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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!


I don’t know how to thank all the nurses who care for me with kindness and professionalism on the third floor at UM Shore Medical at Easton. They work long hours. They spend an hour and a half extra transitioning between shifts….I watched them working in a new computer system, cooperating and helping each other through all the frustrations that occur when changing over to a new system. But most of all they are a very caring group of professionals.


This past early summer – my mother was at UM Shore Emergency Center at Queenstown – she was having symptoms (abdominal pain) due to pancreatic cancer. The physician took the time to explain that no tests would be done as no treatment (surgery, etc.) was going to be done, in a very polite way. It helped mom go thru the acceptance part of her prognosis. (She depended more on hospice program I had her in already.) Just the trusted medical advice mom needed at that time. She did get nausea medication – helped her greatly! Late summer, my father-in-law came to the ED for stroke and then two times for dementia resulting from that stroke, The doctor explained the need for “dad” to eat & drink and came up with a treatment plan. We hired in home help M-F – sons help on weekends. Finally, “dad” is eating & drinking a lot better & starting to take care of himself. Depression was explained as a side effect of stroke & addressed as well. So – education & basic needs were addressed in addition to meds & fluids, and helped in both cases. Eased anxieties of patient and family members and lessened further ED visits.


Everyone I came into contact with for my same day surgery at UM Shore Medical Center at Chestertown was pleasant, caring and informative. The surgery plan went as planned from my arrival time, pre op, recovery room and discharge, I was impressed.


For my test in Radiology at Shore Medical Center at Dorchester, the registration desk clerk was very knowledgeable, waiting time was very short. Waiting area was very comfortable & clean. Privacy was good, and needs & concerns where good. You could see the staff working together and care always excellence and I would recommend this facility to others.


Big shout out to the early morning team at the Cardiac Cath Lab in Shore Medical Center at Easton. Sam, Cheryl, Kathie, Sally and Steve (and others, I’m sure, “behind the scenes”) inspired calm and confidence for my friend undergoing cardiac catheterization. Their obvious expertise, caring demeanor and careful explanations assured her that she was in good hands and all went well.

UM SRH Needs Your Input … Take the Survey!

Help build a healthier community by completing the University of Maryland Shore Regional Health Survey! Your participation in this online survey will help UM SRH provide much-needed outreach and wellness programs to help keep you and your family as healthy as possible.

Click here to access the survey:

Please complete it by February 28, 2019 — and feel free to forward to your friends and relatives for their participation. Survey results are confidential. We value your input!

Olivi Named Director, Diagnostic Imaging at UM SRH

Penny Olivi joined UM SRH last month as director, Diagnostic Imaging.

Penny Olivi has joined UM Shore Regional Health as director, Diagnostic Imaging. Olivi brings 17 years’ experience as senior administrator and senior director at the University of Maryland Medical Center and School of Medicine in Baltimore. Previously, she served as director of Imaging for York Hospital in York, Pennsylvania and as practice manager for a free standing CT scanning center in Timonium, Maryland.

A certified radiographer, radiology administrator and a Fellow of the Association of Medical Imaging Management, Olivi earned her undergraduate degree from Towson University and her MBA from York College of Pennsylvania. She  has served as a board member and  president of AHRA: The Association for Medical Imaging Management, which is the professional organization representing management at all levels of hospital imaging departments, freestanding imaging centers, and group practices. She has received numerous awards and honors for excellence in radiology administration, including the AHRA Gold Award.

Twelve UM SRH Team Members Complete UMMS Emerging Leaders Program

Shown with Ken Kozel (standing, far left) and Kate McCann (standing, far right) are the UM SRH graduates of UMMS Emerging Leaders Program. Seated: Lyndsey Feather, Lisa Eisemann, Melanie Donaway, Jamie Johnson, Alison Toepfer and Karen Hemingway. Standing: Melissa Svehla, Donna Collins, Koreen Smith, Tara Smith, Danielle Brummell and Cathy Tripp.

Twelve UM Shore Regional Health team members graduated from University of Maryland Medical System’s Emerging Leaders Program (ELP) on December 20, 2018. ELP is a seven-month leadership development program designed to introduce potential leaders to the changing landscape of health care and the role of effective leadership in achieving UM Shore Regional Health’s Mission, Vision and Strategic Plan.

Completing the program as the first UM SRH cohort and receiving certificates from Ken Kozel, president and CEO, UM SRH, and Kate McCann, UMMS senior vice president and chief human resources officer, were:

  • Danielle Brummell, Clinical Supervisor, UM Shore Home Care
  • Donna Collins, Clinical Nurse Coordinator, Telemetry, UM Shore Medical Center at Easton
  • Melanie Donaway, Administrative Supervisor, Nursing Administration
  • Lisa Eisemann, Staff Nurse, Multi Specialty Care, UM Shore Medical Center at Easton
  • Lyndsey Feather, Lead Respiratory Therapist, UM Shore Medical Center at Easton
  • Karen Hemingway, Clinical Nurse Coordinator, Intensive Care, UM Shore Medical Center at Chestertown
  • Jamie Johnson, Clinical Nurse Coordinator, Post Anesthesia Care, UM Shore Medical Center at Easton
  • Koreen Smith, Site Coordinator, Laboratory Services, UM Shore Medical Center at Dorchester
  • Tara Smith, Staff Nurse, Multi Specialty Care, UM Shore Medical Center at Easton
  • Melissa Svehla, Clinical Specialist, Non-Invasive Cardiology, UM Shore Medical Center at Dorchester
  • Alison Toepfer, Staff Nurse, UM Shore Emergency Center at Queenstown
  • Catherine Tripp, Clinical Nurse Coordinator, Ambulatory Surgery Center, Easton

The program focused on six topics: models of leadership and the role leadership in driving organizational, team and employee performance; identifying and building on managerial strengths; effective communication; creating and delivering effective presentations; fostering inclusion and diversity; and strategies for creating and developing high-performing teams. Participants met as a group, once monthly, for half-day sessions starting in July, and met in pairs between sessions.

During the half-day sessions, topics including health care finance, marketing, quality, safety, compliance and patient experience were illuminated by UM Shore Regional Health executives who made presentations to the group that included scenarios drawn from their own experiences as senior leaders in health care. Presenters were Ken Kozel, president and chief executive officer; William Huffner, MD, senior vice president, Medical Affairs and chief medical officer; Patti Willis, senior vice president, Strategy and Communications; JoAnne Hahey, chief financial officer; and Robert Frank, senior vice president, Operations.

“Getting to meet some of our senior leaders and hear them describe their own journeys in an informal, small group setting was a real strength of the program,” said Koreen Smith. “I also found getting the analysis of my strengths and how to build on them very valuable. The program whetted my appetite for gaining tools that will help me in my work environment. Since it ended, I have been reading books like Daniel Cole’s Emotional Intelligence and The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey so I can continue learning and improving.”

Said Lyndsey Feather, “I found the Emerging Leaders Program to be incredibly beneficial, professionally and personally. Every topic circled back to our organizational RITES values: Respect, Integrity, Teamwork, Excellence, and Service. From learning about how to navigate difficult conversations, to understanding the difference between diversity and inclusion (just to name a few), we discovered ways to develop and explore what it means to be a leader, and how to develop these characteristics in our employees.

“The Emerging Leaders Program covered concepts that apply to becoming a leader in a health care setting,” said Alison Toepfer. “Those concepts were shared in a very interactive way, and it gave me, as a staff nurse, a better view of the nurse leader mindset. The program gave me the confidence as well as the tools to see myself in a leadership role going forward.”

Notes UM SRH Human Resources Director Barbara Hendricks, “One of the values of Emerging Leaders is learning about leadership concepts, and then taking the time to reflect. This helps to build leadership strengths and enhances the overall team member experience.”

Bedell Leads Population Health at UM SRH

Nancy Bedell, RN, MBA

Nancy Bedell, formerly director, Case Management for UM Shore Regional Health, has been named director of Population Health, effective January 6, 2019.  Bedell brings more than 20 years of population health and care transitions management to the position.

Bedell joined UM SRH in 2015 as director, Employee Health and Wellness in 2015, and subsequently became director, Care Coordination. She previously served as executive director of Clinical Integration at Newark University Hospital, where she was responsible for case management, social work, patient flow and patient experience, and developing transition programs to reduce readmissions and support population health. 

Nursing Global Council Launches Donations Drive to Benefit Homeless in Caroline County

The Community Outreach Committee of the Nursing Shared Leadership Global Council has announced the launch of Love Your Neighbor donations drive benefiting His Hope Ministries of Caroline County.

His Hope Ministries of the North Caroline Clergy Association is a humanitarian 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization whose mission is to  reduce homelessness and enable families to live in safe, secure, and healthy stable housing environments. Participants in the Ministries’ crisis shelter, homeless prevention and/or rapid rehousing programs receive case management, childcare, clothing/furniture, education, employment training, financial literacy training, housing search, income/benefits and landlord mediation.

Upon learning of Global Council’s upcoming drive for donations, Brian Gourley, executive director, His Hope Ministries’ Family Shelter & Resource Center, responded, “I know there are many nonprofit charities you can choose to partner with and I am so grateful that you are willing to work with us and the many families we serve needing who need a helping hand in their time of crisis. It is easy to fall into a homeless situation but difficult to climb out. Your gift gives the families hope and opportunity to regain their strength and stability.”

Items requested are:

  • Bath and shower supplies (children and adult – shampoos, soaps, etc., plastic shower caddy, towels, wash cloths
  • Twin sheets and pillowcases
  • Shaving supplies
  • Feminine supplies
  • Diapers (sizes 1-5), wipes and cream
  • Laundry supplies (shared, large sizes)
  • Tylenol and Ibuprofen (child and adult doses, small first aid kits
  • Gift cards (Walmart, Food Lion)
  • Nonperishable foods, microwaveable meals, single serving snacks (crackers, puddings, juice boxes, etc)
  • Coffee creamer
  • Disposable plates, cups, bowls, plastic utensils, napkins, paper lunch bags
  • Cleaning supplies, dish soap, paper towels, trash bags (13 -32 gallons)
  • Kids toys, games, coloring books crayons, activities
  • New socks (adult and children sizes)
  • Outerwear in good condition (coats, jackets, hats, gloves, scarves – children and adult sizes) – no missing buttons or broken zippers

Donations may be dropped off at any nursing station in the three hospitals.

Global Council Community Outreach Committee members are: Debby Taylor (chair), Same Day Surgery, Easton; Jakeisha Downing, RN Emergency Department, Easton; Sheila Greenwood, RN,  Case Management, Dorchester; Sam Owens, RN, Neurology, Easton; Ashley Schreppel, RN, Telemetry, Easton; and Debby Taylor, Same Day Surgery, Easton

According to Taylor, the group is seeking donations from team members at all UM Shore Regional Health facilities throughout the five county region. “We wanted to wait until after the holidays when the Angel Trees and foodbank drives were finished,” Taylor says. “This is the worst time of year to be homeless and the need for help in Caroline County is really enormous. Last year, His Hope Ministries provided over 5,000 shelter bed nights and more than 15,000 hot meals as well as many other services for homeless individuals and families. We really hope that UM Shore Regional Health team members in all locations will participate.”

Questions regarding the Love Your Neighbor donation drive may be directed to Taylor, ext. 5646



DGH Foundation Supports Cardiopulmonary Rehab and Respiratory Care at UM Shore Medical Center at Dorchester

Health care for the people of Dorchester County continues to benefit from the generosity of The Dorchester General Hospital Foundation says Brian Leutner, executive director, UM Shore Medical Center at Dorchester. Under the guidance of Ida Jane Baker, president, the Foundation Board recently provided $78,209 to support equipment purchases for use in respiratory care and Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation.

Nearly $66,000 of the Foundation funds paid for the hospital to acquire updated technology for use in treating patients presenting with respiratory distress. The new equipment includes two V-500 ventilators, which are used for patients whose breathing difficulty is severe enough to require intubation, and four V-30 noninvasive ventilators, which support breathing in patients whose distress is less severe.

Shown with a V-500 ventilator (far right) and three V-300 ventilators are, left to right, Brian Leutner, executive director, UM Shore Medical Center at Dorchester; Patience Wells, respiratory therapist; Ed Liske, lead respiratory therapist; and Dorchester General Hospital Foundation President Ida Jane Baker.

“We previously rented ventilators at considerable expense from an outside medical equipment company,” says Ed Liske, lead respiratory therapist at the Dorchester hospital. “Now that we own new, state-of-the-art ventilators, we are able to meet patients’ care needs without undue expense, and we are very grateful to the Foundation for making this a reality. Especially during the winter months, when colds, flu and pneumonia are more likely to affect people with cardiopulmonary conditions like COPD and congestive heart failure, these ventilators are in very frequent use.”

Shown in the Cardiopulmonary Rehab Center at UM Shore Medical Center at Dorchester are Sally Worm, Dorchester General Hospital Foundation President Ida Jane Baker, rehab patient Esther Jones, rehab therapists Mary Beth Linthicum and Katie Brown, and Brian Leutner, executive director, UM Shore Medical Center at Dorchester. Linthicum holds a monitor tracking Jones’ heart rate and rhythm as she cycles.

In Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation, the Foundation funded the purchase of the six new telemetry monitors costing $12,236. Telemetry monitors enable rehab team members to keep a close eye on patients who are using treadmills, exercise bicycles and other equipment. “The monitors are a key component of our rehab program,” says Sally Worm, manager, Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation. “They measure patients’ heart rate and heart rhythm and feed the information into our computer so that we can help patients safely advance in their rehab therapy. We are very grateful to the Foundation for recognizing the importance of having state of the art technology in cardiopulmonary rehab care, and for enabling us to purchase these monitors.”

The Foundation’s current fundraising drive is to support the purchase of equipment for use in the Dorchester hospital’s laboratory services department. Unfortunately, due to an error at the Cambridge Post Office, many return envelopes sent by donors were mistakenly returned to them as undeliverable during November and December. The problem has been corrected and mail to the Foundation is now being delivered, as in the past, to P.O. Box 439, U.S. Post Office, 301 High Street, Cambridge, MD, 21613. Anyone wishing to contact Mrs. Baker regarding the status of their donation or other matters regarding the Dorchester General Hospital Foundation may call her, 410-228-8182.

“The generosity of our local community in support of our hospital and its services continues to make an important difference in the quality of health care for Dorchester residents,” says Mrs. Baker. “We greatly appreciate it.”


CRHC Foundation Announces New Officers and New Member

Chester River Health Foundation has announced new officers and a new Board member. The Foundation raises funds that enable UM Shore Medical Center at Chestertown to provide the highest quality health care services by funding the purchase of new and replacement medical equipment and technology, and supporting advanced education and professional certifications for employees.

Barrie Meima now chairs the CRHC Foundation Board.

Elizabeth (Barrie) Meima of Chestertown, a retired philanthropy executive from Washington D.C., has been elected chairperson of the Foundation Board. “It is an honor to be a part of the Foundation and participate in its work to maintain and improve the excellent quality of services, which our hospital provides to the community,” said Meima. “Recognizing that our hospital is essential to the success of the region was demonstrated by record support received by the Foundation’s Annual Campaign just completed. I believe that the hospital’s ability to continue offering highly personalized and exceptional care starts with having the best-possible equipment and technology, and employing highly-qualified employees who significantly enhance the hospital’s value to all of us in the community. The Foundation exists to help assure this level or care, day in and day out.”

Meima also announced the Foundation Board’s new slate of officers. They are; Sandra Bjork, vice chairperson; Kenneth Kozel, president; Charles Lerner, Esq., secretary; Sigrid Whaley, assistant secretary; JoAnne Hahey, treasurer; and Richard (Dick) Barker, assistant treasurer.

Jane Hukill, an active CRHC Auxiliary member, has rejoined the Foundation Board.

Welcomed as a returning member of the Board is Jane E. Hukill, of Worton. Said Meima, “We are moving into a challenging year of raising funds for two vital pieces of medical equipment: 128-slice CT scanner for radiology and a chemistry analyzer for the laboratory. Jane’s vast experience in leadership as a board member with several non-profits and her fundraising skills will be tapped into immediately.”

“The many years that I have volunteered for Chester River Hospital have been extremely rewarding,” said Hukill. “The hospital and its staff deserve support by all who live here, whether through volunteer work or other forms of support.  I am delighted to re-join the Chester River Health Foundation this year to help continue those efforts into the future.”

The Chester River Health Foundation also accepts donations on behalf of Chester River Home Care, to fund a program that supplies medically-necessary, durable home medical equipment and medicines that insurance doesn’t cover and patients can’t afford. “This program’s total focus is providing patients with what they medically need to remain safe at home under care,” says Meima.

For more information about the Foundation’s efforts, please contact Maryann Ruehrmund, executive director,  410-810-5660 or visit the Foundation’s new website at







Your Cafeteria Change Can Support Your Hospital Foundation

UM Shore Regional Health is fortunate to have three foundations working to provide support for hospital and outpatient programs and services that benefit patient care and also to assist clinical staff in pursuing special training, professional certification and degree programs that advance their expertise. Every year, through the generosity of their donors and their respective volunteer auxiliaries, Dorchester General Hospital Foundation, UM Chester River Health Foundation and UM Memorial Hospital Foundation fund the purchase of new and upgraded medical equipment, and help nurses and other clinicians continue their professional development.

Now, Aramark, Shore Regional Health’s food services provider, has teamed up with the Foundation to make it possible for patrons of the Chestertown, Dorchester and Easton hospital cafeterias to donate their change directly to their corresponding foundation. Aramark is providing boxes at the registers (look for the signage, above right) for team members who want to support the foundation’s work on behalf of our hospitals and outpatient care programs. Every little bit counts!


Physicians Honored by Staff for Ten Years of Urology Care

Christopher Runz, MD and John Foley, MD, received special jackets from the staff in recognition of their decade of care for urology patients.

The staff of UM Community Medical Group – Urology celebrated the practice’s 10 years in operation earlier this month and honored providers Christopher Runz, MD and John Foley, MD, who have been with the practice since it opened as Shore Urology in 2009.

The practice now sees patients in Cambridge, Chestertown and Queenstown as well as Easton. In addition to Dr. Foley and Dr. Runz, the practice includes providers  R. Duane Cespedes, MD, Christopher Parry, MD and Andrew Riggin, MD.  Common conditions treated include kidney stones, erectile dysfunction, organ prolapse (female), incontinence (male and female), and kidney and prostate cancers (cryotherapy).

Mark Your Calendar – January 18 – 31, 2019

BREASTFEEDING CLASS – Saturday, January 19, UM Shore Medical Center at Easton Health Education Center, 219 S. Washington Street, Easton, 21601.Tips and techniques for breastfeeding and pumping, Free; to register, call, 410-822-1000, ext. 5200 and leave a message as instructed.

SAFE SITTER(R) CLASS/CHESTERTOWN – Saturday, January 26, UM Shore Medical Center at Chestertown Education Center, 100 Brown Street, Chestertown, MD 21620. Taught by pediatric nurses, Safe Sitter® provides hands-on practice in safety and injury prevention as well as life-saving techniques to young teens who are home alone, watching younger siblings, or babysitting. Topics include: basic first aid, infant and child choking rescue, Show a child’s age dictates care requirements, how to prevent problem behavior, and how to run a babysitting business. Cost: $45 -some scholarships are available. Advance registration is required. For more information or to register, call 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 – Tuesday, 1/15,10 to 11:30 a.m. Birthing Center Conference Room, UM Shore Medical Center at Easton, 219 S. Washington Street, Easton.


  • Breast Cancer Support -Survivors Offering Support (SOS) – Free program pairing women who have breast cancer with mentors who are breast cancer survivors. If you need support or would like to become a mentor, call 410-822-1000, ext. 5866.
  • Cancer Support Group/Easton – Thursdays, 1/3 and and 1/17, Cancer Center, Easton. Information and support for patients at any stage – diagnosis, treatment, recovery and survivorship. Info: 443-254-5940.
  • Cancer Caregivers’ Coffee – Saturday, 1/12, 9-10:30 a.m., Cancer Center, EastonDiscussion of varied issues and challenges facing individuals and families assisting patients with cancer. Contact: Patty Plaskon, 410-820-6800, ext. 5361.
  • Cancer Support Group/Chestertown – Monday, 1/28, 7 pm, 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/Easton —Monday, 1/14, 5:30 p.m., Talbot Senior Center, 400 Brookletts Ave, Easton. Led by Karen Hollis RD, CDE. Please RSVP 410-822-1000, ext. 5188
  • Diabetes Support Group/Denton –  Wednesday, 1/2, 5 p.m., St. Luke’s United Methodist Church, 100 S. 5th Avenue, Denton. Contact: 410-822-1000, ext. 5757.
  • Diabetes Support Group/ Cambridge – Wednesday, 1/23 , 6 p.m., Board Room, Shore Medical Center at Dorchester, 300 Byrn Street, Cambridge. Led by Wynne Aroom RN, MSN,CDE. Contact: 410-822-1000, ext. 5286.
  • Diabetes Support Group/Chestertown –  Tuesday, 1/22,  6:30 p.m. Education Center, UM Shore Medical Center at Chestertown, 100 Brown St, Chestertown Led by Chrissy Nelson, BSN, RN, CDE. Contact: 410-778-3300, ext. 2175.


  • Mid-Shore Stroke Support Group – Thurs, 1/3, 12-2pm, UM Shore Medical Center at Easton, 219 South Washington Street, Easton, 4th Floor Joint Replacement Center Conference Room. All stroke survivors and/or caregivers and family members are welcome. Info: Nicole Leonard 410-822-1000, ext. 5068 or
  • Queenstown Stroke Support Group – Tues, 1/22,12-2pm, UM Shore Pavilion at Queenstown, Suite 320. . All stroke survivors and/or caregivers and family members are welcome. Please RSVP to Nicole Leonard, 410-822-1000, ext. 5068 o