Author Archives: Kate Gallagher

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!

I had a total knee replacement, Andrea from Shore Home Care was my physical therapist. She was excellent. She knew what I was capable of doing and she pushed me to that point. We never over-did it but I feel because of Andrea that I have come as far as I have today. I would rate Andrea five stars!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I had the best experience for my surgery from Dr. Lilly, my recovery nurse, all the other nurses and others who assisted with my care at Shore Medical Center at Easton. On a scale of 01 to 100 I give them 200. Thanks to all persons who tended to me.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Shore Emergency Center at Queenstown gave me the best care I ever had in an emergency department, Dr. Eric Green was very caring. Then I was transported to BWMC.

Readmission Matters: What You Need to Know

Hospital readmissions have become an important focal point for everyone at UM Shore Regional Health. Under the umbrella “Readmission Matters,” several initiatives are now in progress to reduce the number of 30-day readmissions at UM Shore Medical Centers at Chestertown, Dorchester and Easton. The engagement of all team members in Readmission Matters initiatives is key to helping patients maintain their best health outside the walls of our hospitals.

There are three arenas in which strategic interventions can reduce readmissions:

  • at discharge from the hospital
  • post-discharge (as patients heal in their home settings), and
  • upon the patient’s return to the hospital for possible readmission.

AT DISCHARGE

Enabling patients to successfully transition back home is the goal of every discharge. In the case of patients readmitted within the first week after discharge, the precipitating factors have been issues with medication and/or the discharge plan. UM SRH interventions in this arena are as follows:

  • Medication Reconciliation –  New strategies are in place to ensure that patients are discharged with the right medications and that they fully understand their new medication orders. Other medication reconciliation issues now under review are:
    • 1) barriers patients may face in affording or accessing their medications, and
    • 2) possible partnership with local pharmacies to ensure that certain high risk patients leave the hospital with their medications in hand.
  • Discharge Planning – The scope of the discharge planning process has been expanded to include the broader, holistic needs of patients. Caseworkers and transitional nurse navigators help patients anticipate their care needs will be in their home environment,  connect with the patient’s primary care provider to ensure proper follow-up, and provide links to needed community resources offering services such as transportation, home care, meals, home technologies and social support.

HEALING AT HOME

Comprehensive discharge planning extends Shore Regional Health’s involvement with patients well beyond their discharge. The Transitional Nurse Navigator (TNN) Program, inaugurated last fall, provides continued care coordination for high-risk patients from the beginning of their hospital stay through up to 30-days after discharge. Two TNNs at Easton and one each at Chestertown and Dorchester work not only with patients but also with family members and caregivers to provide education and support, resolve insurance issues, order needed medical equipment and supplies, provide referrals to specialists, and much more.

Another key initiative is the expansion of the UM SRH Palliative Care Program to provide patients with relief from the symptoms and stress of serious illness and improve the quality of life for them and for their families. The Palliative Care team is training hospital providers to identify patients for whom a palliative care consult is appropriate prior to discharge; as of mid July, the newly-launched Outpatient Palliative Care program enables patients to receive treatment in the UM Community Medical Group – Primary Care office in UM Shore Medical Pavilion at Easton.

Working more directly with the community providers is another important strategy for reducing hospital readmissions. Primary care providers are being empowered to take a more active role in their patients’ post-discharge care and two-way communication between hospital personnel and community providers is being improved. In the process of development is a strategy for high-risk patients to obtain “Golden Tickets” for prompt appointments with certain specialists (e.g. cardiology, pulmonology) to avoid delays in their follow-up care.

AT THE PATIENT’S READMISSION VISIT

In line with UM Shore Regional Health’s goal of providing “the right care, at the right place, at the right time,” there are two strategies in development for patients presenting in the Emergency Departments for readmission:

  1. The establishment of Observation Units in the hospitals – dedicated areas for patients who are placed under observation so that providers, nurse and ancillary service staff can focus on ensuring timely discharge. The first Observation Unit is now in operation on the 2nd floor of UM Shore Medical Center at Easton; similar units at Chestertown and Dorchester are in the works.
  2. Because hospitalists are usually the physicians most familiar with patients returning to the hospital, there is new process for Readmission Consults that empowers them to assess patients presenting in the Emergency Department to determine where the patient can receive appropriate care.

As these measures continue and coalesce, UM Shore Regional Health will achieve the goal of reducing 30-day readmissions rates in allt hree hospitals.

DGH Foundation Supports Surgical Services, Patient Care in Dorchester

 

Shown with the new anesthesia machine now in use in Surgical Services at UM Shore Medical Center at Dorchester are John Snell, MD, medical director, Anesthesiology, UM Shore Regional Health; Diane McCarthy, president, Dorchester General Hospital Auxiliary; Brian Leutner, executive director, UM Shore Medical Center at Dorchester; William Bair, MD, surgeon, UM Community Medical Group – Surgical Care; Ida Jane Baker, president,Dorchester General Hospital Foundation, and Penny Pink, director, Surgical and Ambulatory Services, UM SRH.

The Dorchester General Hospital Foundation has long been a force for good in the ongoing enhancement of medical care for Dorchester County residents, and 2018 is no exception. Under the continued guidance of Ida Jane Baker, president, the Foundation Board has dedicated $131,000 to support equipment purchases and professional development for nursing staff at UM Shore Medical Center at Dorchester.

“The majority of these funds— approaching $95,000—have supported the hospital’s surgery services,” says Baker. “We are so blessed to have a truly dedicated surgeon, Dr. William Bair, in our community, and an excellent surgical nursing team as well. The Foundation is pleased to help provide the tools they need to ensure the best possible patient care.”

The big ticket item purchased with these funds is a new anesthesia machine, which cost nearly $43,000 and was installed at the Dorchester hospital OR suite in late July 2018.

“The Foundation earmarked our end-of-year campaign to support this purchase, and the campaign has been well received,” says Baker. “We have been pleased to see that our donors and the Dorchester community at large understand the importance of updating this equipment. We want our anesthesiologists to have the latest technology to ensure the safety of every patient during every procedure.”

Other upgrades made possible by community support for the Foundation include new furnishings and décor upgrades to the waiting area, a GlideScope (video laryngoscopy technology that facilitates intubation), a cabinet for endoscopy equipment and new curtains in the Post-Anesthesia Care unit.

Baker is especially pleased that the Auxiliary of Dorchester General Hospital joined the Foundation in committing to this project. “Dorchester Auxiliary members voted to donate $28,000—more than half the total cost—to the Foundation, designated to support the purchase of the new anesthesia machine,” she explains. “The Foundation Board is so grateful for the Auxiliary’s support and also for the dedication of their many volunteers who help out in our hospital and raise funds through their special vendor sales, the hospital gift shop and The Robin Hood Shop.”

Other purchases made possible by the Foundation for the benefit of patient care in Dorchester include: three cardiac monitors for use in the Cardiac Rehabilitation Center; visitor chairs for the Emergency Department; two mechanized chairs that assist patients who need help transitioning from sit to stand; a bladder scanner with printer; and a blanket warmer. In addition, five operating room nurses received scholarship support from the Foundation enabling them to pursue specialized certification in perioperative nursing.

“The generosity of our local community in support of our hospital and its services continues to make an important difference in the quality of health care for Dorchester residents,” says Baker. “We greatly appreciate it.”

“Beach Week” Celebrated at the Cancer Center

Patients entering the Cancer Center during “beach week” were greeted with a large wall hanging featuring a tropical beach scene.

Hot, steamy days alternating with hot, rainy days … To the staff of the Cancer Center at Shore Regional Health, the “dog days of summer” called for some beach time. So they brought the benefits of sand, surf and sun to Idlewild Avenue with a special celebration dubbed Beach Week.

“We wanted to do something fun for our patients. The chemo unit staff decided on a beach theme, and everyone joined in,” says Jeanie Scott, Cancer Center operations coordinator.

The celebration was promoted in advance so that patients and their family members would know to anticipate the decorations and themed attire when they came in. Upon arrival, each patient was offered a Hawaiian lei and snacks during their visit.

Front row sitting: Nina Weisenborn, Paula Larrimore and Whitney Anders. Second row: Christa Tindall, Kim Wienhold, Victoria Glessner, Justine Leschke and Susan Henry. Back row: John Daly, Ashley Kirn, Chanelle Lake, Debbie Hood, Michael Snyder and Amy Bickling.

“The patients absolutely loved it!  They came in wearing their Hawaiian shirts, beach attire and sunglasses.  We even had a patient bring in their grandchild dressed up,” says Scott. “Overall it was very well received and a lot of fun for all.”

Welcome, New Team Members

Please join HR in welcoming the following new team members, pictured above, who completed Orientation on August 6, 2018:

  • Konstantina Blalock – Staff Nurse, Cardiac Cath Lab, UM SMC at Easton
  • Sarah Britt – Staff Nurse, Behavioral Health, UM SMC at Dorchester
  • Matthew Cooper – Pharmacy Tech, UM SMC at Easton
  • Magalita Delva – Staff Nurse, UM SMC at Easton
  • Leigha Hamilton – Staff Nurse, Emergency Department, UM SMC at Easton
  • Osha Handy – Food Service Production, UM SMC at Easton
  • Charles Harding – Receiving Clerk, Materials Management, UM SMC at Easton
  • Tricia Hillman – Staff Nurse, Telemetry Care, UM SMC at Easton
  • Melissa Hranicka – System Secretary, Plant Administration, UM SMC at Easton
  • Takiyah Johnson – Nursing Tech , MultiSpecialty Care, UM SMC at Easton
  • Victoria Laws – Environmental Services Tech, UM SMC at Easton
  • Brittany Lewis – Nursing Tech, MultiSpecialty Care, UM SMC at Easton
  • Amy Loder-Crouch – Staff Nurse, Emergency Department, UM SMC at Chestertown
  • Tracey Phillips – Staff Nurse, Cardiac Cath Lab, UM SMC at Easton
  • Alexia Prochnick – Staff Nurse, Intensive Care, UM SMC at Easton
  • William Schnaitman – Radiographer II, Diagnostic Imaging, UM SMC at Easton
  • Taylor Spears – Collegiate Nurse, Emergency Department, UM SMC at Dorchester
  • Amber Winemiller – Staff Nurse, Birthing Center, UM SMC at Easton

Mark Your Calendar – August 15-31, 2018

 

AUGUST EVENTS

WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 15

  • Medical Marijuana: What You Need to Know – 6 to 8 p.m., Cancer Center, Easton. Free presentation provided by Ash & Ember Cannabis of Centreville. Call 410-820-6800, ext. 5361 to register.

THURSDAY, AUGUST 16

  • Uniform Sale – 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., UM Shore Medical Center at Dorchester, Main Lobby,

FRIDAY, AUGUST 17

  • Blood Drive –  7:30 a.m.  to 12:30 p.m. UM Shore Medical Center at Chestertown
    Be Someone’s Hero. Give Blood. Schedule your appointment now by visiting our Donor Portal and enter Sponsor Code: UMCC, or by calling 1 888 8-BLOOD-8 (1-888-825-6638). You can also download the scheduling app on your Android or iPhone.  Sponsored by the UM Chester River Health Foundation.

SATURDAY, AUGUST 18

  • Parenting Education: New Mom, New Baby – Safety & CPR – Strategies for caring for mom, caring for baby and child safety. 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., Health Education Center. Free. To register, call 410-822-1000, ext. 5200.

MONDAY, AUGUST 20

  • Look Good, Feel Better – 10am – 12 noon, Cancer Center, Easton. Hair, skin and nail rehab before, during after chemotherapy. Presented by Kim Hardesty, ACS Volunteer Beauty Consultant. RSVP to Teri Dulin, 410-820-6800.

SATURDAY, AUGUST 25

  • Parenting Education: Big Brother, Big Sister – Sibling Preparation – 9:30 to 11 a.m., Health Education Center, UM Shore Medical Center at Easton. Designed for children ages 3 to 8. Includes a tour of the Birthing Center plus story time or video. Children should bring a doll or stuffed animal for practice.
  • Safe Sitter® Class– Taught by pediatric nurses for ‘tweens and young teens, Safe Sitter provides hands-on practice in safety and injury prevention as well as lifesaving techniques for those who are home alone, watching younger siblings, or babysitting. Includes basic first aid and infant and child choking rescue. Students also receive instruction on how a child’s age dictates care requirements, how to prevent problem behavior, and how to run their own babysitting business. Cost: $45; some scholarships are available. Limited seating, advance registration required. For more information or to register, call Chrissy Nelson, 410-778-7668, ext. 2175

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

AUGUST SCREENINGS AND SUPPORT GROUPS

ADDICTIONS/BEHAVIORAL HEALTH

  • Bridge Clinic Support Group – Every Tuesday, 6-7:30pm, UM Shore Medical Center at Dorchester. Free, confidential support group meeting for individuals who have been hospitalized for behavioral health reasons and could benefit from assistance with issues after discharge. Varied topics based on participants’ needs. Each participant may bring one family member. Info: 410-228-5511, ext. 2140.

BREASTFEEDING

  • Breastfeeding Support Group – Tuesdays, 8/7 and 8/21, 10 to 11:30 a.m., Health Education Center, UM Shore Medical Center at Easton.

CANCER

  • Breast Cancer Support -Survivors Offering Support (SOS) – Free program pairing women who have breast cancer with mentors who are breast cancer survivors. If you need support or would like to become a mentor, call 410-822-1000, ext. 5866.
  • Cancer Support Group/Easton – Thursdays, 8/2 and 8/16, Cancer Center, Easton. Information and support for patients at any stage – diagnosis, treatment, recovery and survivorship. Info: 443-254-5940.
  • Cancer Caregivers’ Coffee – Saturday, 8/11, 9-10:20 a.m., Cancer Center, EastonDiscussion of varied issues and challenges facing individuals and families assisting patients with cancer. Contact: Patty Plaskon, 410-820-6800, ext. 5361.
  • Cancer Support Group/Chestertown – Monday, 8/27, 7pm, UM Shore Medical Center at Chestertown, Education Center. Information and support for patients at any stage – diagnosis, treatment, recovery and survivorship. Info: 410-778-7668, ext. 2175.

CARDIOPULMONARY SCREENINGS

  • Free Blood Pressure Screenings/Easton & Cambridge – Easton: every Tuesday and Wednesday, 9am-12pm, Diagnostic & Imaging Center. Cambridge: every Tuesday & Friday, 11am-1pm, UM SMC at Dorchester, Main Lobby. (Excluding holidays.)

DIABETES

  • Diabetes Support Group/Denton – NO MEETING IN AUGUST. Next Meeting: Thursday, 9/6,  5:30 p.m., St. Luke’s United Methodist Church, 100 S. 5th Avenue, Denton.  Led by Karen Canter RN, CDE. Contact: 410-822-1000, ext.5757.
  • Diabetes Support Group/Easton — Monday, 8/13, 5:30pm, Giant Food, 8223 Elliott Road, , Easton. Led by Karen Hollis RD, CDE. Contact: 410-822-1000, ext. 5188.
  • Diabetes Support Group/ Cambridge – Wednesday, 8/29, 5:30pm. Board Room, Shore Medical Center at Dorchester, 300 Byrn Street, Cambridge.Contact: 410-822-1000, ext. 5286.
  • Diabetes Support Group/Chestertown – NO MEETING IN AUGUST. Next Meeting: Tuesday, 9/25, 6:30pm. Education Center, UM Shore Medical Center at Chestertown, 100 Brown St. Led by Chrissy Nelson, BSN, RN, CDE. Contact: 410-778-3300, ext. 2175.

 

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!

Your group at Shore Home Care is nothing short of FANTASTIC! All of your nurses were so kind, professional and helpful. I could not have gone through my recovery without them. Special thanks to Charlie Moore and Diana Miller.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The Ambulatory Surgery Center in Easton was clean and well-organized. The staff was very helpful. Karen Wooten (sp?) was wonderful and so was the OR nurse, Vince. My anesthesiologist Dr. Joe Hughes was fabulous too. What a great team! This was my first surgery and I couldn’t have had a better experience.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

In the Emergency Department at UM Shore Medical Center at Chestertown, someone was with me at almost all times to answer my questions, explain things, etc. The doctor was terrific and explained what she was doing all through the procedure. Very competent and professional doctor and nurse. during a follow-up appointment, my primary physician said that whoever stitched me up did a really good job.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I received swift and superb care at the Cardiac Cath Lab in UM Shore Medical Center at Easton. I was very impressed with the doctors and nurses.Thank you very much for saving my life! P.S. My granddaughter was a volunteer in the emergency room. We were on the way to her graduation at Chesapeake College.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Overall, the doctors and nurses of at UM Shore Medical Center at Dorchester Telemetry were amazing I was treated with the utmost respect and care

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

There is no such thing as a happy colonoscopy. However, at UM Shore Medical Center at Easton, my overall experience from start to finish was superb. Every individual, from preregistration phone call to Leroy’s wheel chair discharge, was competent and professional. The representative with whom I preregistered and Felicia at the outpatient desk were both very courteous and helpful …. Amanda and Caitlin worked very well together to put me at ease and perform their duties. The room brightened upon their entry and remained so during the very professional discharge of their responsibilities. Rana was so good she even offered to take my weight in kg just in case the smaller number would make me happy. Turns out, after a colonoscopy prep, ALL numbers are smaller!

Dorchester Residents Turn Out for Presentation on Proposed UM Shore Medical Campus at Cambridge

At the podium is Donna Jacobs, senior vice president, Government, Regulatory Affairs and Community Health for University of Maryland Medical System. Shown left to right are UM SRH panelists Barbara Hendricks, Ruth Ann Jones, Walter Atha, MD, Bob Frank, William Huffner, MD and Ken Kozel.

Approximately 150 community residents, county and city officials, and representatives of various community, business and health organizations attended UM Shore Regional Health’s public meeting, “UM Shore Medical Campus at Cambridge – Our Vision for the Future,” held Tuesday evening, July 31, at Cambridge-South Dorchester High School.

UM Shore Regional Health President and CEO Ken Kozel opened the meeting by welcoming those in attendance. Following Kozel’s remarks, Richard Loeffler, chairman, Strategic Planning Committee for the UM SRH Board of Directors, Ricky Travers, Dorchester County Council president, Victoria Jackson-Stanley, Mayor of Cambridge, and Roger Harrell, Dorchester County Health Officer, offered statements expressing their support for UM Shore Regional Health’s proposed plan.

Describing the plan in detail was a panel presentation led by Ken Kozel and including UM SRH representatives William Huffner, MD, chief medical officer and senior vice president, Medical Affairs, Ruth Ann Jones, chief nursing officer and vice president, Nursing and Patient Care Services, Bob Frank, vice president, Operations, Walter Atha, MD, medical director, Emergency Services, and Barbara Hendricks, director, Human Resources. Their commentary accompanied by a detailed powerpoint presentation on the plans, timeline and approval processes involved in realizing the proposed UM Shore Medical Center at Cambridge and UM Shore Medical Pavilion at Cambridge at Cambridge Marketplace on Route 50 at Woods Road.

The meeting also included an extensive Q & A session during which attendees submitted inquiries on various aspects of the proposal to members of the panel.

The powerpoint, which is is now available for viewing on the UM Shore Regional Health website at  umshoreregional.org/DorchesterVision, covers the following topics:

  • the conversion of Shore Medical Center at Dorchester to a freestanding medical facility
  • how emergency care will be delivered and the community’s identified health needs will be met
  • the proposed UM Shore Medical Campus at Cambridge
  • reasons for the change and what it means for the community
  • investments to improve and enhance health care services in Dorchester County and the surrounding area
  • campus development plans
  • timeline

 

Safe Sitter® Classes Offered

The popular Safe Sitter® class, taught by pediatric nurses for youth ages 11-13, will be offered one last time this summer on Friday, August 24, 9 a.m.to 3:30 p.m. at UM Shore Medical Center at Chestertown Education Center.

Safe Sitter® is a national, non-profit organization that provides programs to teach youth life and safety skills for when they are home alone, watching younger siblings, or babysitting. Over 175 lives have been saved by Safe Sitter® graduates using the skills learned through the Safe Sitter® training.

More information about the program may be found at www.safesitter.org. The cost for this one-day class is $45; some scholarships are available.

Safe Sitter® classes scheduled this fall are as follows:

  • In Chestertown, Saturdays, September 22 and November 17.
  • In Easton, Saturdays, October 6 and December 1.

Because seating is limited, advance registration is required. For more information or to register for a Chestertown class, call Chrissy Nelson, 410-778-7668, ext. 2175. To register for an Easton class, call Michelle Emrick, 410-822-1000, ext. 5451.