Author Archives: Kate Gallagher

When, Where and How to Get Your Flu Shot This Month

FLU VACCINE CLINICS ARE NOW IN PROGRESS! UM Shore Regional Health’s Flu Vaccine Policy (HR-70) requires that all employees and volunteers either be vaccinated or submit appropriate documentation for declining as described below. The deadline for compliance with the policy is November 9, 2018, 4 p.m.


Employee Health Services will administer the vaccine free of charge to employees and volunteers during the month of October in a series of clinics in UM SRH facilities around the region. The Flu Clinic Schedule (including the hours and locations) will be posted widely and published in Compass beginning September 21, 2018. The clinic rotation schedule includes the following:


  • Please wear short sleeves and bring your UM SRH ID badge.
  • If you are pregnant: You will need a note from your OB provider before you can receive the vaccine.
  • This is the Regular Dose Vaccine. Egg free vaccine will be available on request.
  • If you receive the vaccine elsewhere:  Please send proof/documentation with your employee ID # to EHS by November 2, 2018. You may submit it either by email, or by fax, 410-822-2555.

PLEASE NOTE: No flu vaccines will be administered in the EHS offices. From October 1 through November 9, 2018, EHS office hours for other purposes will be very limited.



Under the policy, all employees and volunteers must be vaccinated; declining is allowed for medical or religious reasons.* The deadline for submitting the required documentation is November 2, 2018 at 4 p.m.

If you decline vaccination, you must use the declination form (now available on the intranet accessed under Employee Health Services on this page,, and submit it, along with the required documentation* either by email to or by fax, 410-822-2555.

*Declining for medical reasons requires a one-time note from a physician or advance care provider indicating the medical need for declination; however, the declination form must be completed every year.

*Declining for religious reason requires a note from clergy.



If you have a need or concern requiring the attention of Employee Health Services during this time period, call 410-822-1000, ext. 5549 and leave a message. Phone messages will be checked periodically each day. You may also email us,

  • If the matter is URGENT, call ext. 5145 and your message will be relayed to us.
  • If you are requesting records, please include your name, date of birth, contact number and what you are requesting. The turnaround time is up to 72 hours.

Thanks for helping to keep our patients, staff and volunteers healthy all year long!

Joint Commission Tip of the Week: Recognizing Suicide Risk and Preventing Patient Harm

Shore Regional Health has been working to improve screening of patients for suicidal risk and taking steps to improve the safety of our environment and procedures.  Suicide risk reduction is a Joint Commission National Patient Safety Goal and is an important patient safety initiative.

What We Do Now:

Any patient that presents with behavioral health concerns is screened for suicide risk.  Any patient who screens positive for suicidal ideation is considered at risk for suicide.  Patients who are at risk for suicide:.

  1.  The patient is placed on 1:1 with continuous observation.
    — 1:1 with continuous observation can immediately be initiated by a nurse.
    — Continuation requires an order from a LIP/PA2.
  2.  The patient’s room is checked for risk using a safe room check.
  3.  For a Behavioral Health Admission, a Behavioral Health Evaluation consultation request is made and an evaluation is conducted by the Behavioral Health Response Team (BHRT). The BHRT team uses the Columbia Suicide Severity Risk Scale l to establish a stratified level of risk for the patient’s suicidality.

What has Shore Regional Health Done to Improve? During the past year SRH has taken a number of steps to improve safety and to reduce suicide risk, as follows:

  • All of our facilities have been inspected by a multi-disciplinary team led by Senior Vice-President and Chief Nursing Officer Ruth Ann Jones.
  • Key staff from Nursing, Behavioral Health, Patient Safety and Plant Operations attended an all-day UMMS symposium on suicide risk reduction to review the latest safety requirements and their implementation.
  • Significant improvements have been made to our Behavioral Health unit that have included; new ligature resistant locks and door hardware, changes to patient bathrooms, and securing ceiling tiles in all community spaces to reduce ligature risk.
  • Additional training on current suicide prevention procedures has been provided to patient care staff. A new high risk (suicide) management policy has been drafted and will be implemented with our EPIC Go Live in December.

How do we screen for suicide risk? In the past, just asking if the patient had suicidal thoughts was considered adequate for a suicide screening.  Current best practice is to utilize an evidence based tool to evaluate the degree of risk posed by the patient for possible suicide.  One of the most widely used, and endorsed by SAMSHA, is the Columbia Suicide Severity Rating Scale (C-SSRS)This is the evidence based tool currently in use by BHRT; it is being implemented at SRH and throughout all UMMS hospitals in December.

The Columbia uses six questions to stratify the risk posed by a patient into low, moderate, or high risk classifications.  These questions are:

  1.  Have you wished you were dead or wished to be dead or not alive anymore, or wish to fall asleep and not wake up?
  2.  Have you had any actual thoughts of killing yourself?
  3.  Have you been thinking about how you might do this?
  4.  Have you had these thoughts and some intention of acting on them?
  5.  Have you started to work out or worked out the details of how to kill yourself? Do you intend to carry this plan out?
  6.  Have you ever done anything, started to do anything, or prepared to do anything to end your life? If yes, was this in the last 3 months?

Please Remember:

  1.  1:1 with continuous observation means one staff member with eyes constantly on one patient.
  2.  Patients on 1:1 with continuous observation are never out of staff sight and reach.
  3.  A nurse can initiate 1:1 with continuous observation. An LIP/PA must write the order to continue or discontinue the intervention.
  4.  Currently, prior to December 2, 2018, all patients screening positive for suicide ideation   with current screening tools will be considered as high risk and will receive 1:1 with continuous observation. In December initial screenings will be conducted using the Columbia Suicide Severity Rating Scale.
  5.  Share this information with your staff.
  6.  If you or someone you know is dealing with suicidal thoughts, call 1-888-407-8018 to reach the crisis hotline.

Quick Take: Telemedicine Pilot Programs Expand Access to Care

Telemedicine programs introduced in the delivery of emergency psychiatric care and palliative care have expanded access to care in these specialties for patients in Kent and Queen Anne’s counties, thanks to a collaborative project of University of Maryland Shore Regional Health (UM SRH), University of Maryland Medical System, and University of Maryland School of Medicine (UM SOM).

Telemedicine utilizes computer video and audio and related technologies that enable physicians and other care providers in one location to communicate with health professionals and patients in another.

Designed to overcome the limited availability of specialists in certain areas of  the five-county region served by UM SRH, the development of telemedicine applications to provide palliative care and emergency psychiatric care was supported by a $75,149 grant from the Maryland Health Care Commission and a 2:1 match from UM SRH. Funds were used to purchase the needed technology and support the cost of a study to evaluate the effectiveness of the two programs.

That study indicated strong success for the use of telemedicine in both specialties:

  • In emergency psychiatric care, wait times for patients needing assessment in Kent and Queen Anne’s county were reduced by nearly one-third.
  • In palliative care, telemedicine facilitated a three-fold increase in the number of patients who were able to access and benefit from a palliative care consult and/or treatment.

“We are pleased to see that the use of the technology is widely accepted by physicians and patients,” says UM SRH Chief Medical Officer William Huffner, MD. “We are now in the process of refining and expanding telemedicine services in both palliative care, emergency psychiatric care and other subspecialties.”


Free Educational Events Planned for Respiratory Care Week in Chestertown

National Respiratory Care Week is set this year for October 21 to 27, and the pulmonary care professionals at UM Shore Medical Center at Chestertown are taking the opportunity to provide free training and education events that can help save lives and improve the quality of life  for people in Kent and northern Queen Anne’s counties.

“We have a fairly high incidence of pulmonary disease in our area,” says Philomena Leon, lead therapist, Respiratory Care Department, UM Shore Medical Center at Chestertown. “The most common conditions we see and treat are COPD, asthma and obstructive sleep apnea. In many cases patients get diagnosed while in the hospital but need more information once they get home, for example: How can their condition and symptoms be managed and treated? Are there lifestyle changes they need to make? In the case of family member experiencing and acute episode, what can they do?”

The first event, “Friends and Family CPR Training,” is set for Tuesday, October 23, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., UM Shore Medical Center at Chestertown Education Center. Designed for people who want to learn CPR, but do not need a CPR course completion card for their job, this two-hour training (offered consecutively at 10 a.m., 12 p.m. and 2 p.m.) is ideal for family members and friends of persons with medical problems as well as those interested in learning how to save a life.  Refreshments will be provided. Advance registration (first come-first served) is required and may be accomplished by calling Leon, 410-778-3300, ext. 2170.

On Wednesday, October 24, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., an open house-style event called “About Pulmonary Disease,” will be offered in the UM Shore Medical Center at Chestertown Conference Center. According to respiratory therapist Philomena Leon, this event is open to all who would like to come and talk with pulmonary care physicians and rehab therapists about various pulmonary conditions including COPD and asthma, how to stop smoking and the benefits of pulmonary rehab.

For more information, please contact Philomena Leon, 410-778-3300, ext. 2170 or email,



Welcome, New Team Members

Front row: Paulette Frieson, Michele Lantz, Desiree Monroe. Natalie Haviland. Patricia Below. Shelley Stone, Justin Bender and Benjamin Heslin; back row, Kaya Reed, Mark Breedlove, Tiffany Haslup, Leslie McGovern and Michael McDowell.

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

  • Patricia Below, Staff Nurse, Hemodialysis Care, UM SMC at Easton
  • Justin Bender, Medical Assistant, UM Center for Diabetes and Endocrinology
  • Mark Breedlove, Patient Sitter, UM SMC at Easton
  • Paulette Frieson, Nursing Tech, Multi Specialty Care, UM SMC at Easton
  • Tiffany Haslup, Nursing Tech, UM SMC at Easton
  • Natalie Haviland, Supervisor, Laboratory Services, UM SMC at Easton
  • Benjamin Heslin, Sterile Processing Tech, Central Sterile Processing, UM SMC at Easton
  • Michele Lantz, Social Worker, Case Management, UM SMC at Easton
  • Leslie McGovern, Social Worker, Case Management, UM SMC at Easton
  • Shelley Stone, Nurse Navigator, Case Management, UM SMC at Easton

Nominations Open for 2019 Nurse Excellence Awards

It’s time to start thinking about our 2019 Nurse Excellence Awards! The awards ceremony and celebration will be held on May 6, 2019. There are five awards for individuals and one for a unit, as follows:

  • Professional Nursing
  • Promising Professional
  • Commitment to Others
  • Mentorship and Advocacy
  • Leadership
  • Unit Excellence in Empirical Outcomes

Nominations are now in progress until December 15, 2018. Please visit this link on the UM SRH Intranet to find instructions and nomination forms:

What You Need to Know About the Nomination Process:

  • Each link may be used only once – please contact Tara Smith, , or Regina Volz, , if additional links are needed.
  • Nominations will only be accepted through Survey Monkey.
  • Helpful Hint: Prepare your nomination as a word document, save, and when complete, copy and paste your text into the link, then submit for judging.
  • See your Unit Champion for further questions or resources to complete your nominations.

The Division of Nursing and Patient Care Services appreciates your participation in this important recognition program for the best in nursing at UM Shore Regional Health.

Just Cure It: Pink Ribbon Tree Lighting Ceremony Kicks Off Breast Cancer Awareness Month

On Tuesday, October 2, team members from the Clarke Comprehensive Breast Center and the Cancer Center convened in front of UM Shore Medical Center at Easton to light up the “pink ribbon tree” in front of the hospital to highlight October as Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

Also on hand for the occasion were Ken Kozel, president and CEO, F. Graham Lee, vice president, Philanthropy, and Ruth Ann Jones, CNO and senior vice presdient, Patient Care Services.  Kozel spoke to the outstanding quality of care provided by the Breast Center and the excellent work done by the Cancer Center team members in not only treating cancer but getting out into the community to help women in underserved populations understand importance of yearly mammogram screenings and get the screening done.

Roberta Lilly, MD, medical director, Clarke Comprehensive Breast Center noted that is the second-highest cause of death among women in Maryland, exceeded only by lung cancer, and that as Maryland breast cancer rates are higher than the national average, Mid Shore rates are higher than the State average.

“Early diagnosis and treatment are key to surviving breast cancer,” Dr, Lilly stated. “Last year, our Clarke Comprehensive Breast Center provided breast care to more than 2,171 patients. We diagnosed more than 100 new cases of breast cancer and performed 452 breast biopsies. These numbers represent a 100 percent increase in patients seen in the breast center, a 64 percent increase in biopsies and over 200 percent increase in the number of breast cancers diagnosed.

Dr. Lilly also reviewed the progress made in reducing the disparity in breast cancer survival rates for black women versus white women. “In Talbot County, in 2008, the death rate for black women was 125 percent higher than for whites; now it is 29 percent higher, which is on par with national rates. So we have made progress and we continue to work to reduce that disparity,” she explained.

Graham Lee announced to the group that  UM Memorial Hospital Foundation has designated its year-end appeal to benefit for the Clark Comprehensive Breast Center. The goa for the appeal is $375,000, which will support the purchase of a second 3-D tomosynthesis machine in the Center. Tomosynthesis mammography is increasingly popular due to its greater accuracy, which reduces the number of call-backs for additional testing and biopsies.

Mrs, Anny Williams, a former volunteer, closed the remarks by saying how gratifying it was to see the pink ribbon tree tradition continue. “I think it is great way to heighten awareness,” she said. “If just one person driving by sees the tree and is reminded to to get their mammogram, we might save a life.”

Go Purple Wrap-Up

Here are just a few more photos of the MidShore Go Purple participation by UM Shore Regional Health team members.

Seen here are the Dorchester team, UM CMG-Gastroenterology, and two shots from Neuro in Easton.

Many thanks to all who “suited up” in purple attire to show support for the Go Purple campaign to heighten awareness of the substance abuse epidemic in our region, and also the hope of recovery.



Mark Your Calendar: October, 2018


DIABETES AND YOU – Tuesdays, October 2, 9 and 16, 6-8 p.m., Board Room, UM Shore Medical Center at Dorchester, 300 Byrn Street, Cambridge, Md. A three-session education program to help patients with diabetes learn to manage their condition. Free. To register, call Wynne Aroom, RN, CDE, 410-822-1000, ext. 5286.

CHILDBIRTH PREPARATION: LABOR AND DELIVERY – Saturday, October 6, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Health Education Center, UM Shore Medical Center at Easton, 219. S. Washington Street, Chestertown, Md., 21620. Free class for expectant parents and birthing partners; includes a tour of the newly renovated Birthing Center. Free; to register, call, 410-822-1000, ext. 5200 and leave a message as instructed.

NEW MOM, NEW BABY: SAFETY AND CPR – Saturday, October 6, 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., Health Education Center, UM Shore Medical Center at Easton, 219 S. Washington Street, Easton, Md., 21601. Strategies for caring for mom, caring for baby and child safety. Free; to register, call 410-822-1000, ext. 5200 and leave a message as instructed.

FRIENDS AND FAMILY CPR TRAINING – Tuesday, October 23, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., UM Shore Medical Center at Chestertown Education Center, 100 Brown Street, Chestertown, Md., 21620. Family and Friends CPR is offered free of charge for people who want to learn CPR, but do not need a CPR course completion card for their job. This course is ideal for family members and friends of persons with medical problems as well as those interested in learning how to save a life. Refreshments provided. Class size is limited so please RSVP to reserve your spot. RSVP: Philomena Leon, at 410-778-3300, ext. 2170.

ABOUT PULMONARY DISEASE – Wednesday, October 24, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Conference Center, UM Shore Medical Center at Chestertown, 100 Brown Street, Chestertown, Md., 21620. Come and talk with professionals about various pulmonary conditions including COPD and asthma, how to stop smoking and the benefits of pulmonary rehab. For information contact Philomena Leon, 410-778-3300, ext. 2170

BIG BROTHER, BIG SISTER: SIBLING PREPARATION – Saturday, October 27, 9:30 to 11 a.m., Health Education Center, UM Shore Medical Center at Easton, 219 S. Washington Street, Easton, Md., 21601. 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. Free; register by calling 410-822-1000, ext. 5200 and leave a message as instructed.



  • 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, 10/2 & 10/16, 10 to 11:30 a.m., Health Education Center, UM Shore Medical Center at Easton, 219 S. Washington Street, Easton, Md, 21601.


  • 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, 10/11 and 10/25, Cancer Center, Easton. Information and support for patients at any stage – diagnosis, treatment, recovery and survivorship. Info: 443-254-5940.
  • Cancer Caregivers’ Coffee – Saturday, 10/13, 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.
  • Look Good, Feel Better – Monday, 10/15, 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.
  • Cancer Support Group/Chestertown – Monday, 10/22, 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 – Thursday, 10/4,  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, 10/8, 5:30pm, Talbot Senior Center, Brookletts Place, Easton. Contact: 410-822-1000, ext. 5757.
  • Diabetes Support Group/Cambridge – Wednesday, 10/24, 5:30pm. Board Room, Shore Medical Center at Dorchester, 300 Byrn Street, Cambridge.Contact: 410-822-1000, ext. 5757.
  • Diabetes Support Group/Chestertown – Tuesday, 10/23, 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.


  • Queenstown Stroke Support Group – Tuesday, 10/23, 12-2pm, UM Shore Pavilion at Queenstown, suite 280. Featuring motivational speaker, Jose Maldonado, stroke survivor on “Million Hearts.” All stroke survivors and/or caregivers and family members are welcome. Info: Nicole Leonard, 410-822-1000, ext. 5068 or
  • Mid-Shore Stroke Support Group – Thurs, 11/1, 12-2pm, UM Shore Medical Center at Easton, 219 South Washington Street, Easton, 4th Floor Joint Replacement Center Conference Room. Deborah Weber, manager, Intensive Outpatient Program, Shore Behavorial Health will speak on “Post Stroke Depression.” All stroke survivors and/or caregivers and family members are welcome. Info: Nicole Leonard 410-822-1000, ext. 5068 or

Certificate of Need Filed for New Hospital in Easton

University of Maryland Shore Regional Health (UM SRH) filed a Certificate of Need application this month for the hospital that will replace and relocate Shore Medical Center at Easton. The application was filed with the Maryland Health Care Commission on September 7 and is being reviewed for completeness before being docketed for formal review.

The new medical center is designed to have 135 inpatient beds, all private rooms, covering 334,000 square feet in six floors.  The hospital will include 26 emergency department treatment rooms, 16 observation beds, six operating rooms and a state of the art cardiac interventional suite.  A 14 bed acute physical rehabilitation center and 12 bed acute behavioral health center are included in the total bed count. A state of the art ground level helipad, designed for the largest air ambulances, will be built adjacent to the emergency department.

“When it opens, this new hospital will be the capstone of many years of planning that has gone on while health care has changed dramatically,” says Kenneth D. Kozel, president and CEO, UM SRH.  “With the new regional medical center in Easton, our vision for a regional coordinated network of facilities and services will be further realized.”

“This new hospital, along with our comprehensive array of facilities, services and skillful medical professionals throughout the five county region, form the most important health care infrastructure in this rural region,” Kozel adds. “University of Maryland Shore Regional Health and its predecessors have been serving the people of this region for more than a century,” he says. “We are uniquely prepared, with our regional access points of care, to provide compassionate, quality and efficient health care for our community into the next century.”

The total project cost– including site development, construction, equipment, and relocation costs– is approximately $350 million.  The hospital will be built in Easton, just off US Route 50 and Longwoods Road near the Community Center, approximately 4 miles north of the current site. It will occupy a part of the nearly 220 acres of land purchased from Talbot County by University of Maryland Medical System in 2015.

CON review, approvals and financials are anticipated to take up to 24 months, followed by final construction and infrastructure planning. Ground breaking is projected for summer of 2021, followed by a 36 month construction period.  The new hospital could open in the summer of 2024.

Although it is not part of the Certificate of Need application, UM Shore Regional Health also plans to build a medical office building adjacent to the new hospital for medical specialists, a regional laboratory, and staff and community education and training facilities.

“While we still have many months of ongoing efforts to reach this long-awaited milestone, this month’s Certificate of Need application is a significant step forward and we are celebrating its accomplishment,” Kozel remarks. “We are grateful for the tremendous support of the University of Maryland Medical System, its CEO, Robert Chrencik, and the Boards of UMMS and UM SRH as we work together toward achievement of our shared vision,” Kozel continues.  “Our physicians, team members, volunteers, elected officials and community partners have helped bring us to this exciting day.”

UM Shore Regional Health had a busy summer with three other regulatory applications, known as Certificates of Exemption, regarding the conversion of Shore Medical Center at Dorchester to a freestanding medical facility, to include a state of the art emergency department, observation beds, diagnostic services and an adjacent medical pavilion providing convenient access to specialists, outpatient services and ambulatory surgery.  The applications include proposals to relocate the inpatient beds and the behavioral health inpatient service from the current hospital to the existing Easton hospital, with very minor renovations, possibly as early as spring, 2021, when the freestanding medical facility campus is complete.  Those same inpatient beds are part of the total that will move to the new Shore Medical Center at Easton in 2024.

While the Certificate of Need review process is underway at the State level, UM SRH will convene a special work group to implement a campus redevelopment planning process for the existing Washington Street hospital site.

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!

Therapist Brooke Maier with Chester River Home Care is a “Rock Star”. She was motivating, taught me exercises that were logical and encouraged me to meet my goals. She is the definition of excellent customer service and you are lucky to have her as an employee.


My doctor, Kevin Tate, MD referred me to the cardiac rehab program at Shore Medical Center at Easton because of my high blood pressure. I always have enjoyed exercise but I just love going to the Cardiac Rehab Center. The rehab team staff members are wonderful — so knowledgeable and so supportive — and the camaraderie among the patients and staff makes being there good for your soul as well as your heart.


I loved registering for my stay at UM SMC at Chestertown by phone, so convenient. In acute care nurse Christy and surgical nurse Michele were outstanding. I had no pain and no complaints!


Dr. Taskin at Queen Anne’s Medical Pavilion was my doctor and his team was excellent.  Thank you for the great care during my cardiology testing.


The lady who did my mammogram at the DIC/Breast Center was very friendly. She explained everything as she was doing my test so I knew what to expect. It’s a very clean and comfortable environment. I would recommend this facility to anyone!

Get Your Pink On for Breast Cancer Awareness


Shown left to right are D. Roberta Lilly, medical director, Clark Comprehensive Breast Center, Melody and Beverly of Head Rush Salon, and Brittany Krautheim, women’s health nurse practitioner at the Breast Center.

The annual pink-ribbon tree lighting ceremony to kick of Breast Cancer Awareness Month will take place on Tuesday, October 2, at 4 p.m. in front of UM Shore Medical Center at Easton; all staff and volunteers are welcome to attend.

The next day, on Wednesday, October 3, Melody and Beverly from Head Rush Salon in Easton will offer pink hair extensions at the Clark Comprehensive Breast Center from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., for anyone who wants to show their support for breast cancer awareness.

Up to 100 “customers” will receive hair extensions, first-come first serve. The extensions are $10 each and all proceeds are donated to local community outreach and breast cancer awareness promotion.

“Melody and Beverly are doing this as a volunteer project, which is so thoughtful and generous of them, says Brittany Krautheim, nurse practitioner at the Breast Center. “I hope a lot of staff will come out to show their support for breast cancer awareness.”

According to the American Cancer Society, breast cancer is the most common cancer among women in the United States, other than skin cancer. It is the second leading cause of cancer death in women, after lung cancer, taking the lives of approximately 40,000 women annually.

“October is a great time to remind people about the importance of prevention and education when it comes to their breast health,” says Roberta Lilly, MD, medical director fClark Comprehensive Breast Center. “Regular mammography screening can help lower breast cancer mortality by finding breast cancer early, when the chance of successful treatment is best.”’