Category Archives: Shore Medical Group

Local Urologist Featured in Latest “Ask the Expert” Podcast Interview

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Ask the Expert Graphic for WebsiteThe latest installment of UM Shore Regional Health’s Ask the Expert series is available for listening at UMShoreRegional.org/ATE.

The podcast features guest expert, John Foley, MD, of Shore Comprehensive Urology.

During this informational segment, listeners will learn more about about men’s health-related issues including the body’s aging process, urinary and prostate conditions and erectile dysfunction.

Blood Gas Laboratory Receives CAP Accreditation

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The Accreditation Committee of the College of American Pathologists (CAP) has awarded a 2-year accreditation to the Blood Gas Laboratory at University of Maryland Shore Medical Center at Easton based on results of a recent on-site inspection as part of the CAP’s Accreditation Programs.

Under the direction of David G. Oliver, MD, the Blood Gas Laboratory is one of more than 7,600 CAP-accredited facilities worldwide.

During the inspection process, examiners evaluate the laboratory’s records and quality control procedures for the preceding two years. CAP inspectors also examine laboratory staff qualifications, facilities, safety protocols and record management.

The Blood Gas Laboratory at UM SMC at Easton analyzes more than 2500 blood gas tests annually. Blood gas testing is typically ordered for patients who have increased respiratory symptoms and breathing difficulties. It may also be used monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of supplemental oxygen therapy. Additionally, blood gas analysis provides essential information to assist physicians in caring for patients assisted by mechanical ventilation.

Congratulations to Dr. Oliver and the entire team at the Blood Gas Laboratory!

Center for Integrative Medicine Moves To Cynwood Drive

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CIM is moving out of 607-B Dutchmans Lane on Monday, August 24.

CIM is moving out of 607-B Dutchmans Lane on Monday, August 24.

The Center for Integrative Medicine is moving from its location on Dutchmans Lane to 522 Cynwood Drive, Suite 300 in Easton. The move will take place this Monday, August 24.

Says Monika Armbruster, L.AC, M.Ac., acupuncturist who also provides administrative services for the Center. “With three acupuncturists, a massage therapist and a psychotherapist, we serve a variety of clients who come from a wide area, and we are hoping they will appreciate our new accommodations.”

 

The view of CIM's location from Cynwood Drive.

The view of CIM’s  new location from Cynwood Drive. Suite 300 is the third one to the left.

CIM’s Cynwood Drive location was formerly occupied by the offices of Walid Kamsheh, MD, neurology and sleep medicine. Dr. Kamsheh is now located in UM Shore Medical Pavilion at Easton on Cadmus Lane.

Monika Armbruster packing boxes to get ready for the move on Monday.

Monika Armbruster packing boxes to get ready for the move on Monday.

According to Armbruster, another newsworthy change regarding the CIM services is that thanks to changes in UM Shore Regional Health employees’ insurance coverage, the copay for acupuncture has dropped from $40 to $15.

“This represents a 63 percent reduction in the out-of-pocket cost for an acupuncture treatment for our employees,” Armbruster points out. “For Shore Regional employees who benefit from acupuncture, this is a huge savings, and for those who would like to try acupuncture, the cost barrier is now greatly reduced.”

UM Shore Regional Health employees also now can avail themselves of psychotherapy services with only a $15 copay. Psychotherapy is provided by clinical therapist Pam Schulte, MSW, LCSW-C, whose experience includes outpatient clinical treatment to children, families and adults, and consultation and training to community agencies as well as the Circuit Court Systems on the Eastern Shore of Maryland.

Pam Schulte provides counseling at the Center for Integrative Medicine. For UM Shore Regional Health employees, the copay for counseling is only $15 per session.

Pam Schulte provides counseling at the Center for Integrative Medicine. For UM Shore Regional Health employees, the copay for counseling is only $15 per session.

Schulte also  has provided counseling at the Dorchester County Health Departments Wellness Program and served four years as an adjunct professor in Salisbury University’s Department of Social Work. Her previous work experience includes several positions involving child welfare education program development; advocacy program leadership; clinical assessment, training, supervision, consultation and training in a variety of settings; and serving as an expert witness in court cases.

Other CIM practitioners are:

Silvia Byerly, AC., M.Ac, Acupuncturist
Marie Nuthall, AC., MA.c., Acupuncturist
Stephanie Blades, RN, LMT, CEIM, Massage Therapist

Information regarding appointment scheduling and all massage, counseling and acupuncture offered by the Center for Integrative Medicine may be obtained by calling 410-770-9400.

Maryland Hospital Association Launches “KIDsafe” Campaign On Children’s Identity Theft

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child id theftChildren are the the #1 target of identity thieves — in fact, children’s identities are 35 times more likely to be stolen than adults. And the threat of identity theft against kids is growing fast — in 2014 alone, the Interstate Technology and Regulatory Council reported a 300 percent increase in calls related to child identity theft.

Why do you need to protect your child’s identity as soon as possible? Because beyond the immediate financial cost, it can take years to restore a stolen identity … and in the meantime, you child could be blocked from essential opportunities such as student loans, scholarships, credit cards and job offers.

To help parents protect their children from identity theft, the Maryland Hospital Association, in partnership with the Maryland Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Maryland Office of the Attorney General and Maryland State Delegate Craig Zucker, has developed and will be launching the KIDsafe campaign. Scheduled for launch in early September, the campaign will encourage parents to request a credit freeze to protect their children and provide instructions on how to go about it.

If you would like to get started now to protect your child, submit a “credit freeze request” to the three credit agencies, as follows:

Experian — www. experian.com/freeze or 1-888-397-3742
Equifax — www.equifax.com or 1-888-298-0045
TransUnion — www.transunion.com/securityfreeze or 1-888-909-8872

Local Pediatrician Dances for Mid-Shore Animals in Need

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Dr. Langfitt DogsCongratulations to Mark Langfitt, MD, FAAP, of University of Maryland Shore Pediatrics – Easton, and his daughter, Emma, for winning the Judges’ Choice Award at the recent Dancing for the Dogs event, held in Easton, a fundraiser to benefit Talbot Humane, Caroline Humane Society and TomCat Solutions.

Dr. Langfitt earned three 10’s – a perfect score – for his dance routine.

Great job, Dr. Langfitt!

Nursing Update: Familiar Faces in New Places

Access-to-CareMichael Kingan, DNP, RN, CWOCN, has assumed the leadership of Shore Wellness Partners since the position was vacated when Sharon Stagg,  DNP, MPH, RN, FNP-BC, COHN-S, Director of Shore Wellness Partners (SWP) since its inception in 2011, was appointed to the new position of Nurse Practitioner for Shore Regional Palliative Care.

Michael Kingan, DNP, CWOCN,  Director of Shore Wellness Partners

Michael Kingan, DNP, RN, CWOCN, Director of Shore Wellness Partners

Kingan, joined UM Shore Regional Health early in 2014 as nurse manager of inpatient services at UM Shore Medical Center at Chestertown. Previously, he served as nursing director at Washington Hospital Center in Washington, D.C.

As director of Shore Wellness Partners, Kingan  leads a team of nurses and medical social workers who assist  clients in meeting certain criteria in Caroline, Dorchester, Queen Anne’s and Talbot Counties. Based at 121 Federal Street in Easton (on the second floor in the Home Care suite), SWP services include home visits to provide patients with information and education, connections to community resources and other support. By informing and empowering clients to better understand and manage their health care needs, SWP helps them reduce their reliance on emergency care services and their likelihood of hospitalization. Last year, SWP conducted more than 7300 nursing and social work visits and phone consultations with clients and their primary health care providers.

Sharon Stagg, DNP, MPH, RN, FNP-BC, COHN-S, Nurse Practitioner, Palliative Care.

Sharon Stagg, DNP, MPH, RN, FNP-BC, COHN-S, Nurse Practitioner, Palliative Care.

Sharon Stagg first served Shore Regional Health’s nursing team as a surgical staff nurse, 1988-94.  After several years in administrative, teaching, and nursing practice positions for organizations including Chesapeake College, McQueen Gibbs School of Nursing, Episcopal Ministries to the Aged (EMA), Delmarva Health South Surgery Center and Advantage Orthopedics, Stagg returned to Shore Regional Health in 1997 as nurse practitioner, occupational health, and retained that position until becoming director of Shore Wellness Partners. As NP for Palliative Care, she joins the multi-disciplinary team led by Lakshi Vaidyanathan, MD, medical director, and serves patients at UM Shore Medical Centers at Dorchester and Easton; her primary role is to provide comprehensive care to acutely ill patients with a chronic illness, or life-limiting conditions by developing a Plan of Care based on patient values and goals. Stagg’s office is located in Room 259 at UM SMC at Easton (formerly  Shore Works).

 

 

Center for Integrative Medicine Welcomes New Practitioners

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Stephanie Blades RNC, LMT,  CEIM,  and Pam Schulte, MSW, LCSW-C are new practitioners at the Center for Integrative Medicine.

Stephanie Blades RNC, LMT, CEIM, and Pam Schulte, MSW, LCSW-C are new practitioners at the Center for Integrative Medicine.

Two new practitioners have joined the team at UM Shore Regional Health’s Center for Integrative Medicine on Dutchman’s Lane, Frank Rath, Outpatient Rehab Manager for Shore Comprehensive Rehabilitation Care, has announced.

Massage therapist Stephanie Blades RNC, LMT,  CEIM, of Easton, is already well-known in the Shore Regional Health community for her work as a nurse in the Birthing Center at UM Shore Medical Center. A nurse for 16 years and a massage therapist for two years, she offers prenatal massage as well as general massage at the Center, and anticipates completing more specialized certification courses to expand her massage modalities. “I believe that each of us has the inward power to heal outward ailments, and that often, the manifestations of injury, disease, and unease in  life are shown to us through our aches and pains,” Blades says. “In my practice I take great pride in listening to what my clients tell me, but also the feedback that their bodies give me. I then fine-tune the massage to meet those needs.”

Clinical therapist Pam Schulte, MSW, LCSW-C, of Cambridge has joined the Center to offer individual and family counseling services.  Since 2003, she has been in private practice at Sailwinds Family Center, LLC in Cambridge, providing all aspects of outpatient clinical treatment to children, families and adults and also providing consultation and training to community agencies and the Circuit Court Systems on the Eastern Shore of Maryland.

Schulte also  has provided counseling at the Dorchester County Health Departments Wellness Program and served four years as an adjunct professor in Salisbury University’s Department of Social Work. Her previous work experience includes several positions involving child welfare education program development; advocacy program leadership; clinical assessment, training, supervision, consultation and training in a variety of settings; and serving as an expert witness in court cases involving abuse. Information regarding appointment scheduling and all massage, counseling, acupuncture and Reiki services offered by the Center for Integrative Medicine may be obtained by calling 410-770-9400.

Opening of UM Shore Medical Pavilion at Dorchester Celebrated

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Ida Jane Baker, president of the Dorchester General Hospital Foundation and past president of the hospital Auxiliary, presented a check for $82,000 to UM Shore Regional Health at the Open House celebration of UM Shore Medical Pavilion at Dorchester. The funds were raised from the Foundation’s 2013 Annual Appeal, to which the Auxiliary pledged $50,000. Pictured are (left to right) Ken Kozel, president and CEO, UM Shore Regional Health; Dr. Ahmed Abdel-Gawad, Shore Pediatrics-Cambridge; June McKelvey, 1st vice president of the Auxiliary; Ida Jane Baker; Michele Wilson, vice president of physician services, UM Shore Regional Health; Dr. William Huffner, chief medical officer, UM Shore Regional Health; and Auxiliary members, Diane McCarthy and Nancy Linder.

Ida Jane Baker, president of the Dorchester General Hospital Foundation and past president of the hospital Auxiliary, presented a check for $82,000 to UM Shore Regional Health at the Open House celebration of UM Shore Medical Pavilion at Dorchester. The funds were raised from the Foundation’s 2013 Annual Appeal, to which the Auxiliary pledged $50,000. Pictured are (left to right) Ken Kozel, president and CEO, UM Shore Regional Health; Dr. Ahmed Abdel-Gawad, Shore Pediatrics-Cambridge; June McKelvey, 1st vice president of the Auxiliary; Ida Jane Baker; Michele Wilson, vice president of physician services, UM Shore Regional Health; Dr. William Huffner, chief medical officer, UM Shore Regional Health; and Auxiliary members, Diane McCarthy and Nancy Linder.

University of Maryland Shore Regional Health and its affiliate, University of Maryland Shore Medical Group, recently celebrated the opening of University of Maryland Shore Medical Pavilion at Dorchester with an Open House event.

The renovated medical office building located at 400 Byrn Street in Cambridge, on the campus of University of Maryland Shore Medical Center at Dorchester, provides updated office space for Ahmed Abdel-Gawad, MD, FAAP, and Gina Exantus-Bernard, MD, FAAP, of Shore Pediatrics-Cambridge, and for medical specialists including Walid Kamsheh, MD, of Shore Neurology and Sleep Medicine and S. Robert Hanna, Jr., MD, and R. Bruce Helmly, MD, of Chesapeake Cardiology.

The project, totaling approximately $600,000, was funded by UM Shore Regional Health and with generous pledges from the Dorchester General Hospital Auxiliary and the Dorchester General Hospital Foundation. The Foundation, overseen by president, Ida Jane Baker, and generously supported by members of the local community, committed funds toward the project in its early stages, including monies raised from its 2013 annual appeal, totaling approximately $82,000, which were earmarked for the construction. The Auxiliary, whose team of volunteers raises funds to support programs, equipment and services at UM Shore Medical Center at Dorchester, pledged $50,000 to the Foundation’s appeal for the project.

The team at Shore Pediatrics-Cambridge

The team at Shore Pediatrics-Cambridge

“We are so fortunate to be a part of a generous community that recognizes the need to support our local hospital and its services,” comments Ida Jane Baker, President, Dorchester General Hospital Foundation. “Because of the community’s support from our 2013 annual appeal and thanks to the Auxiliary, which is a steadfast supporter of the hospital, local residents will now have centralized access to local pediatricians and other medical specialists making care and treatment more convenient.”

Baker continues, “Through their commitment to Shore Medical Center at Dorchester and University of Maryland Shore Regional Health, members of our local community have a significant impact on the quality health care that we have available in Dorchester County.”

“Shore Regional Health is committed to providing high quality, accessible health care services to the residents of Dorchester County,” comments Kenneth Kozel, MBA, FACHE, president and CEO, UM Shore Regional Health. “We are most grateful for the generosity of our hospital Auxiliary, the Foundation and the members of the local community, who have made it possible for us to complete this project.”

The team of Shore Neurology and Sleep Medicine includes Trish Lemay, CRNP, Dr. Walid Kamsheh, and Meredith Bennett, office coordinator.

The team of Shore Neurology and Sleep Medicine includes Trish Lemay, CRNP, Dr. Walid Kamsheh, and Meredith Bennett, office coordinator.

Kozel continues, “Our mission at Shore Regional Health is ‘Creating Healthier Communities Together.’ Through partnerships such as these, we are doing just that – by providing our community with convenient, centralized access to expert medical providers, we are creating an environment where consultation, care and treatment are more convenient, improving the overall health and wellbeing of our communities.”

The newly renovated UM Shore Medical Pavilion at Dorchester provided updated office space for Shore Pediatrics-Cambridge, and Chesapeake Cardiology and Shore Neurology and Sleep. Pictured are Dr. Rob Hanna of Chesapeake Cardiology; Dr. Ahmed Abdel-Gawad of Shore Pediatrics-Cambridge; Dr. Bruce Helmly of Chesapeake Cardiology; Dr. Walid Kamsheh of Shore Neurology; and Dr. Gina Exantus-Bernard of Shore Pediatrics-Cambridge.

The newly renovated UM Shore Medical Pavilion at Dorchester provided updated office space for Shore Pediatrics-Cambridge, and Chesapeake Cardiology and Shore Neurology and Sleep. Pictured are Dr. Rob Hanna of Chesapeake Cardiology; Dr. Ahmed Abdel-Gawad of Shore Pediatrics-Cambridge; Dr. Bruce Helmly of Chesapeake Cardiology; Dr. Walid Kamsheh of Shore Neurology; and Dr. Gina Exantus-Bernard of Shore Pediatrics-Cambridge.

Overcoming Chronic Back Pain Through Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery

Wayne Howard (left) has experienced a much higher quality of life after undergoing minimally invasive spine surgery performed by Khalid Kurtom, MD, FAANS, (right) of Chesapeake Neurological Surgery, part of University of Maryland Shore Medical Group.

Wayne Howard (left) has experienced a much higher quality of life after undergoing minimally invasive spine surgery performed by Khalid Kurtom, MD, FAANS, (right) of Chesapeake Neurological Surgery, part of University of Maryland Shore Medical Group.

Millions of Americans suffer from chronic pain that affects the quality of their lives. Some chronic pain is so debilitating that sufferers are unable to work and others are unable to engage in the routine activities of daily life. Chronic pain is also expensive, costing billions of dollars in medical treatments, lost productivity in the workplace and lost income in the workforce. According to a 2011 Institute of Medicine report, chronic pain affects more people than heart disease, diabetes and cancer combined.

Wayne Howard, age 64, retired CEO of Choptank Community Health System, knows about enduring severe chronic low back and leg pain due to spinal stenosis—the narrowing of the spinal canal causing compression on the nerves in the lower back. Spinal stenosis is a degenerative process that is progressive over time as the spine ages. Howard lived with this pain for over 20 years, trying different procedures, but none relieved the pain that worsened during this time.

“The treatment of spinal stenosis is usually conservative at first, with medical and pain management in addition to physical therapy,” said Khalid Kurtom, MD, FAANS, neurosurgeon at Chesapeake Neurological Surgery, part of Shore Medical Group, an affiliate of University of Maryland Shore Regional Health, and Clinical Assistant Professor in the Neurosurgery Department at the University of Maryland School of Medicine.

“I tried many solutions to overcome or control my pain,” Howard said, “including pain management clinics and prescription medicine. I had a series of injections in my back that at first eliminated the pain for about 8 or 9 months, but subsequent injections didn’t last as long. I saw many doctors, but no one gave me a lot of hope.” He didn’t want to try surgery because other physicians had told him that he might have only a 40-50% chance to be without pain.

“I am one of the most conservative surgeons in finding ways to avoid surgery if possible,” Dr. Kurtom said. “I spend more time in my office telling people not to have surgery than offering surgery. In fact, a lot of patients are frustrated by my approach because they want a quick fix.” He tells patients that surgery is the last resort, and it is to their benefit to forgo surgery until all other options are exhausted.  “Surgery is not offered until patients have failed all conservative management,” Dr. Kurtom added.

Once surgery becomes an option, Dr. Kurtom performs a minimally invasive laminectomy that involves decompressing the spinal canal.  He makes a tiny skin incision, inserting a small hollow tube that serves as a working channel to the deep regions of the spine. Using micro instruments, he completes the decompression. In contrast to traditional open surgery, this process does not damage the tissue between the skin and the spine. As a result, when the surgery is completed and the tube is withdrawn, all the muscles, ligaments and joints are left intact. Most patients have this operation as an outpatient and are able to return to work within one to two weeks after surgery. “Despite the drastic differences in postoperative recovery and outcomes, minimally invasive spine surgery is only utilized by a small number of surgeons nationally,” Dr. Kurtom said. “The limited exposure makes this approach technically challenging with a steep learning curve for surgeons who are trained to do traditional open procedures.”

“I was amazed how quickly I was up and walking,” Howard said. “I was moving around every day, right after surgery.” Post surgical treatment involved physical therapy to strengthen his core muscles. “My goal was to get through surgery and physical therapy and get back on the golf course.”

Since his surgery, Howard has not needed any painkillers, including over-the-counter remedies. He no longer limps and can stand up straight. He is enjoying playing golf, walking and swimming again. “I’m getting along fine,” he told Dr. Kurtom, “but you didn’t improve my golf game.”

Dr. Kurtom recommends that all patients suffering from back or neck pain, shooting pain down arms or legs, or experiencing muscle weakness, start with their primary care physicians. “These physicians are trained to assess the overall condition, order the appropriate test to make the diagnosis and refer to neurosurgery as needed,” he said. “Chronic pain is at times devastating, especially to people who enjoy being active. Treatment is essential to give people their lives back. Culturally, people are encouraged to be tough and deal with their pain. It is not until they have their pain treated that they realize how much they have lost and now gained back.”

Howard agrees. He has no pain whatsoever or any other after-effects from the surgery. “I feel like I’m 10 years younger,” he said. Howard, a native Eastern Shoreman, values local health care. He praised the Chesapeake Neurological Surgery and the UM Shore Medical Center at Easton staff. “Having worked in the health care environment,” he said, “I found that my experience with the whole Shore Regional Health team was a positive use of everyone’s services to get the job done. I value the local, personal touch that you get with Shore Regional Health.”

Chesapeake Neurological Surgery is an affiliate of University of Maryland Shore Medical Group, the multi-specialty practice of University of Maryland Shore Regional Health.  For additional information about the services provided by Khalid Kurtom, MD, FAANS, neurosurgeon at Chesapeake Neurological Surgery, which is located at 403 Purdy Street, Suite 204, in Easton, call 410-820-9117.