Monthly Archives: May 2017

Above & Beyond

The following reports from patients and family members reaffirm our staff’s commitment
to putting our patients’ needs first. Please take a minute to say THANKS!

I would like to commend two people on your staff at UM Shore Medical Center at Easton for their professionalism and their willingness to go the extra mile. A nurse named Kim and a security guard whose name I didn’t get but he is always helpful and goes out of his way [when I visit the hospital]. Both were extremely nice and helpful to me.


I came [to UM Shore Emergency Center at Queenstown] by ambulance after an auto accident.  Very good response by all involved.  Nurse Linda was exceptionally nice and efficient.


[On the 2nd floor at UM Shore Medical Center at Easton], Kara Erkles is the best lab tech.  Very organized, explains everything and excellent technique. Amanda was the best nurse because she really listened to me, thought through all my symptoms, advocated for doctor opinions and re-evaluation, and kept me informed. She was a true advocate and caretaker.


At the lab at Shore Medical Center at Chestertown, staff members assisting me were wonderful — very kind & helpful.  They tried their best to make me comfortable. I have severe disabilities and am in severe pain. The nurse and CAT scan tech did everything to make it more comfortable and easier on me.  They were very concerned, helpful, and kind.


Registration at the lab at UM Shore Medical Center at Dorchester: No worries, mate! Everything was very good, the staff was excellent. It makes me feel good that people care for me so much.


I loved all the nurses at Shore Behavioral Health. Everyone was very helpful and kind-hearted. Overall everything was great but mostly the nurses were the best — they took very good care of me and my unborn child.


[At the Diagnostic & Imaging Center at Easton], Rhonda did an excellent job explaining to my daughter the registration process and helped to ease her anxiety. Joy and Tricia performed the tests and made my daughter feel at ease. She actually enjoyed her process because they made her feel relaxed. Bonnie and Dr. Evans also talked with her and encouraged her.  Everyone was excellent with her!

HR News You Can Use: Holiday Reminder and Easton Hospital Parking

Happy Memorial Day! As we honor those who have served our country, we would like to remind you of our holiday policy.

The holiday will be observed on Monday May 29, 2017.  For team members who are working on that day, you will receive Holiday premium pay and will be entitled to an alternate day off during the payroll year.  All Holiday hours remain in your holiday bank until the end of the payroll calendar year.  Reminder:  Unused holiday hours will not carry over to the next year.

Employee Parking at UM Shore Medical Center at Easton

We want to ensure that our patients have accessible parking when coming to us for services. Therefore, please be mindful that there are designate parking areas for team members, including an un-gated employee parking lot on Vine Street next to the Child Care Center to the north of the hospital.  If you are hesitant about using this lot after dark, Security will be happy to escort you to your vehicle– just ask before you exit the hospital.

Doris Allen Tate Earns CRNP to Become Diabetes & Endocrinology Advanced Care Practitioner

Doris Allen Tate, CRNP

Doris Allen Tate, formerly lead diabetes educator for the UM Center for Diabetes and Endocrinology, recently became a certified registered nurse practitioner and has joined forces with Faustino Macuha, Jr., MD, Anna Antwi, CRNP and Bobbi Atkinson, CRNP as a care provider for diabetes and endocrinology patients.

Tate joined the Center in 2013 and in 2014, completed her BSN from Wilmington University. She was awarded her MSN, Adult Gerontology Nurse Practitioner in 2016. Prior to joining the Center for Diabetes & Endocrinology, Tate served Choptank Community Health System as a diabetes educator for six years.

Patient Experience Team Members Achieve Professional Designations

Jo Anne Thomson, director of Patient Experience, and Elizabeth Flair, patient advocate, have both achieved certficates in patient advocacy, according to Susan Coe, senior vice president, Human Resources and Patient Experience.

Elizabeth Flair, Patient Experience Advocate

The Certificates in Patient Advocacy is awarded by The Beryl Institute, which is the global community of practice dedicated to improving the patient experience through collaboration and shared knowledge. As an international organization based in Dallas, Texas, The Beryl Institute defines patient experience as “the sum of all interactions, shaped by an organization’s culture, that influence patient perceptions across the continuum of care.”

Earning the Certificate in Patient Advocacy requires completion of the Patient Experience Institute’s seven “body of knowledge” courses as well as courses in Introduction to Patient Advocacy and Management of Complaints and Grievances.

Thomson Achieves Prestigious CPXP Designation

Jo Anne Thomson, director, Patient Experience

Thomson also has been awarded the Certificate in Patient Experience, which requires the completion 15 courses in the body of knowledge for Patient Experience, and also completed the Patient Experience Leaders Forum four-day leadership course.

Most recently,  she completed all requirements to become one of just 407 Certified Patient Experience Professionals (CPXP) worldwide. The CPXP designation also is awarded by PXI.

According to Jason A. Wolf, president, Patient Experience Institute, “The recipients of this certification represent a visionary, thoughtful and committed group of individuals focused on changing the landscape of healthcare for the better. As the patient experience movement grows, we recognize the important contribution professionals attaining certification as CPXPs will have.”

Advancements in Cardiovascular Care Showcased

University of Maryland Shore Regional Health recently celebrated the opening of the newest cardiac catheterization laboratory at UM Shore Medical Center at Easton and the organization’s strides in bringing advanced cardiovascular interventions to the Mid-Shore, including Percutaneous Coronary Intervention (PCI) and Electrophysiology Studies (EPS).

  • Electrophysiology Studies (EPS) assess the electrical activity of the heart to determine where an arrhythmia (abnormal heartbeat) originates. Performed by inserting thin, soft wires (catheters) through the veins in the leg and into the heart.
  • EPS results guide decisions regarding interventions, which could include medications, a pacemaker or implantable cardioverter (ICD) implantation or cardiac ablation, which is the elimination of abnormal tissue to restore regular heart rhythm.
  • EPS is performed in the cardiac catheterization lab(s) at UM Shore Medical Center at Easton by cardiologist and EPS specialist, Benjamin Remo, MD.
  • Percutaneous Coronary Intervention (PCI), also commonly referred to as angioplasty with stent placement, is one of a number of treatments a cardiologist may recommend for coronary heart disease.
  • PCI is a minimally invasive procedure during which the interventional cardiologist places a small structure (a stent) to open up blood vessels in the patient’s heart that have been narrowed by atherosclerosis (plaque buildup).
  • PCI is also a procedure used to treat individuals experiencing a STEMI heart attack (ST Elevated Myocardial Infarction), a severe heart attack caused by blockage that can compromise heart muscle. A patient suffering a STEMI heart attack will have the best outcome if he or she undergoes the PCI procedure to relieve the blockage within 60 minutes of the attack’s onset or at the outside, 90 minutes.
  • PCI is performed in the cardiac catheterization lab(s) at UM Shore Medical Center at Easton by interventional cardiologists, Jeffrey Etherton, MD, and Gabriel Sardi, MD. Combined, they have performed more than 4,000 PCI procedures in their careers.

Community Outreach

Jeffrey Etherton, MD, UM Community Medical Group – Cardiology and medical director, PCI Program at UM SRH, partnered with Cambridge cardiologist, Brendon Paltoo, MD, to offer a presentation to local physicians and UM SMC at Dorchester Emergency Department team members, highlighting cardiovascular capabilities in the region. During the presentation, Dr. Etherton offered a detailed explanation of PCI procedures and protocols.

Local cardiologists Brendon Paltoo, MD, Jeffrey Etherton, MD, and Mahmood Shariff, MD, welcomed guests at the recent presentation about cardiovascular care and innovations available in the region.

Ribbon Cutting Event – May, 2017

UM Shore Regional Health celebrated the opening of the new cardiac cath lab with a ribbon cutting in early May. Pictured are Robert Frank, vice president, Operations, UM SRH; Timothy Shanahan, DO, regional medical director for Physician Services, UM Community Medical Group and chair, UM SRH Cardiology Governance Steering Committee; Jeffrey Etherton, MD, UM CMG – Cardiology and medical director, Percutaneous Coronary Intervention Program, UM SRH; John Dillon, chairman, UM SRH Board of Directors; Gary Jones, regional director, Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Services, UM SRH; Benjamin Remo, MD, UM CMG – Cardiology and medical director, Electrophysiology Program, UM SRH; Gabriel Sardi, MD, UM CMG – Cardiology; and Ken Kozel, president and CEO UM SRH.

New, state-of-the-art cardiac cath lab at UM SMC at Easton

UM SRH cardiac cath lab team members

Celebrating the opening of the new cardiac cath lab at the ribbon cutting event are John Dillon, chairman, UM SRH Board of Directors; Benjamin Remo, MD, UM CMG – Cardiology and medical director, Electrophysiology Program, UM SRH; Gabriel Sardi, MD, UM CMG – Cardiology; Ken Kozel, president and CEO UM SRH; Corey Pack, Talbot County Council; Gary Jones, regional director, Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Services, UM SRH; Laura Price, Talbot County Council; Jeffrey Etherton, MD, UM CMG – Cardiology and medical director, Percutaneous Coronary Intervention Program, UM SRH; Maryland State Delegate Johnny Mautz; Timothy Shanahan, DO, regional medical director for Physician Services, UM Community Medical Group and chair, UM SRH Cardiology Governance Steering Committee; Chuck Callahan, Talbot County Council; and Jennifer Williams, president, Talbot County Council.

Various EMS partners celebrated the opening of the new cath lab and the cardiac care capabilities with UM SRH leadership, physicians and cardiovascular team members.

National Cancer Survivors Day, Support Groups Offered by Cancer Program

UM Shore Regional Health’s Cancer Center and Clark Comprehensive Breast Center

The Cancer Program at University of Maryland Shore Regional Health is gearing up for its annual event in observance of National Cancer Survivors Day, held the first Sunday in June, to celebrate those who have recovered from and survived a cancer diagnosis.

“A patient is considered a cancer survivor from the moment of initial diagnosis until the end of life,” comments Jeanie Scott, CTR, cancer registry coordinator. “National Cancer Survivors Day is an event where survivors feel supported and honored by their family members, their local communities and the health care professionals who helped them achieve their survivorship goals, whether they have been living with cancer for a day, a week, a month or years.”

The Cancer Survivors Day event, which will be held this year on Sunday, June 4, is just one of the opportunities for current and past cancer patients to support and celebrate one another.

“Receiving a cancer diagnosis can be overwhelming,” says Patricia Plaskon, PhD, LCSW-C, OSW-C, coordinator of oncology social work at UM Shore Regional Health. “Aside from the medical and emotional challenges one faces when embarking on the cancer journey, dealing with inevitable changes in daily routines, relationships, work, and plans for the future, can leave a newly diagnosed cancer patient searching for assistance in navigating his or her way along the path to their ‘new normal.’”

Cancer support comes in many different forms.  Just as cancer treatments are tailored to individual diagnoses and needs, the support services offered as part of the Cancer Program at UM Shore Regional Health can be personalized according to each individual patient’s medical and emotional needs, as well as his or her lifestyle and survivorship goals.

According to Plaskon, because cancer patients and their family members can experience different needs for guidance, information and support during the phases of diagnosis, active treatment and recovery, social workers and survivorship navigators are available to assist patients in finding the support services that best fit their situations.

“The menu of services available to patients of the Cancer Program is extensive and includes such key components as mentoring, educational programs and classes, traditional support groups, and online and phone support,” she adds.

The ultimate goal of providing support services is cancer recovery and support, which has been coined as CARES.  The CARES program is a multidisciplinary program coordinated by Margot Spies, BSN, RN, OCN, CARES oncology nurse navigator. “Because we operate under the philosophy that cancer survivorship begins the day of a person’s diagnosis, we have a process in place where patients are screened and referred to our social workers on admission or as early in their journey as possible,” says Spies.

When patients enter Shore Regional Health’s Cancer Program, they receive extensive instruction with an oncology nurse from radiation, chemotherapy or the Clark Comprehensive Breast Center. At this time they also meet with a social worker, nurse navigator and financial counselor. Through the CARES process, all patients receive education about the support available to them.  “Patients are bombarded with information when they enter our program, but the nurses and social workers are highly skilled at deciding the appropriate support services and timing that would be most meaningful to the patient,” Spies explains.

There are a number of support group opportunities available at UM Shore Regional Health where participants can share common concerns and find emotional support. Group leaders also assist in providing comfort, presenting information, teaching coping skills and helping to reduce anxiety surrounding diagnosis, treatment and survivorship.

According to Plaskon, “Our support group facilitators are clinical social workers, certified oncology social workers and oncology nurses, whose group training and experience ensure that we offer a quality service to our patients and our communities.  Patients participate in support groups for many reasons, but overwhelmingly, they agree that hearing other patients share their experiences and being able to communicate their own worries with others who share common concerns are vital aspects of each group.”

Sharon Loving, LCSW-C, facilitates the Cancer Patient Support Group, which is open to people with any form of cancer, at any stage of the cancer journey, including those people who have been cancer free for years. “The camaraderie and bonding that develops in the group is an amazing thing to witness and is almost instant,” comments Loving. “Not only do members focus on the stresses related to diagnosis, treatment and post-treatment, but also on life stresses like financial concerns, relationships, children or employment.”

According to Loving, everyone has something to offer the group because they come with different life experiences. “Many people have come to the group just to help others, even when they were going through rough times themselves,” Loving says. “Although members are diverse, differences evaporate and trust builds quickly. Even though they have different cancers, their fears and anxieties are often the same.”

The Breast Cancer Support Group, facilitated by Plaskon, helps breast cancer patients at all stages of the disease. Meetings are educational and interactive. Whether a patient is newly diagnosed, in treatment or in survivorship, the group listens and encourages him or her through the journey. Each meeting features a topic of interest or research about breast cancer; some meetings highlight quality of life issues that can present the patient with overwhelming emotional and physical challenges.

For those living with prostate cancer, the US TOO Prostate Cancer Support Group, led by Sharon Richter, BSN, RN, CCRC, is also available. The group includes men ages 40 to 80 who have undergone various treatments for prostate cancer. Urologists often refer patients that are early in their diagnosis to the group. Participants have the opportunity to share details about diagnosis, treatment and progress in coping with prostate cancer.  “This process is really helpful to someone who is deciding what treatment to have – and is worried about it,” comments Richter.

“Some men require more emotional support than others,” she says, in which case she may meet with those patients separately. Some participants may only attend support group meetings prior to and for a short time after their treatment; others may build strong relationships with other participants and may attend for many years, even if their cancer never returns.

Richter continues, “Our support group mostly is about providing information. We have speakers who address various aspects of prostate cancer treatment and recovery. At whatever stage a patient enters the group we try to answer questions and help.”

In addition to traditional support group opportunities, one-to-one mentoring is available for newly diagnosed breast cancer patients through Survivors Offering Support (SOS). Based at the Clark Comprehensive Breast Center at UM Shore Regional Health, SOS provides breast cancer patients with trained mentors – peer survivors who understand the experiences, emotions and challenges associated with a breast cancer diagnosis and treatment.

“Mentoring support reduces patient anxiety and lessens fear of the unknown,” comments Edla Coleman, SOS program coordinator at the Clark Comprehensive Breast Center. “In addition to the knowledge and comfort the program offers our patients, volunteer mentors themselves report that they benefit in ways far greater than they imagined. It brings the breast cancer experience full circle and turns a hard experience into something very positive.”

Besides mentoring, the SOS program offers Transition to Wellness workshops, which provide guidance and information for breast cancer patients who have completed treatment and are beginning life as breast cancer survivors.

“While cancer is something that we all hope to never face, residents of our five- county region, who are in need of cancer care, either for themselves or a loved one, have access to the full gamut of diagnostic, treatment and support services, all of which meet the highest standards of health care,” comments Brian Leutner, MBA, executive director, Oncology Services, UM Shore Regional Health. “The comprehensive support services available through the Cancer Program help patients keep their lives in balance as they navigate through diagnosis and treatment, all while helping them to achieve the ultimate goal of recovery and survivorship.”

Throughout the month of June, the Cancer Program will be hosting a number of events in addition to the National Cancer Survivors Day celebration, which is expected to celebrate 100 local cancer survivors. They include:

  • Sexual Health for Women after Cancer – Tuesday, June 6, 5pm, Cancer Center, 509 Idlewild Avenue, Easton. Guest speaker: Robin Ford, certified oncology nurse. Discussion: Changes in sexual function and lifestyle as a result of cancer and its related treatments.
  • The Cancer Moonshot: How to Follow Research and Clinical Trials – Tuesday, June 13, 5pm, Cancer Center, 509 Idlewild Avenue, Easton. Guest speakers: Nina Weisenborn, clinical trials nurse, and Bill Shrieves, pancreatic cancer survivor and member of the Pancreatic Cancer Advocacy Network. Discussion: Types of cancer research and funding, how research results become standardized treatment and the benefits of clinical trials. Patients who have participated in clinical trials will be on hand to share their own experiences.
  • Chemo Brain: The Latest Science – Tuesday, June 20, 5pm, Cancer Center, 509 Idlewild Avenue, Easton. Guest speakers: Amy Beth Hellman, speech therapist, and Christine Allen, certified oncology dietician. Discussion: Signs of chemo brain, what to discuss with your provider, coping at work, the importance of lifestyle change, benefits of speech therapy and tips for cognition and recall, and nutritional tips to boost cognitive function.
  • Bras, Bathing Suits and Fashion for Women After Breast Surgery – Tuesday, June 27, 5pm, Clark Comprehensive Breast Center, 10 Martin Court, Easton.

To register for one of the June events or to obtain information about support services available throughout the region, call the Cancer Center at 410-820-6800, or visit for the latest issue of their monthly newsletter, Thriving and Surviving, containing a full listing of program offerings.

UM SRH Tour de Cure Team Raises More than $3,000 for Diabetes Research

UM SRH Tour de Cure team members (l. to r.) Amy Lorenz, Chrissy Nelson, Mary King, Sherrie Hill, Belle Sampson and Doris Tate rode the 35 mile course leaving from the Talbot County Community Center. Not shown are fellow team members Karen Canter and Harry Canter, who rode the 62 mile course.

UM Shore Regional Health’s eight-rider team pedaled a total of 334 miles in the recent Chesapeake Tour de Cure, raising more than $3,000 for the American Diabetes Association.

This year’s Chesapeake Tour de Cure was headquartered at the Talbot Community Center in Easton, and included 44 teams from around the Delmarva Peninsula whose participation and support raised nearly $175,000. The UM SRH team, which placed 5th in dollars raised among the top 10 company teams, included Harry Canter, Karen Canter, Margie Elsberg, Sherrie Hill, Mary King, Amy Lorenz, Chrissy Nelson (team captain), Belle Sampson and Doris Allen Tate. Tate was the top UM SRH fundraiser with $1400 in support.

“When you participate in the Tour de Cure, you are raising awareness in your community about diabetes, supporting life-saving research and helping people who are discriminated against because they have diabetes,” says Nelson, who has participated in the past six Chesapeake Tour de Cure events. “Diabetes rates in Shore Regional Health’s five county region tend to be higher than the Maryland state and national averages, and several of our team members have worked as diabetes nurse educators to help patients learn how to manage their disease and prevent complications so they can enjoy active and productive lives. I’m really grateful to those who rode, those who provided volunteer help and also to all of the donors — mostly friends and family — whose donations helped us raise just over $3,000.”