Monthly Archives: April 2018

Above & Beyond

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

Once I got back to the therapy area in the Pain Center the receptionist was amazing, Dr. Wills was amazing, as was his assistant! I was offered a cup of hot tea, the heat was turned on for me, the receptionist & dr., & assistant took care of my concerns & they were awesome!


Both Marcy, my nurse, and Christina, my PT, exemplify the very best in home health. There were professional but personal, kind and caring. I received magnificent care and would highly recommend both to anyone. I am so blessed to have had such 100 percent awesome care from Shore Home Care.


Paula Baker at Shore Rehab at Queenstown is very helpful in treating my condition. She is very concerned and is evaluating my progress every visit. I am very positive about my rehab.


The waiting of the area of the Breast Center is pleasantly decorated and very soothing. I did not have blood drawn, but the tech I had for my mammogram was very thorough and took the time to explain what she was doing and why. She did a very good job. I’ve had Yulenda Green the last two times when I’ve come in for a mammogram. She is always very pleasant and professional.


Sally Worm and the staff at Cardiac Rehab in Easton are excellent!

Observation Area Now Established in UM SMC at Easton

Shown celebrating the opening of the new Observation Area on 2 East are Nancy Bedell, Dr. Dennis DeShields, Mary Collins, Ashley Higgs, Amanda Weems, Keri Tucker, Denise Travers and Ruth Ann Jones.

Patients staying overnight under observation status are now housed in an area of 2 East at UM Shore Medical Center at Easton, according to Nancy Bedell, regional director, Care Coordination.

“This is a 14-bed area where we now congregate observation patients so as to better coordinate their care and monitor their status. The goal is to  ensure they are either admitted or discharged within 23 hours,” says Bedell. “Five of the beds  accommodate telemetry, and there is a trackboard that documents the time of the observation order for each patient, which makes it easier for caregiving staff to keep track of the time.”

Observation patients are now followed by specific hospitalists designated by Shore Bayy Hospitalists Medical Director Dennis DeShields, MD. Nurses serving patients in the observation beds have been trained to do blood draws which decrease the time to get test results. The care team “huddles” every three hours to review the plan of care and identify barriers to meeting the 23-hour mark. Mary Collins, clinical nurse specialist on 2 East, has been very instrumental in conducting staff education and updating procedures.

The new Observation Area was developed by a multidisciplinary group led by Ruth Ann Jones, senior vice president, Patient Care Services and chief nursing officer, and facilitated by DaVita consultants. The group visited two other UMMS hospitals that have observation areas and 2 East Nurse Manager Jennifer Miles attended a conference on observation care. Said Miles, “I am very impressed by how well this group has worked together to better serve our patients.”

“Until now, patients on observation status were scattered in units throughout the hospital so this is a very exciting and promising advancement in patient care,” says Bedell. “We are all very confident that it will help us avoid unnecessary hospital admissions and ensure that patients who are discharged have the tools and understanding they need to follow up on their health issues.”

Joint Commission Tips: Please Read and Heed!

TJC Did You Know?

  • POWER STRIPS – Are power strips allowed? Yes, but they MUST be approved as follows:
    —  for clinical use, through Biomedical Engineering Department
    —  for non-clinical use, through Plant Ops/Maintenance
  • STAINED CEILING TILES – They must be replaced! Be sure to report stained ceiling tiles by submitting a Work Order.
  • ENVIRONMENT OF CARE AND LIFE SAFETY – If you have a question related to the Environment of Care or Life Safety, your contact is UM SRH Life Safety Officer Michelle Kirk, 410-822-1000 ext. 5464,  
  • PATIENT SAFETY – If you have a question or concern related to Patient Safety, your contact is UM SRH Patient Safety Officer  Jean Seiler 410-443-5315,

Fellowship in Healing: Mid Shore Stroke Support Group Celebrates 10th Anniversary

The MidShore Stroke Support Group celebrated 10 years during their April meeting at Shore Medical Pavilion at Easton. Front row: Walid Kamsheh, medical director, UM Shore Regional Health’s Primary Stroke Center; Donna Richardson; Ruth Arnouts, co-founder of the group who served as coordinator until just recently; Primary Stroke Center nurse Kelly Stacey; and Nicole Leonard, neuroscience specialist/stroke coordinator for the Primary Stroke Center. Back row: Kevin Walsh, George King, Waller Hairston, Elizabeth Ferguson, Jessica Fluharty, RN, formerly with the Primary Stroke Center, and Drake Ferguson.

Ten years ago, retired nurse Ruth Arnouts, of Easton, suffered a potentially life-changing event – a stroke. But for Arnouts, who felt very fortunate that her stroke was relatively mild, the changes that followed were more about helping fellow survivors than coping with personal disabilities or limitations.

“I felt very lucky, and as I learned more about the high incidence of stroke – especially for older people -and how it completely disrupts the lives of survivors and their families, I decided I wanted to give back to the community by helping others recover,” Arnouts says.

Working with Christina Ball, who was then the neuroscience nursing specialist at Shore Medical Center at Easton, Arnouts and a fellow stroke survivor, Melissa Malcolm, started the group and gained new members by referral from hospital. Arnouts coordinated topics and speakers for the meetings until recently, when she gave up the leadership duties but continues to attend the group.

Nicole Leonard pauses with MidShore Stroke Support Group co-founder Ruth Arnouts.

“We started meeting in St. Michaels, moved up to the Brookletts Place senior center in Easton, then to the Presbyterian Church in Easton, and now we gather at Shore Medical Pavilion at Easton,” Arnouts says. “There are usually eight to 12 of us in attendance, and several have been coming for eight years – and a few of us for all ten years.”

UM Shore Regional Health treats approximately 600 stroke patients every year. Those who survive the event find that that recovery poses diverse challenges in such areas as speech, balance, mobility and cognition – challenges that require ongoing effort and determination. to overcome. But survivors should not feel they have to go it alone: Several studies have validated the importance of social support in stroke recovery because social interaction helps ease the depression and isolation felt by many survivors.

Says Nicole Leonard, neuroscience specialist/stroke coordinator for the Primary Stroke Center at UM Shore Medical Center at Easton who now leads the Mid Shore Stroke Support Group and also the Queenstown Stroke Support Group, “Both groups host guest speakers on special topics related to stroke recovery, but they also provide camaraderie, comfort and hope. Members are at varying stages of recovery and they all share their stories. More recent survivors are inspired and encouraged to hear from those who are a few years out but still making progress in overcoming their deficits. They challenge each other to keep improving and celebrate each other’s successes.”

Drake Ferguson has attended the Mid Shore Stroke Support Group with his wife, Elizabeth, since 2008. At the April meeting celebrating the group’s 10th anniversary, he took Leonard’s observations a step further. “Doctors can tell you everything about stroke in the acute phase, but once you are recovering, stroke survivors have much more to offer you because they have lived through it, day to day,” says Ferguson. “It used to be said that you only keep recovering months or up to a year after your stroke, but this group has taught me that you can keep progressing for years if you work at it. We’ve all seen each other improve, whether it’s in our mobility or our speech or some other aspect. I’ve learned so much from others in this room, just through listening and observation – they made me realize that to a large degree, my recovery was and is in my own hands.”

Says another long-time group member, Donna Richardson, “I have learned so much from my fellow survivors and also from the expert presenters who have talked to us about how to cope with different effects of stroke.”  Presentations to the group have focused on a wide array of practical matters, for example, how to minimize your fall risk and how to get up if you fall, what kinds of assistive devices are available to increase your independence and mobility, dealing with sleep problems and vision deficits, nutrition and medications after a stroke, how to avoid becoming a victim of fraud and identity theft, and even learning to a dance after a stroke.

The biggest challenge for Richardson was regaining her ability to drive a car and getting her driver’s license renewed. “I started off in a wheelchair and then graduated to a walker, and finally got myself to be freestanding again. Dealing with the Motor Vehicle Administration was a real battle and it took me five tries, but the group was cheering me on and I did it,” she says.

Caregivers also derive benefit from the group. Says Mandy Owen, who helps group member Waller Hairston with transportation and domestic duties, “Your instinct is to do everything for the survivor so they don’t take any risks. In  listening and talking to family and group members, I learned to resist that instinct and to encourage Waller to do quite a few things on his own.”

Ferguson agrees. “For the caregiver, it’s a fine line between doing too much and not enough, but for the survivor, making a mistake is the way to figure out how to get it right the next time. Elizabeth let me regain my driving skills by starting with our riding mower, and yes, early on I did hit a few trees,” he says with a laugh.

The Mid Shore Group also gets together for fun, hosting an annual holiday party and celebrating milestones like birthdays and wedding anniversaries. “It’s like a family,” observes Jessica Fluharty, formerly neuroscience specialist with UM Shore Regional Health who came to the 10th anniversary meeting to catch up with old friends. “It is really a blessing to see how much the members care for and support each other.”

How much health benefit is gained by participating in a support group? According to the national nonprofit organization, Peers for Progress, studies show that for people with chronic diseases and other conditions, peer support is a “critical and effective strategy for ongoing health care and sustained behavior change.” Social support increases patient knowledge of his or disease and encourages compliance with physician orders, including medication. Those receiving peer support are less likely to require emergency care and report less depression.

In the case of some conditions, peer support can reduce morbidity and mortality rates and increase life expectancy, but in others, the direct and most dramatic benefit is seen in quality of life. Melissa Malcolm states it well, saying, “The stroke support group has been one of the biggest influences in my life.  Everyone in the group has influenced how much of a better person I have become.”

Sign Up for Cultural Competence Course, May 7 at UM Shore Medical Center at Easton

Our nation is experiencing  increasing diversification of its population, a trend that provides both opportunities and challenges for health care providers, health care systems and policy makers to deliver “culturally competent” care. Shore Regional Health will offer a free program, Cultural Competence, May 7, 1-3 p.m. in the Shore Medical Center at Easton Board Room.  It is open to all SRH team members.

Matthew Peters, executive director, Chesapeake Multicultural Resource Center

The course will be conducted by Matthew Peters, executive director of the Chesapeake Multicultural Resource Center.  Dr. Lorelly Solano, coordinator of the Talbot Language and Cultural Competence Project, will also participate.

The learning objectives of this training are:

  • To define the concept of cultural competence
  • To establish a clear and shared understanding of the concepts of diversity and culture
  • To create an awareness of the impact of culture utilizing individual and organizational self-assessments
  • To develop an understanding of the dynamics of difference that emerges in cross cultural encounters
  • Dr. Lorelly Solano, director, Talbot Language and Cultural Competence Project

    To understand effective cross-cultural communication

Please register in advance for the course by contacting Michelle Emrick, or  ext. 5451