Author Archives: Kate Gallagher

Easton’s Primary Stroke Center Earns Renewed Honors from American Stroke Association

UM Shore Medical Center at Easton’s Stroke Center was recently notified by the American Heart Association (AHA)/American Stroke Association’s that for the second year in a row, it has received the (ASA) Get With The Guidelines®- Stroke Gold Plus Achievement Award with Target: Stroke Honor Roll. The award recognizes the hospital’s commitment to providing the most appropriate stroke treatment according to nationally recognized, research-based guidelines based on the latest scientific evidence.

According to the ASA, hospitals earning the Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award have reached an aggressive goal of treating patients with 85 percent or higher adherence to all Get With The Guidelines-Stroke achievement indicators for two or more consecutive 12-month periods and have achieved 75 percent or higher compliance with five of eight Get With The Guidelines-Stroke Quality measures.

Stroke, a disease that affects the arteries leading to and within the brain, takes the lives of more than 130,000 Americans each year and is the leading cause of serious long-term disability in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. When in need of prompt care for stroke, residents of the five-county region served by University of Maryland Shore Regional Health have access to a designated Primary Stroke Center at University of Maryland Shore Medical Center at Easton.

A Primary Stroke Center designation is given by the Maryland Institute for Emergency Medical Services Systems (MIEMSS) when standards are met to support better outcomes for stroke care. Certification standards include having a dedicated stroke-focused program, staffed 24/7 by specially trained medical professionals who provide expedited diagnostic services and stroke care.

Inclusion on the Target: Stroke Honor Roll  is awarded to hospitals demonstrating success in meeting quality measures to reduce the time between the patient’s arrival at the hospital and treatment with the clot-buster tissue plasminogen activator (tPA), Alteplase, the only drug approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat ischemic stroke. If given in the first three hours after the onset of stroke symptoms, Alteplase has been shown to significantly reduce the effects of stroke and lessen the chance of permanent disability.

Says Ken Kozel, president and CEO, UM Shore Regional Health, “Our Stroke Center’s continued recognition from the American Stroke Association demonstrates the team’s success with providing innovative stroke treatments to patients as quickly and safely as possible. Our team is providing state of the art care that saves lives and helps reduce the risk of long-term disability in patients who experience a stroke.”

Additional information about the Primary Stroke Center at University of Maryland Shore Medical Center at Easton can be found at

Shore Nursing and Rehabilitation Center at Chestertown “The Manor”

I am pleased to share that University of Maryland Shore Nursing and Rehabilitation Center at Chestertown, “The Manor,” is under new ownership, effective June 1, 2018. The Center’s new owner/operator, Outcome Healthcare Group, specializes in managing quality long term care and rehabilitation facilities.

Our deepest appreciation to all of the team members, physicians, Board members, Foundation representatives, management, residents and families who have been involved in this decision and whose patience and encouragement have brought us to this exciting moment.

Last year, Shore Regional Health engaged in a process to evaluate its work with the Manor, the only long term care facility in the UMMS family. During that process, it became evident that an entity specializing in managing quality long term care and rehabilitation facilities would be better equipped to guide the Manor to meet the future demand for quality long term care in Chestertown and surrounding communities. Starting in September 2017, the process of vetting and interviewing potential owners involved UM SRH Board members from Kent County, the Chester River Health Foundation Board, Chestertown-based physicians and local health system management. The resulting unanimous selection of Outcome Health Group was followed by a period of due diligence and review of business operations, which was completed with the final transaction June 1. With final completion of the sale, all net proceeds are committed to enhance health care services at UM Shore Medical Center at Chestertown and will enable us to make significant new investments in our hospital facilities, equipment and patient care programs there.

We are very pleased that, throughout this transaction, Outcome Healthcare Group has committed to those assurances we viewed as important components in our mission to provide quality health care for patients and their family members in the region, including keeping the facility open and serving the community as a long term care facility, expanding admission criteria so that patients with higher-acuity care needs can be accommodated and demonstrating the financial resources to cover necessary capital improvements at the long term care center.

Outcome Healthcare Group has collaborated with Shore Regional Health and with the Center’s employees to conduct a smooth transition, which got underway immediately. Local physicians, UM SNR residents and their families are being updated this week.

Thank you for your continuing support of our newest community health care partner, Outcome Healthcare Group. We look forward to a strong and continuing collaboration with our new colleagues on Maryland’s Mid-Shore.


Kenneth D. Kozel, MBA, FACHE
President and CEO

Bottomley Serving as Interim Regional Director, Radiology

Kelly Bottomley

Kelly Bottomley, regional manager, Radiology, has agreed to serve as UM Shore Regional Health’s interim regional director, Radiology, following the retirement of Gary Bigelow last week.

Bottomley, who lives in Millington, Maryland, has been a member of the UM Shore Regional Health community for more than 15 years, serving in several positions, including diagnostic imaging director at UM Shore Medical Center at Chestertown, chaplaincy program director and volunteer liaison leader.

“We are very grateful that Kelley has stepped up to serve in this important capacity while the search for Gary’s replacement is in progress,” says Bob Frank, senior vice president, Operations.

Mark Your Calendar: June 8-30, 2018



  • US TOO Prostate Cancer Support Group, 6:30 p.m.Cancer Center, Easton. Presenter: Andrew Riggin, MD, UM Community Medical Group – Urology. Open to men with prostate cancer and their partners. RSVP to Sharon Richter, 443-994-5792. PLEASE NOTE: This support group will not meet during July and August.


  • Presentation: Sleep Disturbance How to Deal with this Common Cancer Side Effect, 4 pm, Cancer Center, Easton. When is it fatigue and when is it lack of quality or amount of sleep? And, what can be done about it? Sleep disturbances are important to treat as they can worsen cancer fatigue and “chemo brain.” Presenters: Michele Williams, nurse practitioner, UM CMG-Pulmonology and Patty Plaskon, PhD, OSW-C. RSVP:  410-820-6800.
  • Lancaster Linens – Special Vendor Sale – 7 am – 4 pm, UM Shore Medical Center at Dorchester, Main Lobby. Sponsored by the Dorchester General Hospital Auxiliary.


  • Everything $6 (K & J Marketing) Sale, 7am to 4pm, Conference Center, UM Shore Medical Center at Chestertown. Sale offers include hundreds of items — jewelry, scarves, socks, hats, kids’ items, purses and more — all priced at just $6. Sponsored by the Chester River Hospital Center Auxiliary.
  • Skin Cancer Screening, 5:30 to 8 pm, Shore Dermatology, 100 Bramble Street, Suite 1. Free. Preregistration is required; to make an appointment, call 410-822-6800.


  • 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.
  • Workshop on Wills and Understanding the Probate Process, 6-8pm, Queen Anne’s County Library, 121 S. Commerce Street, Centreville, Md. Guest presenters: Patrick Fitzgerald, Esq. and JoRhea Nagel-Wright, Esq. Free admission, limited seating, RSVP required. Contact Janet Andrews, 410-822-1000, ext. 5792,


  • Workshop on Wills and Understanding the Probate Process, 6-8pm, Nick Rajacich Education Center, UM Shore Medical Center at Easton, 219 S. Washington Street, Easton Md. Guest presenters: Patrick Fitzgerald, Esq. and JRhea Nagel-Wright, Esq. Free admission, limited seating, RSVP required. Contact Janet Andrews, 410-822-1000, ext. 5792,


  • Presentation: Anyone Else Need to go to the Ladies Room?  6 pm, Cancer Center, Easton. Q & A discussion presented by AquaCare pelvic floor specialist, Jane Franczak, PT, MSPT, WCS Addressing urinary issues that occur as women age as well as those related to hormonal treatment and chemotherapy (frequency, urgency, leakage, or pelvic discomfort). Call 410-820-6800 to RSVP.
  • Cancer Support Group/ChestertownMonday, June 28, 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.


  • Safe Sitter Class, 9am to 3:30pm,  UM SMC at Chestertown, Education Center. Taught by pediatric nurses, the Safe Sitter program teaches youth ages 11-13 the basics of babysitting, including first aid, CPR and more. The cost is $45 (scholarships available). Due to limited seating, advance registration is required. Registration: Chrissy Nelson, 410-778-7668, ext. 2175.




  • 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, 6/5 and 6/19, 10 to 11:30 a.m., Birthing Center, UM Shore Medical Center at 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, 6/7 and 6/21, Cancer Center, Easton. Information and support for patients at any stage – diagnosis, treatment, recovery and survivorship. Info: 443-254-5940.
  • US TOO Prostate Cancer Support Group – Tuesday, 6/13, 6:30pm, Cancer Center, Easton. Presenter: Andrew Riggin, MD.  Info: call Sharon Richter, RN, 443-994-5792.
  •  Cancer Caregivers’ Coffee – Saturday, 6/2, 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, 6/25, 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.


  • 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/Denton – Wednesday, 6/6,, 5pm., 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, 6/11, 5:30pm, Talbot County Senior Center, 400 Brookletts Ave., Easton. Led by Karen Hollis RD, CDE. Contact: 410-822-1000, ext. 5757.
  • Diabetes Support Group/ Cambridge – Wednesday, 6/27, 5:30pm., Board Room, Shore Medical Center at Dorchester, 300 Byrn Street, Cambridge. Led by BK Eshete RN, CDE. Contact: 410-822-1000, ext. 5286.
  • Diabetes Support Group/Chestertown – Tuesday, 6/26, 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.


  • Mid-Shore Stroke Support Group – Thursday, 6/7, 12-2pm, UM Shore Medical Pavilion at Easton, 500 Cadmus Lane, Easton. All stroke survivors and/or caregivers and family members are welcome. Info: Nicole Leonard 410-822-1000, ext. 5068 or
  • Queenstown Stroke Support Group – Tuesday, 6/26, 12-2pm, UM Shore Pavilion at Queenstown, suite 320. Diane Lorsong, Speech Language Pathologist “Speech and Language Issues after Stroke.” All stroke survivors and/or caregivers and family members are welcome. Info: Nicole Leonard 410-822-1000 ext. 5068 or

Above & Beyond


I want to thank nurse Brooke Smith of Chester River Home Care for being professional, courteous, caring & efficient and for teaching us all about the use and care for Pop’s catheter. Brooke goes above and beyond in her care for our Pop Pop. Thank you so much!


Kudos to Dr. Lakshmi Vaidyanathan and the Palliative Care team for their work on behalf of my very good friend who was in the Easton hospital. My friend’s very large and sometimes contentious entourage included several stepchildren in their 30s, children in their 20s, a husband with his own health issues and limitations, and a host of siblings, in-laws, cousins and friends, many with little or no experience in losing a loved one, and a few with good intentions but unrealistic expectations about end of life decision making and care. The Palliative Care team did an amazing job of getting everyone on the same page and working together to make my friend’s last days as peaceful and meaningful as possible.


Overall, I feel I received good treatment in the Emergency Department at at UM Shore Medical Center at Chestertown, especially considering I visited the emergency room on a holiday weekend. My medical emergency turned out to be nothing serious, but I am grateful for the medical staff who took my complaints seriously and gave me such a complete work-up.


Andrea Alduino of Shore Home Care was most helpful while working with me during my at-home PT. The outpatient PT group was very impressed at where i started and all I was able to do, getting me off to a great start. Also she is an amazing problem solver, getting me a transport wheelchair and a gel pad, which she picked up and delivered to my house. I owe so much of my progress to Andrea’s high quality care. Many thanks to Andrea and Shore Home Care for having talented people like her on their staff. Blessings to all!


My overall experience at Shore Behavioral Health was good. Faunda was AWESOME – she educated me while making me feel safe and comfy. Nancy did a phenomenal job during the night shift. Leslie was super informative and listened to what I had to say. Great experience. Everything was made easy for me. Very helpful and stress free.

Wendy Towers Joins UM CMG – Neurosurgery

Wendy Towers

University of Maryland Community Medical Group (UM CMG), has announced the addition of nurse practitioner Wendy Towers. Towers specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of a wide range of neurosurgical conditions, including: brain tumors, spinal tumors, pituitary tumors, degenerative spine disease, including decompression and fusion, hydrocephalus, and carotid artery disease.

An employee of Shore Regional Health for more than 30 years in the surgical department, with more than five of those years working as Dr. Kurtom’s RN first assistant, Towers graduated from Macqueen Gibbs Willis School of Nursing and obtained her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Wilmington University. She earned a Master’s of Science in Nursing with a focus in Adult Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner from Walden University.

“We are thrilled to have Wendy join the skilled team at UM CMG’s Neurosurgery practice on the Shore,” comments Michele Wilson, chief operating officer for UM CMG. “Wendy brings a unique set of skills, along with a track-record providing compassionate care that will serve our neurosurgery patients on the Shore.”


Welcome, New Team Members

Front row: Richard Cooper, Colleen Dawkins, Aaron Helmly, Cheyeanne Parks and Mikayla Quinton. Back row: Kayla Archer, Dina Berry, Jane Brighton, Caroline Camper and Kristen Carlson.

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

  • Kayla Archer, Medical Lab Assistant, Laboratory Services. UM SMC at Easton
  • Dina Berry, Access Rep, UM Shore Regional Health
  • Jane Brighton, Patient Sitter, UM SMC at Easton
  • Caroline Camper, Collegiate Nurse, UM SMC at Easton
  • Kristen Carlson, Ultrasound Technologist, UM SMC at Easton
  • Richard Cooper, Food Service Associate, Food/Nutrition Services, UM SMC at Easton
  • Colleen Dawkins, Medical Technologist, Laboratory Services, UM SMC at Chestertown
  • Aaron Helmly, Cardiovascular Tech, Non Invasive Cardiology, UM SMC at Easton
  • Cheyeanne Parks, Medical Lab Assistant, Laboratory Services, UM SMC at Chestertown
  • Mikayla Quinton, Medical Lab Assistant, Laboratory Services, UM SMC at Easton