Monthly Archives: May 2016

Rehabilitation Team Celebrates Life of Participant


Pictured celebrating his 96th birthday is Ralph Thornton (center) with Sherrie Hill, Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation clinical coordinator, and Wendy Barnette, nurse with the Cardiopulmonary Fitness and Wellness program. Hill made Thornton a homemade cake for the party.

Pictured celebrating his 96th birthday is Ralph Thornton (center) with Sherrie Hill, Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation clinical coordinator, and Wendy Barnette, nurse with the Cardiopulmonary Fitness and Wellness program. Hill made Thornton a homemade cake for the party.

Chestertown resident, Ralph Thornton, recently celebrated his 96th birthday with members of the Cardiopulmonary Fitness and Wellness team at University of Maryland Shore Medical Center at Chestertown, who hosted a birthday party in his honor.

According to Sherrie Hill, Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation Clinical Coordinator of the hospital’s Center for Cardiopulmonary Fitness and Wellness, Thornton has been a member of the rehabilitation program for the past several years. “I honestly believe that Mr. Thornton’s exercise regimen has helped him remain healthy and active,” says Hill. “He walks to the hospital from his home for his sessions at the gym, even further proving what an impact cardiopulmonary rehabilitation has had on his independent lifestyle.”

“I have been participating in the cardiopulmonary rehabilitation program since having a quadruple bypass in 2002,” comments Mr. Thornton. “They’ve kept me going.”

He continues, “Sherrie runs a good ship – she and her team listen, they are cheerful and are genuinely interested in the well-being of their patients. If you want to live a healthy life, go visit Sherrie Hill!”

The Center for Cardiopulmonary Fitness and Wellness offers personal exercise programs, designed to help patients meet their specific goals using a wide selection of professional cardiovascular and resistance training equipment with built-in monitoring systems. The Center’s team includes specially- trained registered nurses who work with primary care providers to offer guidance, monitoring, support, and a record of superior outcomes. Patients also have access respiratory therapists, dieticians, social workers, clinical pharmacists, diabetes educators, and physical therapists. Patients must be referred to the Center for Cardiopulmonary Fitness and Wellness by their physician. The Center for Cardiopulmonary Fitness and Wellness at UM Shore Medical Center at Chestertown is accredited by the American Association of Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Rehabilitation.

Hill adds, “I love the fact that we are able to help our community members stay healthy and active.”

To learn more, contact Sherrie Hill at 410-778-3300, extension 2222 or 5666, or e-mail

Clark Comprehensive Breast Center Opens its Doors in Expanded Location


Exterior rendering of the Clark Comprehensive Breast Center at UM Shore Regional Health.

Architectural rendering of the exterior of  the Clark Comprehensive Breast Center at UM Shore Regional Health.

The Clark Comprehensive Breast Center at University of Maryland Shore Regional Health is now seeing patients at its newly expanded location, 10 Martin Court in Easton. Named in recognition of a $5 million gift from The Clark Charitable Foundation, a private philanthropic organization funded by the A. James Clark Family, the Center’s expansion was part of a $6.5 million renovation project at UM Shore Regional Health’s Diagnostic and Imaging Center, housed at that same location.

The 14-month project, which began in February, 2015, was completed in three phases and in addition to the expansion of the Breast Center to its new location, encompassed all laboratory and imaging spaces.

Under the leadership of medical director, Roberta J. Lilly, MD, MPH, FACS, the Clark Comprehensive Breast Center provides a variety of breast health services including diagnosis and treatment of benign and malignant breast disease.  Other services available include support groups, telemedicine genetic counseling services, the Wellness for Women program, a breast screening program that promotes early detection of breast cancer, and a Women’s Health Boutique for post-mastectomy garments, prosthetics and swim wear.

The Diagnostic and Imaging Center offers laboratory and imaging technologies including phlebotomy; digital mammography with Tomosynthesis (3-D); bone density screening; ultrasound; MRI, PET and 64-slice CT scanning; X-ray; fluoroscopy; EKG and Cardiac CT Scoring. Diagnostic services are available Monday thru Friday, from 7 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. and Saturday from 8 a.m. until noon for lab work, routine x-ray and digital screening mammography.

“Our organization strives to maintain the health and well-being of the members of our community through enhanced outpatient services such as preventive care, health education, access to physicians and a variety of other programs and medical specialties,” comments Ken Kozel, president and CEO of UM Shore Regional Health.  “To achieve improved health and wellness in our communities, our goal is to provide leading-edge, accessible health care services.”

Kozel continues, “Thanks to the generosity of The Clark Charitable Foundation, women throughout the five-county region will have greater access to state-of-the-art diagnostics and exceptional care offered by an expert breast health team – in one location – improving the patient experience, patient outcomes and ultimately saving lives.”

For additional Information about available breast health services or to schedule an appointment, call the Clark Comprehensive Breast Center at 410-820-9400. Information about services offered at the Diagnostic and Imaging Center can be received by calling 410-820-7778.

The community is invited to a Grand Opening and Ribbon Cutting event on Wednesday, June 22 from 5:30-7pm. To RSVP, contact Christina Wingate-Spence at 410-822-1000, ext. 5732 or

Daniel Lessard Named HR Director, UM Shore Regional Health


Lessard cropped 5x7Daniel N. Lessard (shown at left), has been appointed director of Human Resources for University of Maryland Shore Regional Health, according to Susan Coe, vice president of Human Resources for the five-county health care network.

Lessard joins UM Shore Regional Health after four years with the Queen Anne’s County Public Schools, most recently as director of Human Resources. He is an accomplished human resources professional with extensive experience in administration, training, recruitment, staffing and coordination of personnel, programs and services. He holds the Senior Certified Professional (SCP) designation from the Society for Human Resources and the Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) from the Human Resources Certification Institute. In addition to his undergraduate degree from Richard Stockton University of New Jersey, he earned his master’s degree in psychology from Washington College.

Prior to his tenure with the Queen Anne’s County Public Schools, Lessard spent ten years as an education program specialist for the Maryland State Department of Education, and four years as coordinator of Human Resources for Kent County Public Schools. His private sector experience includes seven years in human resources, training and education with Dixon Valve and Coupling Company in Chestertown and its parent company, DVCC, Inc., which he served as corporate training director and HR specialist for its operations in 12 states and Canada. He also has extensive high school and college teaching experience in such wide-ranging subject areas as social studies, history, government, psychology, machine shop and industrial psychology.

Lessard has lived in the Chestertown area in Queen Anne’s County for the past 27 years with his wife, Kimberly, aquatics director and swim coach at Washington College and their daughters, Devin and Kelsey, who both recently graduated from Susquehanna University in Pennsylvania.

According to Coe, Lessard will begin his new position on May 31. “We are delighted to have someone with strong connections to the communities we serve as well as such depth in the human resources field joining our HR team,” she says.

Shore Behavioral Health’s Bridge Clinic Helps Patients After Discharge from Inpatient Care


Earlier this year, Shore Behavioral Health launched a new program, the Bridge Clinic, which assists patients who are in need of psychiatric assistance and support immediately following discharge from an inpatient behavioral health treatment program.

“Too often, patients who have been hospitalized for behavioral health issues either have not been in the care of a community behavioral health provider and/or experience a delay in getting scheduled for an appointment after discharge,” says Bill Belcher, who came to Shore Behavioral Health in October, 2015 and serves as coordinator for the clinic. “For up to 90 days, the Bridge Clinic ‘bridges the gap’ between a patient’s discharge and his or her first connection with a permanent mental health care provider in the community.”

Bridge Clinic Coordinator Bill Belcher with Rebecca Schulnick, who provides administrative support for the clinic, take a break outside UM SMC at Dorchester.

Shore Behavioral Health’s Bridge Clinic Coordinator Bill Belcher and Rebecca Schulnick, who provides administrative support for the clinic, take a break outside UM SMC at Dorchester.

A licensed clinical mental health counselor since 2000 and licensed in addictions and co-occurring disorders since 2014, Belcher previously worked in Federally Qualified Health Centers as a behavioral health specialist collaborating with physicians, nurses and other health care professionals to promote physical and emotional wellness. He also maintained a private practice treating patients with chronic pain, anxiety and co-occurring disorders.

The Bridge Clinic’s services include:

  • Ensuring continuity of care by providing therapy coverage for patients until they can be connected to an outpatient mental health care provider;
  • Contacting patients after discharge from the hospital to remind them of appointments and make sure they understand their discharge orders;
  • Collaborating with community mental health providers and resources to keep patients safe and from needing emergency care;
  • Providing walk-in urgent care, scheduled appointments for counseling and psychiatric treatment; and,
  • Offering a weekly support group for patients who need support or assistance while in transition.

“The support group has been an especially strong success,” says Belcher. “Sometimes we have three or four people, but we’ve also had as many as 15. Each patient can bring one family member and they often do, and they all find it beneficial to hear each other’s stories and share information. I find that I look forward to Tuesday evenings because the dynamic is so positive.”

Providers working with the Bridge Clinic and its patients are Eric Anderson, MD, FAPA Medical Director, Shore Behavioral Health; and Manjula Borge, MD, staff psychiatrist. (An additional psychiatrist will join the staff in July). Mary Webb, RN, CARN, provides nursing assistance and Rebecca Schulnick provides administrative support.

The schedule for the Bridge Clinic is as follows:

  • Walk-in hours: 8 a.m. -12 p.m., Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays
  • Scheduled appointments for counseling: 1-4 p.m., Mondays through Fridays
  • Scheduled appointments for psychiatric treatment: Tuesdays and Thursdays, 3-5 p.m.
  • Support group meetings: Tuesdays, 6-7:30 p.m. (open to the community, no registration required)

For more information about Bridge Clinic Services and patient eligibility, call 410-228-5511, ext. 2140 or 1686, or email

Kent County Doctors are Top Sponsors of Golf Tournament to Benefit UM Shore Medical Center at Chestertown


Gerard S. O’Connor, MD, a board-certified general surgeon practicing at UM Shore Medical Center at Chestertown, and Mark Zwanger, MD, a former Chestertown Emergency Department physician and his husband, Malcolm Kram, DVM, have stepped up in a big way to become the top sponsors of the UM Chester River Health Foundation’s 22nd annual golf tournament fundraiser.

Gerald, O'Connor, MD

Gerald, O’Connor, MD

This year’s tournament will raise funds to purchase critical equipment for the Surgical Services Department: all-new, state-of-the-art, high definition, white light digital colonoscopes and endoscopes. This equipment will help identify and treat colorectal cancers and other digestive system disorders at the earliest possible stage and thus, save lives.

“The new equipment is critically important in our efforts to provide the highest quality cancer screenings for our community,” O’Connor says. “It is my honor to demonstrate my continued support of our hospital in Chestertown and the people we serve, and I hope the community will rally behind me and the Chester River Health Foundation in this and future fundraising efforts.”

Mark Zwanger, MD

Mark Zwanger, MD

Drs. Zwanger and Kram have been major sponsors of the golf tournament for seven years. “We think it is very important to support the hospital because it is a vital institution for our community that provides needed and invaluable services,” Zwanger explains.

The Chester River Health Foundation’s signature fundraising event will tee off on Friday, June 3 at the Chester River Yacht & Country Club just outside of Chestertown. To make a donation in support of this event or to make a donation to help purchase this vital equipment for the patients served by UM Shore Medical Center at Chestertown, please contact Maryann Ruehrmund, CFRE, executive director, (410) 810-5660.


Karen Denny Honored as 2016 Ruby Award Winner by Talbot Soroptomists and as EveryDay Hero


On March 23, 2016, Karen Denny, coordinator UM Shore Regional Health’s Sexual Assault Forensic Examiner (SAFE) and Sexual Assault Response Team (SART) programs,  won the 2016 Ruby Award for Women Helping Women from the Soroptimist International of Talbot County. The  Ruby Award recognized Denny’s hard work for and dedication to the UM SRH sexual assault treatment program. Melissa Kelly, coordinator, Clark Comprehensive Breast Center and president, Soroptimist International of Talbot County, also recognized Denny as an EveryDay Hero through the UM Memorial Hospital Foundation.

Shown above are (l. to r.): Laura Heikes, Soroptimist member; Ruth Ann Jones,vice president, Patient Care Services/CNO; Kay Wendowski, Soroptimist Member; Pat Steele, Soroptimist member; Karen Denny, Ruby Award winner and EveryDay Hero honoree, coordinator; Melissa Kelly, president, Soroptimist International of Talbot County; Diane Walbridge, regional director of Clinical/Financial Nursing Resources; F. Graham Lee, vice president of philanthropy.

Shown above are (l. to r.): Laura Heikes, Soroptimist member; Ruth Ann Jones,vice president, Patient Care Services/CNO; Kay Wendowski, Soroptimist member; Pat Steele, Soroptimist member; Karen Denny; Melissa Kelly; Diane Walbridge, regional director of Clinical/Financial Nursing Resources; F. and Graham Lee, vice president of philanthropy.

Chesapeake College Reaches Out to Alumni


#PeakeProud, the Chesapeake College campaign to reach out to its alumni (graduates, nongrad and continuing education students) where they live and work, has been “on the road” for several weeks visiting businesses and public locations in the five county region.

During the week of May 9, Chesapeake College #PeakeProud representatives were on site at UM Shore Medical Centers at Chestertown, Dorchester and Easton, including the UM SRH Human Resources’ Education Fair. Their mission was to reconnect with UM SRH employees who attended the College to chat with them about their education experiences and career journeys, and opportunities and programs now offered by the College in Wye Mills and Cambridge.

If you missed the opportunity to connect with #PeakeProud, the College invites you to log on to this link,  Alumni Request for Information.

Shore Regional Health Tour De Cure Team Raises More than $4,000 in 2016 Ride


2016 Tour de Cure

Chestertown members of the UM Shore Regional Health 2016 Tour De Cure team (above, left to right) Scott Burleson, Margie Elsberg, Mickey Elsberg, Amy Lorenz, Sherrie Hill and Chrissy Nelson suited up for the annual ride that support diabetes research this past Sunday, but according to Nelson, the treacherously wet weather was overcome only by Burleson and the Elsbergs, who completed the 35 mile course. The team — which included Bobby Adkins, Doris Allen,  Wynne Aroom, Karen Hollis, Mary King and Kevin Tate as well as patients and other staff of the UM Center for Diabetes & Endocrinology, raised more than $4000 for Tour De Cure.