Author Archives: Christina Wingate-Spence

Dorchester General Hospital Foundation Supports Emergency Department

Members of the Dorchester General Hospital Foundation’s Board of Directors gathered after a recent meeting. Shown are (back row) Brian Leutner, executive director, UM Shore Medical Center at Dorchester; Dr. Morris Effron; William Jarmon, Jr.; Dr. Bruce Bernard; Vernon Phillips, III; Dr. Edmund Connelly; Kim Lidell; (front row) Diane McCarthy, president, Dorchester General Hospital Auxiliary; E. Thomas Merryweather, secretary; Kathy Freund, administrative support and recording secretary; Ida Jane Baker, president; Dr. William Bair; and William L. Wise, III, vice president.

The Emergency Department at University of Maryland Shore Medical Center at Dorchester, which treats more than 20,000 residents and visitors of the Mid Shore each year, was the beneficiary of the Dorchester General Hospital’s most recent annual appeal. As a result of major gifts to the appeal, numerous pieces of vital equipment were purchased for the Department, including modern bariatric stretchers whose cost totalled more than $35,000.

“Emergency care is something that most of us will utilize at some point in our lives, either for ourselves or for a loved one,” says Ida Jane Baker, Foundation president. “Because of that, it has been and will continue to be a top priority of the hospital’s Foundation to fund state-of-the-art equipment that not only makes patients more comfortable, but through its innovation, also saves lives. The Foundation Board of Directors is most grateful for the generosity of our community supporters and the hospital’s Auxiliary for their continued funding of emergency care services here in our local community.”

Led by Mrs. Baker, the Dorchester General Hospital Foundation has been raising funds for decades in support of programs, services, equipment and technologies used in patient care at UM Shore Medical Center at Dorchester. The Foundation’s Board of Directors includes William L. Wise, III, vice president; E. Thomas Merryweather, secretary; Dr. Bruce Bernard; Dr. Edmund Connelly; Robert Costos; Dr. Morris Effron; Ken Kozel, president and CEO, UM Shore Regional Health; Kim Lidell; and new members Dr. William Bair; William Jarmon, Jr.; Vernon Phillips, III; and Diane McCarthy, president, Dorchester General Hospital Auxiliary.

To learn more about ways to support UM Shore Medical Center at Dorchester, contact Ida Jane Baker, Foundation president, at 410-228-8182.

Dorchester Auxiliary, Foundation Support Emergency Care

Shown with the Emergency Department’s new bladder scanner are Diane McCarthy, Auxiliary president; Ida Jane Baker, Foundation president; Brian Leutner, executive director, UM Shore Medical Center at Dorchester; Cathy Weber, nurse manager, Emergency Department; Joy Loeffler, Auxiliary vice president and Robin Hood Shop chair; Cathy Gullion, manager, Robin Hood Shop and Auxiliary treasurer; and Debbie Thomas, Auxiliary member.

In response to the Dorchester General Hospital Foundation’s most recent annual appeal benefiting the Emergency Department at University of Maryland Shore Medical Center at Dorchester, the hospital’s Auxiliary contributed more than $17,000, funding two pieces of essential equipment.

With the Auxiliary’s donation, the Foundation purchased a bladder scanner, a non-invasive ultrasound used to assess urinary retention and urinary incontinence, both of which can be symptoms of significant urological conditions in patients of any age, but especially the elderly. The Emergency Department is also home to a new ice machine, purchased using the Auxiliary’s contribution.

“The first priority of the Emergency Department is to provide the right care at the right time, during situations when patients need it the most,” comments Cathy Weber, RN, BSN, CEN, manager of Emergency Services, UM Shore Medical Center at Dorchester. “For decades, the generosity of our hospital’s auxiliary, the Foundation and countless members of our local community have made it possible for our team to offer innovative—and quite often life-saving—emergency care, to our patients of all ages, in the most efficient and effective ways imaginable. We are truly grateful for their continued support of Emergency Services.”

Additional information about fundraising initiatives of the Dorchester General Hospital Foundation can be obtained by contacting Ida Jane Baker, Foundation president, at 410-228-8182.

UM SRH Team Members Complete Leadership Courses

Several UM Shore Regional Health and UM Community Medical Group team members recently participated in courses offered by University of Maryland Medical System’s Health Care Leadership Institute.

All programs offered by the Health Care Leadership Institute are aligned with the strategic direction of UMMS and are targeted to meet specific leadership needs across the System.

Team members who completed courses include:

Foundations of Leadership

(Participants divided into cohorts)

  • Rebecca Baxter
  • Meredith Bennett
  • Linda Callahan
  • Brandi Covey
  • Robert Cunningham
  • Katie Dadds
  • Kathryn Davis
  • Kathy Elliott
  • Robin Ford
  • Jamie Hagadorn
  • Ann Marie Hernandez
  • Roland Jones
  • Jessica Kunz
  • Stephanie Pete
  • Eugenia Scott
  • Bobbi Simkins
  • Patricia Steele
  • Elizabeth Todd
  • Christina Wingate-Spence
  • Sally Worm

Advanced Leadership

(Participants divided into cohorts)

  • Robert Carroll
  • Patricia Focht
  • Cheryl Ruff

 People Leadership

  • Warren Scull

Operations Leadership for Directors

  • Kevin Chapple
  • Jo Ann Thomson

Strategic Leadership for Executives

  • Brian Leutner

UM CMG – Primary Care Welcomes Michael Gasparovich, DO

University of Maryland Community Medical Group (UM CMG) recently announced the addition of Denton-based primary care provider Michael Gasparovich, DO. Dr. Gasparovich’s specializes in family medicine and preventative care.

A board certified physician with the American Osteopathic Board of Family Practice, Dr. Gasparovich is a graduate of the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine. He completed an internship and residency with Kennedy Memorial Hospitals.

“We are very excited to have Dr. Gasparovich join our team at  University of Maryland Community Medical Group in our Denton-based Primary Care practice,” says Michele Wilson, vice president of operations for UM CMG. “Dr. Gasparovich will offer primary care patients in Caroline County compassionate and comprehensive care for a broad range of health services.”

UM CMG is a University of Maryland Medical System-owned network of more than 300 primary care physicians, specialists- and advanced practice clinicians. As part of UM CMG, Dr. Gasparovich is affiliated with UM Shore Regional Health and is currently seeing patients at 836 S. 5th Avenue in Denton. Patients may make an appointment to see him by calling 410-479-5900.

UM CMG consists of community-based provider practices affiliated with UM Baltimore Washington Medical Center, UM Charles Regional Medical Center, University of Maryland Medical Center Midtown Campus and UM Shore Regional Health.  A list of UM CMG providers is available at

Free Prostate Cancer Screenings Scheduled in Kent and Talbot Counties

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), prostate cancer is the most common type of cancer among men in the United States aside from non-melanoma skin cancer. CDC statistics also show that it is one of the leading causes of cancer-related death among men of all races and Hispanic origin populations.

To promote early detection of prostate cancer, the Cancer Program at University of Maryland Shore Regional Health has scheduled free screenings in two locations across the region.

A Prostate Cancer Screening and Forum will be held on Monday, September 18 beginning at 5:30 p.m. at Mount Olive AME Church, 24852 Lambs Meadow Road in Worton.  The Prostate Cancer Forum and dinner will be sponsored by Mt. Olive AME, the Minority Outreach and Technical Assistance (MOTA) Program and the Kent County Health Department, and partially funded by the Maryland Department of Health Cigarette Restitution Funds. Free prostate cancer screenings will be provided by University of Maryland Shore Regional Health and Christopher Parry, DO, of UM Community Medical Group – Urology. To register for the forum, dinner and screening at the Worton location, call Andrea Edwards, RN, at 410-778-7970.

“Thanks to our various community partners including University of Maryland Shore Regional Health, Dr. Parry, MOTA and Mount Olive Church, our local health department is once again able to provide these free screenings to the men of Kent County and its surrounding areas,” says Edwards, a nurse with the Kent County Health Department. “We would like to encourage wives and daughters to bring their husbands, fathers, sons and brothers to this event, not just for the screening, but for the useful information about prostate cancer that will be shared. Everyone is welcome!”

On Tuesday, September 26, free prostate cancer screenings will be offered at University of Maryland Shore Medical Pavilion at Easton, 490 Cadmus Lane, Suite 104. The screenings, which will be offered from 5-8 p.m., are being coordinated by the Cancer Program in partnership with the Talbot County NAACP and the Chesapeake Multicultural Resource Center.  Participating physicians include University of Maryland Shore Regional Health and UM Community Medical Group – affiliated urologists, R. Duane Cespedes, MD; John Foley, MD; John Knud-Hansen, MD, FACS; Andrew Riggin, MD;  and Christopher Runz, DO. To register for screening at the Easton location, call the Cancer Center at UM Shore Regional Health at 410-820-6800.

“One of our top priorities at University of Maryland Shore Regional Health is to provide members of our local communities with access to preventive care and screenings such as this one,” comments Nina Weisenborn, BSN, RN, clinical research nurse, UM Shore Regional Health Cancer Center. “Our goal – not just for those patients with prostate cancer, but all cancers – is to make an early diagnosis so that evaluation and treatment can be initiated as early as possible in the disease process. This not only increases rates of survival – it ultimately helps us to create healthier communities for the patients we serve.”

Those interested in being screened 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 in both locations are open to the public.  Uninsured and underinsured are welcome to participate.  Pre-registration is required for screening at either location as space is limited.

Kirk Receives Scholarship to Attend ASHE Conference

Michelle Kirk, director of Facilities Management and Environmental and Life Safety Officer at UM Shore Regional Health, was recently awarded the American Society for Healthcare Engineering’s (ASHE) Ilse B. Almanza Scholarship, making it possible for her to attend the ASHE Annual Conference and Technical Exhibition. The scholarship was established to support education and training to develop future leaders committed to optimizing the health care physical environment.

With a membership of more than 12,000, ASHE is the largest association devoted to professionals who design, build, maintain and operate hospitals and other health care facilities. It is a personal membership group of the American Hospital Association and is a trusted industry resource that provides education, regulatory guidance, networking, advocacy representation and professional development for its members, like Kirk who has been a member for the past several years.

Cardiac Rehab – Making Dorchester’s Hearts Healthier

Fran Johnson, a long-time patient of cardiac rehabilitation at UM Shore Medical Center at Dorchester, has greatly benefitted from the program and the expertise of its team members including Mary Beth Linthicum.

Sally Worm and Mary Beth Linthicum of the Center for Pulmonary Fitness and Wellness

Heart health is a hot topic in today’s increasingly health conscious society. Heart-healthy diets, exercises, superfoods and lifestyles are just a few of the buzz words we read in magazines, hear on our favorite morning news shows and observe on countless food labels and packages in the aisles of our most frequented grocery stores. Why all the buzz? In the United States, one in four deaths is caused by heart disease, making it the leading cause of death for men and women.

Risk factors for heart disease include high blood pressure, high cholesterol, smoking, inactivity, obesity, having diabetes, family history and partaking in an unhealthy diet. The good news? In many cases, heart disease can be prevented by making healthier diet and exercise choices, and through management of chronic medical conditions.

For patients deemed by their medical providers as being at high risk for cardiovascular disease, and for those who’ve already suffered a heart attack or who have undergone an invasive cardiovascular procedure (heart transplantation, bypass surgery, valve replacement, angioplasty or stent implantation), there are programs designed to help get one’s heart health back up to speed while on the path to recovery.

Cardiac rehabilitation services offered through University of Maryland Shore Regional Health can improve – and in some cases, fully restore – a patient’s cardiac function. Centers for Cardio-Pulmonary Fitness and Wellness are available at UM Shore Medical Centers at Chestertown, Dorchester and Easton. All accredited by the American Association of Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Rehabilitation , the Centers offer a comprehensive, four-phase program.

According to Sally Worm, RN, CCRP, program manager, Cardio-Pulmonary Fitness and Wellness, the first phase of the Fitness and Wellness program typically begins during an in-patient hospital stay following a heart attack, another type of cardiac episode or surgical procedure. The primary goal of phase one is to educate the patient about his or her specific health issues and the benefits of cardiac rehabilitation.

“We do a risk stratification based on the patient’s heart function, age, mobility and the type of procedure that he or she just had,” remarks Worm. “These are all factors that will determine the course of rehabilitation.”

Phase two is an outpatient program, initiated upon discharge from the hospital, lasting 12-36 visits depending on the patient’s individual needs. In this phase, the patient – and his or her family – receives a personalized plan of education, detailing specific health issues, suggested exercise regimens and other things that can be done to lower risk factors.   “This part of the program is designed to help patients meet their specific goals using a wide selection of professional cardiovascular and resistance training equipment,” she says. “Center staff work with patients to develop a personalized exercise regimen, in a safe, supervised setting where heart function is being monitored.”

“Each individual receives a customized plan with a schedule created based on personal preferences,” Worm continues. “Attendance is critical to the success of the program. We don’t tell them when they should come in for rehab; we work collaboratively with them to develop a compatible program. We want them to be able to make it work with their schedule, making it easier to become a part of their daily lives. This sets them up for success.”

In addition to the physical exercise component, during the second phase of the cardiac rehabilitation program, patients have access to group and individual educational opportunities that discuss heart-healthy nutrition, weight and blood pressure control, and medication and stress management.

“An important component of any course of rehab is education,” Worm comments. “For example, in the case of someone with hypertension, we would work with the patient on blood pressure under control.”

During the program’s third phase, participants exercise independently at the Center under the supervision of specially-trained registered nurses who work with primary care providers to offer guidance, monitoring, support and a record of the patient’s outcomes.

After their initial course of rehab is complete, there is an option for patients to continue to come to the Center and exercise, which is the final phase of the program. “Many of our patients opt to do this because the adult fitness programs are offered in a supportive atmosphere with other cardiac rehab patients,” says Worm. “The social support that the other patients provide is truly a critical component – it provides such a personal connection.”

Fran Johnson, a long-time patient of the Center for Cardio-Pulmonary Fitness and Wellness at UM Shore Medical Center at Dorchester, speaks very highly of the cardiac rehabilitation program and the impact it’s made in her health and her life. “This is an amazing program,” she says. “This program has seen me through so many bad times. I never thought I’d get back to where I am now. I come in here and am surrounded by friends. Both the staff and the other people who come for rehab are very encouraging and friendly – you know immediately that you will never be on your own.”

“This is a very personal place for the people who come here,” comments Mary Beth Linthicum, BSN, RRT, a team member of the Dorchester Center.  “Because of the nature of the work we do, we get the chance to develop relationships with our patients. Those relationships help us to anticipate our patients’ needs, which machines they prefer and just knowing when they need a little extra attention.”

According to Linthicum, the biggest motivator for cardiac rehabilitation patients quite often comes from the other patients.  “When patients first get here, often after a significant cardiac event, they tend to feel alone. Then, they meet other people who are going through exactly what they are experiencing, which gives them hope that they will get back to where they once were. It’s truly amazing how motivating and uplifting that social connection is. For us – their care team – it is very rewarding to see them improve and find their way back to good health,” she says.

In addition to the comprehensive care provided by the Center for Pulmonary Fitness and Wellness team, throughout the course of the cardiac rehabilitation program, patients have access to a multidisciplinary team of respiratory therapists, dieticians, social workers, clinical pharmacists, diabetes educators, and physical therapists.

“I’m so proud of the team we have,” comments Worm. “They love their work and it really shows when they are working with their patients – they make it look effortless.”

Cardiac rehabilitation may be beneficial to patients experiencing one or more of the following: heart attack; recipient of open-heart surgery, angioplasty or heart transplant; diagnosed with angina, heart failure or peripheral artery disease (PAD); and/or considered at risk for developing coronary artery or vascular disease. Patients must be referred to the Center for Cardiopulmonary Fitness and Wellness by their physician.

Lester Matthews learned first-hand the value of the cardiac rehabilitation program after having a left ventricular assistive device (LVAD) placed in June, 2016 to assist his weakened heart pump blood more efficiently. While on the organ transplant list, Matthews worked with the Fitness and Wellness team at UM Shore Medical Center at Dorchester to help increase his strength, stamina and overall quality of life while awaiting his new heart.

“The cardiac rehab team was great,” he says. “Because of my LVAD, they had to follow different protocols, which they quickly learned and adapted my rehab regimen accordingly.”

On Christmas Day of 2016, Matthews received the call that a heart was available and on December 26, he underwent transplant surgery at University of Maryland Medical Center in Baltimore. He experienced great ease and efficiency in receiving pre and post-transplant care locally at UM Shore Regional Health, made possible through its affiliation with University of Maryland Medical System. Once cleared by his medical team, Matthews returned to Dorchester for post-operative cardiac rehabilitation, where he improved his functionality. “They got me going again,” he says.

“Research shows that patients who participate in cardiac rehab live an average of 8-10 years longer than those who do not,” adds Worm. “With our help, they learn how to better take care of themselves. To see a patient go from having little to no energy to being able to return to the activities they most enjoy is very rewarding.”

Additional information about the Centers for Fitness and Wellness at UM Shore Regional Health can be obtained by calling 410-228-5511, ext. 8201 (Dorchester); 410-822-1000, ext. 5208 (Easton); or 410-778-3300, ext. 2222 (Chestertown).