagnostic imaging test for a different medical issue. Others may develop symptoms during childhood or even in their late 20s and 30s. From that point, they often begin a long process to find an accurate diagnosis and a correct course of treatment.

Chiari malformation is a structural defect in the brain that occurs during fetal development. A portion of the cerebellum, the bottom part of the brain, drops out of the skull and crowds the spinal cord, which pressures both the brainstem and the spinal cord. This pressure blocks the flow of cerebrospinal fluid, known as CSF. Cerebrospinal fluid surrounds and protects the brain and spinal cord, so a Chiari malformation disrupts the natural flow of CSF, compresses brain and spinal tissue, and increases pressure within the brain. Difficulties with balance and coordination, numbness or tingling in the face, arms and legs, vision or hearing problems, muscle weakness, trouble swallowing, fatigue, dizziness and headaches are signs of Chiari malformations.

Anjolina Ross, age 22, was diagnosed with a Chiari malformation at age 18. Her migraine headaches, tingling in her hands, feet and face made it hard for her to work. Ross comments, “I started having headaches around age 12, but it took years to get diagnosed.” She tried countless medications and treatments, but eventually none of these worked. “There was nothing else I could do but surgery, and I was more scared of having migraines than of having surgery.” As a working mother with a one year old daughter, she said, “I was always worried that in the middle of playing with my daughter, I’d get a migraine, and I couldn’t do anything about it till my husband came home. This scared me.”

Bonnie Bassford, age 37, works full-time as an office manager, is a wife and a mother of two young children. Bassford remarks, “Sometimes people have multiple symptoms and often each symptom is treated on its own. That’s one reason a Chiari malformation can take so long to diagnose.” Like Anjolina Ross, Bassford suffered with chronic headaches as well as numbness in her arms and legs. “I learned to live with these conditions for over 15 years, until the dizziness came along.” An MRI showed a significant Chiari malformation and a syrinx, a fluid-filled cyst or bubble in her spinal cord. Because of the blockage of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) by her cerebellum, when her heart beat, her CSF was forced into her spinal cord, rather than flowing naturally around it. This causes pressure on the spinal cord from within, resulting in neurological symptoms.

Bassford had Chiari decompression surgery at a medical center out of the area and this surgery led to several others. Over the course of these surgeries and her growing frustration with the increasing amount of untreatable headaches, she learned about Dr. Khalid Kurtom, MD, FAANS, neurosurgeon at Chesapeake Neurological Surgery, part of University of Maryland Shore Medical Group, an affiliate of University of Maryland Shore Regional Health, and Clinical Assistant Professor in the Neurosurgery Department at the University of Maryland School of Medicine. “After being a patient of Dr. Kurtom, I can attest that he is the most compassionate person, the most understanding of my symptoms and the easiest to understand doctor I’ve met throughout this whole ordeal,” she said.

“Chiari malformation is typically treated with a Chiari decompression,” Dr. Kurtom explained. “This involves removing a small portion of bone at the site of compression and expanding that area. There are different nuances of how this is done based on the surgeon’s preferences. Surgery is usually successful in alleviating symptoms, but this may take time since the brain and CSF need to adjust to the extra space provided by the procedure. The two most notable complications are CSF leak, possibly needing CSF shunting, and infection. The nuances of the surgery performed may play a role in minimizing these complications.  Overall, this is a successful operation, and the benefits definitely outweigh the risks of surgery.”

Dr. Kurtom placed a shunt behind Bassford’s right ear and then ran a tube internally from behind the ear down through her chest and into her abdomen. Bassford said he described this shunting procedure as “basic plumbing—if you have too much CSF in the brain, you have to redirect this fluid from the top down into the abdomen, which naturally reabsorbs the fluid.”

“The amount of fluid drained is regulated by a valve that can be programmed with a magnet from outside the scalp,” Dr. Kurtom said.  “Drainage can be increased or decreased by adjusting this valve in the office.”

Dr. Kurtom advised Bassford that adjustments might be needed and they were, but every time, Dr. Kurtom quickly responded. He told her they were aiming for perfection, “and he kept adjusting my shunt til the setting was just right,” she said. Soon Bassford had no daily headaches, something that had not happened before. “He gave me my life back, an even better one than before my Chiari malformation was diagnosed over two years ago,” she said.

Michelle Newnam Lowrey, age 44, had her symptoms, including headaches, vertigo and hearing problems, misdiagnosed for over ten years before her Chiari malformation was identified during a MRI, when the technician noticed it and urged her to see a doctor.  Because of the Chiari malformation, she had two syringes in her spine. She met with the chairman of neurosurgery at the University of Maryland and he recommended Dr. Kurtom, who had completed a NIH clinical fellowship with one of the leading Chiari malformation experts in the world. Lowrey, a former elementary teacher, a wife and mother of four young children whom she is homeschooling, also suffered debilitating fatigue until her decompression surgery. ”Now I feel normal fatigue at the end of the day. Dr. Kurtom’s decompression procedure is a minimally invasive surgery—a hallmark of his,” she said. The Chiari malformation and syringes also affected her senses, but now she said, “My body is acclimating to the CSF flowing correctly, and all my senses are beginning to return.”

Ross, Bassford and Lowrey all emphasized that patients must be their own advocates because Chiari malformations are so difficult to diagnose. Lowrey adds, “A Chiari malformation can look like so many other problems and so many doctors don’t know that it exists, although more are learning about it, and MRIs have helped.”

Dr. Kurtom is the only neurosurgeon on the Eastern Shore that does this surgical procedure. “There are not many options or resources for patients regarding this pathology,” he said. “Most neurosurgeons do not treat this pathology, and the few that do the operation have no uniform way of performing the procedure.  This results in significant confusion regarding the surgery, how it is performed, expected outcomes and patients’ experiences.”

Bonnie Bassford has set up a Facebook page, Chesapeake Chiarians (www.facebook.com/chesapeakechiarians), and hopes to start a support group on the Eastern Shore. “You can’t look at someone and know he or she has a Chiari malformation,” she said. “It can be a debilitating disorder that affects not only the patient, but also the spouse, children, family and friends.” She posts encouraging quotes, facts and tips on her page. “I want to give people with Chiari malformations and CSF disorders a place to come together and relate, words to encourage them that there is hope and treatments that work, as well as to educate the public on what we Chiarians struggle with on a daily basis.”

Dr. Kurtom remarks, “I encouraged Mrs. Bassford to start this group because I think this is a great idea and will add much needed support and resource for patients in the local community. I am sure many will benefit from her efforts.”

“People shouldn’t get discouraged and give up when they have a condition that impacts the quality of their lives,” Anjolina Ross said and Bassford agrees. “It’s not impossible to overcome this battle,” Bassford said. “You need to advocate for yourself and find hope again. Dr. Kurtom can make an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan because he is well educated and trained in Chiari malformations.”

Chesapeake Neurological Surgery is an affiliate of University of Maryland Shore Medical Group, the multi-specialty practice of University of Maryland Shore Regional Health.  For additional information about the services provided by Khalid Kurtom, MD, FAANS, neurosurgeon at Chesapeake Neurological Surgery, which is located at 403 Purdy Street, Suite 204, in Easton, call 410-820-9117.

Shore Regional Health Nurses Choose Giving Over Gifts for Nurses Week

Deedra Abner, MSN, RN-BC and Diane Blazejak, RN present  the Nurses' Week gift benefitting Memorial Hospital Foundation's Employee Assistance Program to Graham Lee, UM Shore Regional Health Vice-President for Philanthropy

Deedra Abner, MSN, RN-BC and Diane Blazejak, RN present the Nurses’ Week gift benefitting Memorial Hospital Foundation’s Employee Assistance Program to Graham Lee, UM Shore Regional Health Vice-President for Philanthropy.

The well-known axiom, “T’is better to give than to receive,” came to life during this year’s Nurses Week, thanks to the generosity of UM Shore Regional Health nurses.

According to Deedra Abner, MSN, RN-BC, outgoing chair of the Nursing Shared Leadership Global Council, this past spring, UM SRH nurses voted to forgo the gifts that they  would have received as as part of the annual Nurses’ Week celebration of Nurses Week; instead, they chose to the donate funds that had been allotted for their gifts to benefit local organizations that help people in need.

Nurses throughout UM Shore Regional Health submitted names of organizations to their Nursing Shared Leadership Global Council representatives. From the 11 submissions, four were chosen by majority vote of the Nursing Shared Leadership Global Council.

Selected to receive $400 each were Wounded Warriors, the Memorial Hospital Foundation’s Employee Assistance Fund, the National Ovarian Cancer Coalition-Maryland Chapter  (in honor of Kim’s Cause) and the UM Shore Regional Health Cancer Center’s Patient In Need Fund.

Said Abner, “The willingness of the UM Shore Regional Health Nurses to support these four worthy organizations in lieu of receiving their annual Nurse’s Week gift, reflects the outstanding dedication and teamwork of our nurses.”

 

Left to Right: Susan Breeding, RN, OCN and Tanula Baker, BSN, RN present the Nurses' Week gift for the Cancer Center's Patient In Need Fund. to Michelle Williams, MSN, CHPN

Left to Right: Susan Breeding, RN, OCN and Tanula Baker, BSN, RN present the Nurses’ Week gift for the Cancer Center’s Patient In Need Fund. to Michelle Williams, MSN, CHPN

Jeannie Brower, MSN, RN-BC and Danielle Brummell, BSN, RN present the Nurses' Week gift to Wounded Warriors to Mike Johnson, Commander, VFW Post 5118

Jeannie Brower, MSN, RN-BC and Danielle Brummell, BSN, RN present the Nurses’ Week gift to Wounded Warriors to Mike Johnson, Commander, VFW Post 5118

Laura Lloyd, RN presents the Nurses' Week gift to Nancy Long, Co-Chair of Leadership Council of NOCC Central Maryland while  Kim Brice, MSN, CCRN looks on.

Laura Lloyd, RN presents the Nurses’ Week gift to Nancy Long, Co-Chair of Leadership Council of NOCC Central Maryland while Kim Brice, MSN, CCRN looks on.

Safety preparedness drill begins 8 a.m. July 26 at UM Shore Medical Center at Chestertown

University of Maryland Shore Medical Center at Chestertown, along with its regional community partners in law enforcement and emergency management, will conduct a safety preparedness drill at the hospital the morning of Saturday, July 26.

All hospital operations will continue without interruption. Most drill activity will take place away from patient and visitor areas, although notices have been placed in the hospital advising that a drill is taking place.

“Patients and visitors should not be alarmed to see extra police and emergency personnel at the hospital that day,” said UM Shore Regional Health Security Manager Frank Ford.

UM Shore Regional Health conducts such drills at its facilities on an ongoing basis to meet accreditation requirements and help assure the safety of patients, visitors and team members.

UM SMC at Chestertown Welcomes Harpist as Volunteer Musician

Meredith Davies Hadaway will be volunteering at UM Shore Medical Center at Chestertown while working to become a Certified Music Practitioner with a national program called Music for Healing and Transition (MHTP), Maddie Steffens, BSN, RN, HPCN, Palliative Care Coordinator, has announced.

???????????????????????????????Hadaway is a poet, teacher, and harpist who has performed in musical venues throughout the mid-Atlantic states as well as in Ireland. Playing on a 34-string lever harp, she blends music from the Celtic tradition with improvisational tunes to form the basis for her therapeutic repertoire.  Hadaway recently completed 90 hours of MHTP training at Mercy Medical Center in Baltimore, where she played for patients in the ICU, and on the Oncology, and Medical-Surgical floors.

The MHTP program prepares musicians to play live, therapeutic music at the bedside to enhance a healing environment for the ill, the dying, and those who care for them. Studies have shown that palliative music may reduce blood pressure, stabilize heart rate, affect respiration, relieve anxiety, reduce pain, and boost the immune system. MHTP is accredited by the National Standards Board for Therapeutic Musicians.

“We are delighted to have Meredith volunteering for us,” commented Steffens. “Her music will be a wonderful enhancement to our care programs and a benefit to our staff as well as our patients and their family members.”