Category Archives: Nursing

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).

 

 

New Graduate Nurses Arrive at Chestertown Campus

 

 

Six new graduate nurses recently completed their orientation at UM Shore Medical Center at Chestertown. Pictured from left to right are Dana Ladner, RN; Emma Zonetti, RN; Casey Sonzone,  RN; Kelly Williams, RN; Katrina Gestole, RN;  and Jennifer Kane, RN.

Six new graduate nurses recently completed their orientation at UM Shore Medical Center at Chestertown. Pictured from left to right are Dana Ladner, RN; Emma Zonetti, RN; Casey Sonzone, RN; Kelly Williams, RN; Katrina Gestole, RN; and Jennifer Kane, RN.

By Jana Carter

Shore Medical Center at Chestertown recently welcomed six graduate nurses to the campus. For several of these nurses, they are embarking on a second career. Like many nurses throughout UM Shore Regional Health, their reasons for choosing nursing are as diverse as the opportunities within the field. The compassion necessary to care for a dying family member, opportunities for flexibility and the chance to make a difference in patients’ lives are some of their motivations.

Casey Sonzone, RN, recently completed an observation at a cancer center.

“End of life care is just as important as bringing in a life,” she says.” It’s rewarding to make the transition special for the patient and family.”

Katrina Gestole, RN, cites the variety of specialized options open to her in the nursing profession, such as labor and delivery, palliative care and emergency services, as being one of her biggest career choice motivations.

For Kelly Williams, RN, her motivation stems from her background as a former youth director as she looks to specialize in adolescent mental health. “This is a population that is often overlooked,” she says.

Dana Ladner, RN, who enjoyed working in the obstetrics area, admits there are unlimited opportunities in med/surg and would like to experience as much as she can. Her career goal is to become an OR scrub nurse. Jennifer Kane is undecided on her future specialty so she plans to use this time to learn as much as she can. Emma Zonetti, RN, a former Patient Care Tech, interned with a cardiologist and hopes to remain working within that specialty.

Mary Jo Keefe, MSM, BSN, RN, Director of Nursing at UM Shore Medical Center at Chestertown, is excited about the enthusiasm of the new nurses as well as their eagerness to continue learning. “We know that they will be an asset to our nursing team,” says Keefe. “They bring a wealth of up-to-date knowledge.”

All of the nurses admit that while nursing is very rewarding and exciting, there are challenges that are synonymous within the industry. One such challenge is the prevention of burnout, which all of the new graduate nurses look forward to avoiding by taking advantage of the continuous learning opportunities available within UM Shore Regional Health.

“Keeping your sense of humor – that’s definitely necessary,” adds Gestole.

Literature study sheds light for appreciation of health care roles, demands

Participants in the Literature and Medicine series included, front row from left, Deedra Abner, BSN, RNIV, BC; Jennifer Miles, BS, RN, Nurse Manager for, 2 East Multi-Specialty Care Unit at UM Shore Medical Center at Easton; Sharon Stagg, DNP, MPH, FNP-BC, COHN-S, Director, Shore Wellness Partners; and Barbara Bilconish, MSN, RN, NEA-BC, Director of Professional Nursing Practice and Magnet Program. Back row from left are Gail Shorter, MS, CEN-BC, Critical Care Graduate University; Brian Childs, PhD, Director of Ethics and Spiritual Health; and Diane Walbridge, MSN, RN, NEA-BC, Director of Clinical/Financial Nursing Resources.

Participants in the Literature and Medicine series included, front row from left, Deedra Abner, BSN, RNIV, BC; Jennifer Miles, BS, RN, Nurse Manager for, 2 East Multi-Specialty Care Unit at UM Shore Medical Center at Easton; Sharon Stagg, DNP, MPH, FNP-BC, COHN-S, Director, Shore Wellness Partners; and Barbara Bilconish, MSN, RN, NEA-BC, Director of Professional Nursing Practice and Magnet Program. Back row from left are Gail Shorter, MS, CEN-BC, Critical Care Graduate University; Brian Childs, PhD, Director of Ethics and Spiritual Health; and Diane Walbridge, MSN, RN, NEA-BC, Director of Clinical/Financial Nursing Resources.

“Most people in health care these days say they don’t read literature,” observes Dr. Brian Childs, Director of Ethics and Spiritual Health. “They don’t have time – they work long hours and in many cases, spend their ‘free’ time trying to keep up with research and advances in their area of health care by reading professional journals.” But in 2012, for employees from a variety of nursing, medical, technical and administrative departments, reading literature had a profound impact on their feelings about their work, their interactions with patients and colleagues and their perceptions of their own roles in health care and the industry at large.

These employees participated in “Literature and Medicine: Humanities at the Heart of Health Care®,” a hospital-based reading and discussion program that was originally developed by the Maine Humanities Council in 1997. Funded by a grant from the Maryland Council for the Humanities, the SHS program was organized by Dr. Childs at the request of Christopher Parker, MSN, RN, NEA-BC, CHQM, FAIHQ, Senior Vice President and Chief Nursing Officer.

Much of the reading completed by the group came from Imagine What It’s Like: A Literature and Medicine Anthology produced by the Maine Humanities Council with funding support from the NEH, companies and foundations, and the Hawaii Council for the Humanities. The book contains 83 selections, including essays, short stories, excerpts and poems draw from what the editor, Ruth Nadelhaft, calls “a necessary but still imagined intersection of medicine and the humanities.” Authors include Dylan Thomas, Walt Whitman, Louisa May Alcott, Conrad Aiken, Edward Albee, Flannery O’Connor, and W.H. Auden—along with lesser known and even anonymous writers.
Once a month for seven months, the group met to discuss their readings with the help of two local facilitators, John Ford, a retired professor of literature, and John Miller, Director of Facilities for the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum.

“Our facilitators did a fantastic job,” says Childs, who participated in the program. “With their help, we were able to look at some of the more difficult aspects of health care, even at what I would call the darker undersides that are hard to face and talk about, like anger and frustration with patients, and our own biases in dealing with them. For example, we read a piece by William Carlos Williams, who was a physician serving a mostly poor population, in which he referred to an uncooperative six-year old with suspected diphtheria as a ‘little monster who needed to be protected against herself.’ Some of our clinical participants could relate to his anger in terms of their own challenges with patients, and were relieved to be able to discuss that openly.”

Several readings offered insights into the patients’ points of view, and others touched on such issues as death and dying, research ethics, and perspectives and experiences of nurses, doctors and caregivers. Says Childs, “There was great variety — from vignettes about emergency room ‘frequent fliers,’ to the nonfiction book, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, to Regeneration, a novel about a World War I army lieutenant who is placed in a psychiatric hospital.

“The novel, Regeneration, particularly interested me, and I went on to read the other two books in that trilogy,” says Dr. Brian Corden, MD, a pediatrician who participated in the goup. “I think the author, Pat Barker, captured pretty well how people of that time viewed the devastating effect of trench warfare on the psyche of the foot soldier. Also interesting was the response of the British psychiatric establishment to this trauma.  Throughout the program, the group discussions were always lively and the facilitators did a great job.”

Now offered by hospitals in 25 states, Literature & Medicine has reached hundreds of providers, staff members, administrators and policy makers in health care facilities across the country, affecting the care of thousands of patients. Post-program evaluations have indicated tremendous benefits, with the majority reporting “great or medium” increases or improvements in their empathy for patients, their interpersonal relations and communication skills, their cultural awareness, and their job satisfaction.

Says Gail Shorter, MSN, RN-BC, CEN, one of the 19 nurses who participated in the program, “For me, and for others as well, I think, the most valuable part of the program was hearing the various viewpoints of other participants for disciplines other than nursing –we all read and interpreted differently.  I also appreciated getting to know some of my colleagues on a different playing field, I think for many of us it deepened our understanding of each other.”

“Literature and Medicine is really a wonderful program, and I know that for the Shore Health participants, it proved a great way to re-connect with the reasons they went into health care, and to re-energize their commitment to their work and their sensitivity to patients and their families,” comments Parker. “I look forward to offering the program again so that more of our clinical, administrative and support staff can experience these benefits.”

Nursing Shared Leadership Global Council Welcomes New Members

Nursing Shared Leadership Global Council recently sent a fond farewell to six representatives who recently completed their 2 year term within the council. The team thanks them for their commitment. The Nursing Shared Leadership Global Council also welcomed nine new global representatives and a new director/mentor to the council.

If you have any issues you would like Nursing Shared Leadership Global Council to address, please feel free to contact your unit representative or contact Deedra Abner at dabner@shorehealth.org or ext 8158.

Outgoing members of Nursing Shared Leadership Global Council who recently completed their two-year terms from left are Bernadette Wood, RN (Chair-Elect); Anne Kilborn, RN; Margaret Harper, RN; Jane Flowers, RN (Manager Representative); Carolyn Sutch, RN; Shannon Seek, RN; Deedra Abner, RN (Chair); Not Pictured: Stacey Kram, RN

Outgoing members of Nursing Shared Leadership Global Council who recently completed their two-year terms from left are Bernadette Wood, RN (Chair-Elect); Anne Kilborn, RN; Margaret Harper, RN; Jane Flowers, RN (Manager Representative); Carolyn Sutch, RN; Shannon Seek, RN; Deedra Abner, RN (Chair); Not Pictured: Stacey Kram, RN.

New Nursing Shared Leadership Global Council members back row from left are: Elizabeth Todd, RN;  Janet Wilson, RN;  Colby Robbins, RN; JoAnn Thomson, RN (Director/Mentor); Jen Miles, RN; Susan Breeding, RN. Front row: Jeannine LeMieux, RN;  Kim Brice, RN. Not Pictured. Mary Collins, RN; Jennifer Wade,RN; Lisa Lisle, RN.

New Nursing Shared Leadership Global Council members back row from left are: Elizabeth Todd, RN; Janet Wilson, RN; Colby Robbins, RN; JoAnn Thomson, RN (Director/Mentor); Jen Miles, RN; Susan Breeding, RN. Front row: Jeannine LeMieux, RN; Kim Brice, RN. Not Pictured. Mary Collins, RN; Jennifer Wade,RN; Lisa Lisle, RN.

 

 

 

 

 

UM Shore Regional Health Offers Educational Opportunities Via Local University Partnerships

UM Shore Regional Health partners with a number of colleges and universities that that provide educational exchanges to UM Shore Regional Health employees. An agreement between the school or educational exchange and Shore Regional Health is made to bring information about the programs to the workplace while providing benefits to employees such as waived application fees and tuition discounts. Sometimes additional scholarships are available to employees of educational partners.

If you are currently enrolled in a school with which UM Shore Regional Health is partnered with and you have not been identified as a SHS/Shore Regional Health employee, make sure the school is aware of this. All UM Shore Regional Health employees are eligible for these discounts. Below is a list of universities and programs that UM Shore Regional Health has an educational partnership with. For more information about these programs and when representatives from these organizations will be visiting various sites within UM Shore Regional Health, please contact Gail Shorter, MSN, RN-BC, CEN, Manager, Critical Care and Graduate University at gshorter@shorehealth.org.

Walden University (waived application fee and 10% tuition discount)

Contact: Katie C. Hykes-Waddell, 443-286-3196 or Katie.hykes@waldenU.edu

Visit their website: www.waldenu.edu/local

Chamberlain College of Nursing (waived application fee and 15% tuition discount)

Contact: Jason Henrikson, 404-313-1201, jhenrikson@chamberlain.edu

University of Phoenix (waived application fee and 6% discount.)

Contact: Tanaisha Bolden, 301-752-8620, www.phoenix.edu/shorehealth

Drexel University Online (25% discount for all nursing programs. Non-nursing programs will have a 10% to 25% tuition reduction. Also applies to employee immediate family members.)

Contact: Dan Henner, 215-895-0362, Daniel.R.Henner@drexel.edu

eCubed Employer Educational Exchange (waived application fee and 10% tuition discount)

Represent over 20 different colleges and universities offering a variety of online programs at all levels of nursing and non-nursing education.

Contact: Blakie Joyner, 407.618.5362, www.ecubedonline.com

Stevenson University (finalizing agreement for 20% tuition discount for nursing programs beginning Fall 2013)

Contact:Tonia Cristino, 443-352-4058, tcristino@stevenson.edu

Birthing Center Team Attends Breastfeeding Conference

Pictured back row (left to right) are Priscilla Engle, RN; Jacalyn Bradley, RN; Lynn Crouch, RN; San¬dy Simmons, RN; Patty MacDougall, MSN, RNC, Manager, Women's & Children's Services; Vonnie Rosemary, RN: Karen Van Trieste, RN. Pictured front row are Connie Edwards, RN; Linda Warren, RN; Julie Callahan, RN; and Melissa Smith, RN.

Pictured back row (left to right) are Priscilla Engle, RN; Jacalyn Bradley, RN; Lynn Crouch, RN; San¬dy Simmons, RN; Patty MacDougall, MSN, RNC, Manager, Women’s & Children’s Services; Vonnie Rosemary, RN: Karen Van Trieste, RN. Pictured front row are Connie Edwards, RN; Linda Warren, RN; Julie Callahan, RN; and Melissa Smith, RN.

Members of the UM Shore Regional Health Birthing Center team recently traveled to Delaware to attend a conference focused on breastfeeding. Shore Regional Health’s Birthing Center at the UM Shore Medical Center at Easton delivers about 1,000 babies annually, but its services and care for new mothers continue during the days, weeks and even months following delivery. An important priority of the Birthing Center is to educate all new mothers under its care about the benefits and management of breastfeeding so that they have the knowledge and resources needed to make informed decisions about the care of their newborns.

Nurse Finds Inspiration After Cancer Journey

 

Kim Brice, MSN, RN, CCRN, a University of Maryland Shore Regional Health employee and ovarian cancer survivor, third from left, takes a moment to thank members of the nursing team who took care of her during her recent cancer journey. Pictured from left are Jennifer Miles, BS, RN, Nurse Manager for, 2 East Multi-Specialty Care Unit, UM Shore Medical Center at Easton; Mary Collins, RN-BC, Clinical Nurse Coordinator; Brice and Shannon Seek, RN, OCN. Brice attributes the exceptional care she received locally as being the motivation behind her quest to give back to the community and raise awareness for ovarian cancer.

Kim Brice, MSN, RN, CCRN, a University of Maryland Shore Regional Health employee and ovarian cancer survivor, third from left, takes a moment to thank members of the nursing team who took care of her during her recent cancer journey. Pictured from left are Jennifer Miles, BS, RN, Nurse Manager for, 2 East Multi-Specialty Care Unit, UM Shore Medical Center at Easton; Mary Collins, RN-BC, Clinical Nurse Coordinator; Brice and Shannon Seek, RN, OCN. Brice attributes the exceptional care she received locally as being the motivation behind her quest to give back to the community and raise awareness for ovarian cancer.

As a longtime nurse in the intensive care unit and clinical education coordinator for University of Maryland Shore Regional Health, Kim Brice, RN, knows the high level of care that is available to Mid-Shore residents close to home and family. She never knew just how good that care was however, until she began her own cancer journey. The Easton resident and mother of four was diagnosed with Advanced Stage IIIC ovarian cancer in the summer of 2012. From that moment on, she says she understood for the first time what many of her patients had gone through.“I had always been healthy so I was fortunate that I had never received such a life-changing diagnosis before,” says Brice. “Now that I have been through my journey, I understand that ‘blank look’ you get after you receive unexpected news about your health and how it feels to suddenly be dependent on others to take care of you. I think that today, having been through that, I can relate better to them.”

While Brice’s ovarian cancer protocol was one that had never been performed at UM Shore Regional Health’s Cancer Center, the physicians and staff did not hesitate – and neither did Brice.

“It was a unique dose of chemotherapy with a unique port location but they never hesitated in offering me the option to get my treatments here,” says Brice.  Additionally, she was given designated nurses at the Cancer Center and UM Shore Medical Center at Easton, who prepared her for her weekly chemo treatments.  

Brice continues, “They did an amazing job — no one should ever have to leave the Mid-Shore to get the care that they need. To be able to get those treatments close to home made a world of difference for me and my family.”

Now that Brice has completed her treatments and is one-year cancer free, she is finding new ways to give back to the community – and to the patients that she cares for.

“I understand how badly you feel after chemotherapy – how even the slightest movement around your port can be so painful,” says Brice. “When I see these patients in the ICU, I understand the extra emotional and physical needs that they have and can be a better nurse to them in the process.”

In addition to improving her nursing practice, one of the ways Brice plans to give back is to share her story of success with other cancer patients at UM Shore Regional Health.

“They were amazing with my treatments,” adds Brice. “Everyone was in sync and went the extra mile to make sure I was getting the best possible care. I saw others that were getting care who were treated the same way – it wasn’t just because I was a fellow nurse. They are truly the best at what they do.”

Kim plans to participate in a 5K walk to benefit the Central Maryland Chapter of the National Ovarian Cancer Coalition later this fall. Brice is raising funds and looking for teammates for the walk, which takes place on September 29. Brice welcomes team members and donations to the team. To learn more please contact her at 410-490-9849 or kbrice@shorehealth.org.

“When you go through the kind of journey that I have been through and received the kind of care I have, you feel compelled to give back,” adds Brice. “I just want people to know the kind of services and people that we have right here on the Mid-Shore at University of Maryland Shore Regional Health.”

Innovation at the Bedside: Informatics Improves Nursing Practice, Patient Care

Jo Anne Thomson, MN, RN-BC, director of nursing informatics and practice innovation, works with nurses through UM Shore Regional Health to identify tools that will improve the quality of patient care.

Jo Anne Thomson, MN, RN-BC, director of nursing informatics and practice innovation, works with nurses through UM Shore Regional Health to identify tools that will improve the quality of patient care.

Jo Anne Thomson, MN, RN-BC, director of nursing informatics and practice innovation, left, reviews a newly added process for pain reassessment in the electronic medical record with Bernadette Golt, BSN, RN.

Jo Anne Thomson, MN, RN-BC, director of nursing informatics and practice innovation, left, reviews a newly added process for pain reassessment in the electronic medical record with Bernadette Golt, BSN, RN.

Every day is a little different than the one before but for Jo Anne Thomson, MN, RN-BC, all days at University of Maryland Shore Regional Health have one thing in common: her focus on making the lives of her fellow nurses –and the patients they care for – a little better. As director of nursing informatics and practice innovation, Thomson uses information technology to drive transformation of care at the bedside. Nursing informatics is a high-level specialty that integrates the science of nursing with computer science and information technology (IT) to support professional nursing practice and improve patient safety and quality of care.

“This is an exciting time to be at the cutting edge of delivering informatics to improve patient care and we are delighted to have someone of Jo Anne’s caliber on board,” says Christopher Parker, MSN, RN, NEA-BC, CHCQM, senior vice president of patient care services and chief nursing officer, UM Shore Regional Health.  “Jo Anne’s extensive experience in patient care, education, management and informatics translates into the leadership skills necessary to guide the nursing department through the implementation of information technology initiatives. These initiatives benefit the clinical areas and ultimately improve quality outcomes for patients.”

Certified in nursing informatics, Thomson has over 30 years of nursing experience.  Before coming to UM Shore Regional Health, Thomson was a professor of nursing at Dalhousie University, Canada and also was a critical care nurse.  In her role as director of nursing informatics and practice innovation, Thomson uses her knowledge of information technology, education, management and clinical practice to help the nursing team use information technology to support and advance professional nursing practice.

Because patient care is documented electronically, an important part of Thomson’s role is providing leadership and new IT initiatives needed to support the work of nursing.

“When new information technology initiatives are needed, I lead the project from inception through implementation,” adds Thomson. “This includes analysis of workflow and process redesign, designing documentation screens, obtaining valuable feedback from users, ensuring education is provided and support given during each ‘go live’.”

Thomson also collaborates with nursing and other departments to strategize how to electronically capture data needed for regulatory compliance. This may require redesign of current processes or implementation of new technology.

“The clinical practice of nursing and patient care is directly related to how information is managed and how care is coordinated via information technology,” adds Parker. “Healthcare reform requires public data reporting, and reimbursement is based on quality that is documented in the records we report.”

Innovations often revolve around patient safety and the online documentation of care through Meditech, the online medical record that allows caregivers to document and track a patient’s history and/or monitor ongoing treatment of health issues.

“Nurses on the frontline always have ideas about how to improve processes and deliver better care and my goal is to help make those ideas a reality for them.  We work together to use information technology to make a difference, improve patient safety and outcomes and improve the work of the staff nurse” says Thomson.

An example of the real world innovations made by Thomson and the nursing team took place with UM Shore Regional Health’s IV team.  Mary Panyon, RN, relayed to Thomson the difficulty she experienced determining a patient’s type of Infusa port.  Panyon described a process that involved a lengthy chart review for each patient at every visit.  “It is important for all nurses accessing a patient’s implanted port to be certain of the type of port because this dictates the type of needle to use when administering medication,” Thomson explains.

To address the problem, Thomson recommended the creation of a port database.  “The IV team provided input as to what to build into the database, they framed what they needed.  I was then able to work with IT to design a unique Port Database within UM Shore Regional Health’s Meditech System that would be accessible to clinical staff,” adds Thomson.

Since its development, this database has significantly streamlined care for patients who have permanent or long-term IV access ports. While innovations and improvements may take time, the end result is worth it for both Thomson and her fellow nurses, and for their patients.

As Thomson observes, “When our staff sees an idea for improvement come to fruition, they realize the benefit of the new innovations. They get to see what has been improved and how it has made a difference in the lives of their patients.

“Healthcare today is rapidly changing.  New trends and challenges face us each day. As we move forward, we need to leverage technology to help meet these challenges and advance nursing practice. I am excited to be in a role where I can use my knowledge and experience to transform the way we work and to make a difference for nursing and for our patients.”

Breastfeeding Support Group Offered at Shore Regional Health Birthing Center

 

 

New moms share breastfeeding stories as part of the Breastfeeding Support Group. Pictured front row from left are Ashlea Pentz with her son Bennett, four months; Lindsey Lafferty with son Charlie, 10 weeks; and Heather Weishaaer with newborn son Jaxson. Back row from left areKaren Van Trieste, RN-BC, MS, IBCLC, CCCE and Carol Leonard, RNC-OB, IBCLC, UM Shore Regional Health Lactation Consultants.

New moms share breastfeeding stories as part of the Breastfeeding Support Group. Pictured front row from left are Ashlea Pentz with her son Bennett, four months; Lindsey Lafferty with son Charlie, 10 weeks; and Heather Weishaaer with newborn son Jaxson. Back row from left are Karen Van Trieste, RN-BC, MS, IBCLC, CCCE and Carol Leonard, RNC-OB, IBCLC, UM Shore Regional Health Lactation Consultants.

New mothers now have a new resource to help them in the early days of caring for their infant in the form of a new breastfeeding support group. Originated by University of Maryland Shore Regional Health lactation consultants Carol Leonard, RNC-OB, IBCLC and Karen Van Trieste, RN-BC, MS, IBCLC, CCCE, the newly formed monthly support group hopes to help new mothers have a successful breastfeeding experience.

Shore Regional Health’s Birthing Center at the UM Shore Medical Center at Easton delivers about 1,000 babies annually, but its services and care for new mothers continue during the days, weeks and even months following delivery. An important priority of the Birthing Center is to educate all new mothers under its care about the benefits and management of breastfeeding so that they have the knowledge and resources needed to make informed decisions about the care of their newborns.

“Despite most mothers wanting to breastfeed, many of them come across challenges that can prevent them from achieving their breastfeeding goals,” says Carol Leonard, one of Shore Regional Health’s certified lactation consultants. “The goal of this breastfeeding support group is to provide our new mothers with a mother to mother support group where they can freely share concerns and questions to make their breastfeeding journey a successful one.”

 

Lactation Consultant Carol Leonard snuggles with 10 week old Charlie Lafferty during a meeting of the newly formed Breastfeeding Support Group.

Lactation Consultant Carol Leonard snuggles with 10 week old Charlie Lafferty during a meeting of the newly formed Breastfeeding Support Group.

The Breastfeeding Support Group meets on the first Tuesday of each month from 10 am to 11:30 am at UM Shore Medical Center at Easton. Meetings are held adjacent to the Birthing Center, in the 5th floor Requard Social Center. This month’s meeting will be held on Tuesday, August 6. In honor of World Breastfeeding Week, which takes place August 1-7,this month’s meeting features several door prizes including a handmade nursing pillow and Medela Harmony breast pump.  

“As lactation consultants, we help families deal with common concerns such as how to start breastfeeding successfully and how to return to work while breastfeeding,” says Karen Van Trieste. “Bringing together other moms who are going through the same transitions can provide an additional resource for breastfeeding mothers.”

In addition to the support group, Shore Regional Health offers a number of resources for new mothers.

“We offer ‘rooming in’ for all mothers, and we encourage placing the baby skin-to-skin with mom at delivery and feeding within one hour of birth. These practices have been shown to increase breastfeeding,’ says Patty MacDougall, MSN, RNC-OB, Manager of Women’s and Children’s Services. “With our full-time lactation services and the support group, we will continue to help assure that our new mothers have all the tools necessary have a successful breastfeeding experience.”

Breastfeeding and prenatal education and support is available to both new and expectant mothers. The Birthing Center, whose nursing team is comprised of nurses certified in a variety of prenatal specialties, offers lactation consultant services almost 24 hours a day.

To learn more about the Birthing Center at UM Shore Medical Center at Easton, please visit www.shorehealth.org.

 

Jenni Chambers Named July Employee of the Month!

Jenni Chambers, MS, RN

Staff Nurse, Pediatrics Unit

Jenni Chambers, MS, RN

Jenni Chambers, MS, RN

Jenni Chambers, MS, RN is a valued member of the Pediatric Unit team who works hard to bring about improvements.  Oriented to work on both the Pediatric unit and the Birthing Center, Jenni routinely changes her schedule and comes in when extra help is needed.  A member of the Clinical Practice Committee and the Documentation Committee, Jenni  is a Level VI RN and recently earned her MS degree. She actively assists her colleagues in preparing for their certification, and always helpful to the clinical coordinator and manager.  Jenni also teaches the Safe Sitter class, works for the Shore Regional Health Asthma Camp, and in her free time, she works for Talbot County Public Schools as a nurse so that children with disabilities are accompanied on field trips. Congratulations, Jenni!