Author Archives: Kate Gallagher

Above & Beyond

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


In the Cath Lab at Easton, registration was quick, polite and professional. Before my procedure, staff were VERY PLEASANT with my scared little heart and very reassuring that I was in good hands, which  put me at ease. You are the best – I tell everyone about you and feel very proud when doing so.


My experience in the Ambulatory Surgery Center at Easton could not have been more pleasant or professional – I am very grateful. Staff were very comforting – I felt like I was the only patient there.


At Shore Emergency Center at Queenstown, staff are excellent, well informed, and give all attention to your well-being and your understanding during procedures, meds and discharge instructions. The doctor felt he saw something on my x-ray and asked radiology to take a look at his area of concern. Called me right away, advising not to delay visit to primary physician, they x-ray did reveal fracture. God Bless doctor and staff. The caring, no raising of eyebrows when I advised I was in pain and they would not release me to my son’s care until he understood care and follow-ups required.


I had a very good stay at UM Shore Medical Center at Chestertown. The doctor’s & nurses were very good with my care and questions.


At Shore Behavioral Health in Dorchester, staff were very caring and made sure I got what I need during admission. They listened to my concerns and I was heard. They made my stay very comfortable and when I was in need of a wheel chair or walker it was provided. They were there for me –  Raynette was very caring. Food was very good.


At Shore Rehab in Cambridge, therapists are very professional and treat each patient with the greatest respect.  Excellent at keeping to time of patient’s appointment. My two therapists Riely & Terry have been exceptional.  They are there for me in every way during my PT sessions – understanding my condition and assisting 100%.

Welcome, New Team Members

Please join Human Resources in welcoming the following new team members to UM Shore Regional Health:

  • Zakiya Collins, Nursing Tech, 2 Multi Specialty Care, UM SMC at Easton
  • Holly Daly, Multi-Modality Tech I, Diagnostic Imaging, UM SMC at Easton
  • Tierra Dupont, Environmental Tech, Environmental Services, UM SMC at Dorchester
  • Glenn Foxworth, Medical Lab Assistant, Laboratory Services, UM SMC at Easton
  • Nicole Harleston, Ultrasound Tech, UM SMC at Chestertown
  • Michelle Molock, Access Representative, UM SRH
  • Penny Olivi, Director of Diagnostic Imaging, Radiology, UM SRH
  • Angel Saunders, Nursing Tech, 2 Multi Spec Care, UM SMC at Easton

UM SRH Nurse Creates Recovery Home to Address Opioid Addiction in Her Community

Editor’s note: The following article featuring UM SRH nursing team member Sara Rissolo was published on the website, and in the magazine, A PUBLIC HEALTH PERSPECTIVE ON THE OPIOID CRISIS. The author is Stacey Kram, DNP, program director, Nursing, American Public University. Kram is a former nursing team member at UM SRH.

Sara Rissolo, center, at Gratitude House

In many rural communities, where the opioid epidemic is disproportionately widespread, there continues to be a lack of services available to provide comprehensive care to those suffering from addiction.

The lack of long-term solutions to this crisis is evident as more than half of individuals treated for an addiction relapse after treatment is completed—most within the first 90 days. Communities and healthcare providers need to take action to provide better assistance and resources during this critical gap of time to help addicts stay drug-free. One nurse, and her husband, recognized the need for such a program and found a way to provide such services to opioid addicts in their small town on the eastern shore of Maryland.

Patients of Addiction Need More Resources

Addiction, like other chronic diseases, does not discriminate. It affects a large and rapidly growing number of Americans and yet long-term treatment and management programs are not nearly as available as they are to those suffering from chronic diseases. Unlike patients suffering from chronic diseases like diabetes, heart failure, and asthma, those suffering from addiction often do not have access to transitional care programs like discharge clinics and telehealth monitoring programs to help them stay clean after treatment.

The opioid crisis is one that can no longer be ignored and many states, counties, and towns across America have taken some action to curb this crisis. Some are taking action by spearheading local opioid awareness campaigns or joining the CDC’s Rx Awareness campaign to call attention to this epidemic and garner resources for solutions. While excellent work is being done throughout the country, in many areas there simply aren’t enough resources to provide effective and ongoing treatment to help individuals recover from opioid addiction.

Building The Gratitude House

In June 2017, Mike and Sara Rissolo opened The Gratitude House, a recovery residence to bridge the gap between professionally directed addiction treatment and peer-led mutual aid groups. A recovery residence is not a treatment center, but a hub for coordination of care that requires ongoing collaboration among those in recovery, healthcare providers, employers, 12-step programs, and peer recovery specialists.

According to the Society for Community Research and Action, studies have demonstrated that participation in recovery residences decreases relapse rates and significantly increases recovery outcomes. While thousands of these residences exist across the nation, there was an identified need for one within the Rissolo’s community.

Resident Population

The Gratitude House serves men and women suffering from addiction. These individuals come to The Gratitude House from rehabilitation centers, acute care facilities, the county jail, and are even welcomed straight from the streets. When The Gratitude House first opened in 2017 it only served men, but a second house soon opened down the street that serves women suffering from addiction.

Applicants undergo criminal background checks to ensure they do not have a history of sexual or violent crimes that would put the other residents at risk. Their medical histories are reviewed, as well as current medication prescriptions to ensure they are able to provide self-care and are not taking medications with a high potential for abuse.

When residents first enter the house, Sara Rissolo says the most important action is to show these men and women that they are cared for and supported. Many residents come to the house with nothing more than the clothes on their backs; The Gratitude House provides fresh linens, towels, toiletries, and a food pantry comprised of donations from local community organizations.

Developing the Program and Setting

Sara Rissolo is a master’s prepared nurse who has spent 10 years working within the local community. She spent about four months extensively researching and developing The Gratitude House’s programming, although it’s constantly growing and evolving. She combined evidence-based practices using elements of the Social Model of Recovery as well as Watson’s Theory of Care to produce a unique and innovative program.

The programmatic structure of the house includes weekly house meetings with a house manager, who is a staff member, and residents who together set goals for the following week, assign chores, and discuss house issues. The house manager also conducts monthly meetings with each resident to set individual goals and identify steps required and resources needed to achieve them.

The Rissolos also took particular care creating the physical layout of the facility. It has a large outdoor area providing ample space for groups, including designated family gathering areas and a large dining area. These gathering spaces promote a sense of community and togetherness and exemplify Bruce Alexander’s mantra that “the opposite of addiction is not sobriety, but connection.” To promote further sense of connection, children are welcome at The Gratitude House, as research shows that children provide motivation to patients in recovery to stay clean.

Rules and Privileges

Rules are in place to establish limits with the residents and ensure a safe and quality environment for recovery. There are three fundamental rules that, if broken, will result in immediate dismissal from the home:

  • No drug use
  • No violence
  • No stealing
  • Residents are subject to random urinalysis as part of their residential agreement and are required to provide weekly evidence that they are attending 12-step recovery meetings.
  • Residents work through a level system to increase privileges that include later curfew times, use of a personal vehicle, overnight passes, and the ability to have guests at the house.
  • New residents have 30 days to seek gainful employment; if they are unable to, they must engage in community service activities within the community on a regular basis while continuing to seek employment.

Educating Residents On Medication

Rissolo also provides education about medication usage to residents. After the program started, Rissolo started noticing that many of the residents were prescribed various medications, but did not know what those medications were for or how to properly manage them. Using her nursing knowledge, she provides information about medications, provides pill organizers and lock boxes, conducts weekly or monthly check-ins with the residents about the effects of their medication, provides referrals to community health providers, and assists with disposal of old medications.

Ongoing Success of The Gratitude House

Since opening, The Gratitude House has assisted 43 men with addiction by providing a safe and nurturing environment where they can focus on recovery while being meaningfully engaged within a community.

This success has led to expansion, with the recent opening of a women’s recovery home in the same neighborhood. This new women-only facility follows the same guidelines and practices and has already assisted 13 women suffering from addiction.


The Gratitude House is an excellent example of how communities can successfully address the gap that exists between rehabilitation and integration back into the community by demonstrating care and compassion to help people recover from addiction.


About the Author: Stacey Kram, DNP, RN-BC, CCRN, PCCN serves in both academics and health outreach in the School of Health Sciences at American Public University. Dr. Kram completed her Doctor of Nursing Practice at Salisbury University and has been a nurse for 17 years, and in education for 11 years. Her clinical experience is primary care of critically ill adults and their families. Prior to joining the university, Dr. Kram worked as a Nurse Manager for a novice nurse residency program within a community hospital system on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. Dr. Kram also served in the Army Reserve Nurse Corps as a First Lieutenant with the 2290th USAH at Walter Reed Army Medical Center for three years. To reach the author, email For more articles featuring insight from industry experts, subscribe to In Public Safety’s bi-monthly newsletter.

Parking Notice: UM Shore Medical Center at Easton

The Temple B’nai Israel at 101 W. Earle Avenue, adjacent to University of Maryland Shore Medical Center at Easton (located near the southwest corner) is privately owned property.

Regardless of past history, and the current “closed” status of the Temple, the property and the parking lots are still owned by the Temple and Maryland Motor Vehicle Laws are still enforceable. Therefore, please note:

The handicapped parking spots on Temple B’nai Israel property (as well as those on UM SMC Easton property) are marked for use exclusively as follows:

  • only by vehicles meeting Maryland Motor Vehicle Law eligibility, and
  • displaying the appropriate permit or vehicle registration tag , and
  • the person eligible for the permit or tag is present.

UM SRH team members who park in designated “handicapped” spaces without regard to having a legal reason to do so are subject to enforcement by the Easton Police Department, including being fined or possibly towed.


UMMS ITS Security Team’s Tips to Reduce Your Holiday Cybersecurity Risk

The holidays are a time of increased cybersecurity risk. In an effort to protect you and UMMS, we are providing information on two specific concerns along with actions you can take to reduce your risk.

Fraudulent Package Delivery and Order Phishing Emails

Internet attackers (hackers) increasingly modify their Phishing email attacks around the holidays to deceive recipients into disclosing logon credentials or opening attached files containing malicious software. The attackers send very authentic-looking emails with urgent claims that a package could not be delivered to you, or that there was a problem with your order that requires immediate action. The emails usually contain a link to a fraudulent website intended to deceive you into entering your username and password.

When the attacker has your logon credentials, your account is compromised and fraudulent orders are often made, at your expense. Using the same username and password for other services makes it easier for attackers to gain access of those accounts as well. Opening these attachments and website links can also cause your computer to become infected from malicious software.

Actions to Take to Reduce Your Risk

  • Be extremely suspicious of emails with website links or attached files
  • Apply this Phishing checklist: If the email stresses urgency, has grammatical errors and a wrong or unknown sender email address, chances are it is an attack. Delete it, and do not open attachments or click on any links
  • Use different passwords for each Internet service you use
  • Never use your UMMS email address for non-work services

Marriott Breach Notification

This week, Marriott announced its Starwood Hotels reservation database has been breached.  Anyone who made a reservation for a Starwood property – which include Sheraton, Westin, W Hotels, St. Regis and others – between 2014 and September 2018 may have had their information stolen. This information could include names, credit card numbers, birth dates, arrival and checkout dates and passport numbers.

Actions to Take to Reduce Your Risk

  • Visit the website offered by Marriot to learn more, and consider using the free WebWatcher service offered
  • Be suspicious of any emails related to this incident. They may be Phishing attacks attempting to exploit the confusion and deceive you into disclosing information to the attacker
  • Review your credit card and bank statements carefully, and identify and report any questionable transactions

Password and Username Re-Use Increases Risk of Attack

It is easy to use the same password and/or username for your various services such as Amazon, LinkedIn, and your UMMS email and remote access. However, attackers have adapted their tactics to turn this to their advantage. When one Internet service is breached, they have begun automating the process of trying the captured usernames and passwords to gain access to other common Internet services. This has significantly increased the damage and cost of breaches, as more fraudulent orders and l data theft occurs as a result. This puts both you and UMMS at risk, if you use the same credentials for your UMMS login.

Actions to Take to Reduce Your Risk

  • Do not use your UMMS username or full email address for non-business purposes
  •   Avoid using the same username and password for multiple Internet services – ie. Amazon, eBay, Linkedin, etc.


If you have any questions, please contact the UMMS ITS Security Team.

Mark Your Calendar: December 14-31, 2018


HOLIDAY SALE:  Collective Goods (books, electronics, accessories, toys, games, etc) – Tuesday and Wednesday, December 18-19, 7 a.m. – 4 p.m., Hospital Lobby, UM Shore Medical Center at Dorchester. Sponsored by the Dorchester Hospital Auxiliary for the benefit of patient care at UM Shore Medical Center at Dorchester.



  • 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 Support Group – Tuesdays, 12/4 and 12/18,10 to 11:30 a.m. Health Education Center, UM Shore Medical Center at Easton, 219 S. Washington Street, Easton


  • 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, 12/13 and 12/27, Cancer Center, Easton. Information and support for patients at any stage – diagnosis, treatment, recovery and survivorship. Info: 443-254-5940.
  • Cancer Caregivers’ Coffee – Saturday, 12/9, 9-10:30 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, 12/17, 7 p.m., UM Shore Medical Center at Chestertown, Education Center. Annual Holiday Pot Luck Supper. Information and support for patients at any stage – diagnosis, treatment, recovery and survivorship. Info: 410-778-7668, ext. 2175.


  • 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 Support Group/Easton — Monday, 12/10, 5:30 p.m., Talbot Senior Center 400 Brookletts Ave, Easton. Led by Karen Hollis RD, CDE. Please RSVP 410-822-1000, ext. 5188
  • Diabetes Support Group/Denton –  Thursday, 12/6, 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/Cambridge – Wednesday, 12/26, 6 p.m., Board Room, Shore Medical Center at Dorchester, 300 Byrn Street, Cambridge. Led by Wynne Aroom, RN, MSN, CDE. Contact: 410-822-1000, ext. 5286.
  • Diabetes Support Group/Chestertown –  NO MEETING IN DECEMBER.


  • Mid-Shore Stroke Support Group – Thursday, 12/6, 12- 2 p.m., UM Shore Medical Center at Easton, 219 South Washington Street, Easton, 4th Floor Joint Replacement Center Conference Room. Holiday Celebration! All stroke survivors and/or caregivers and family members are welcome. Info: Please RSVP to Nicole Leonard 410-822-1000, ext. 5068 or
  • Queenstown Stroke Support Group – NO MEETING IN DECEMBER.