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Above and 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 had a double knee replacement and received physical therapy from Chester River Home Care’s Melissa Myers. She has a bubbly attitude and personality that you can’t help but do your best when following her instructions. She is outstanding, gives excellent care, and professional. She gives excellent customer service that is so rare to find.


In Radiology  at  the Diagnostic and Imaging Center, the persons were very cognizant of my time and did a great job getting me through. I had a great person who did my test. She was very polite and considerate of the test she was performing on me. The waiting room was very comfortable. I was given privacy for what I had to do, and the person working with me was considerate. I would recommend this facility because of its caring individuals.


Cindy Strauss, physical therapist from Shore Home Care, did excellent work with my mom during her recovery from a fall that cause a compression fracture. She not only did PT, she did things to keep her safer and help prevent another fall: adjusted her walkers to a better height; installed a bed rail; and suggested that we get a gait belt, a chair alarm and a monitor. Her kindness and compassion also was very much appreciated.


In my worst moment they, the whole staff at UM Shore Emergency at Queenstown were amazing. Dr. Atha was the BEST as well as Mrs. Vanhoy. I can’t say enough about how good your people are. Thank you so much.


In inpatient care at Shore Behavioral Health, the nurses were top notch make you feel like your a family member and the techs are just as good as nurses. The cleaning staff did an amazing job.


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.

Entrances and Exits at UM Shore Medical Center at Easton

Please share this map with team members to further educate them on which entrances/exits they should be using in Easton.  The restricted areas should not be utilized unless authorized OR for emergency exit usage.  Team members should NOT be entering the building from these restricted areas and also should NOT be exiting through these areas unless it is an emergency.

UM SRH Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Rehabilitation Programs Certified by Industry Leader

Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Rehabilitation team (left to right) Sally Worm RN, Regional Program Manager, Katie Brown, Larry McCormick, Matthew Roberts, Sarah Hughes, Martha Eason, Tracy Kollinger. Absent from photo Mary Beth Linthicum and Donna Campbell.

University of Maryland Shore Regional Health is proud to announce the certification of its cardiac and pulmonary rehabilitation programs at UM Shore Medical Center at Chestertown, UM Shore Medical Center at Dorchester and UM Shore Medical Center at Easton by the American Association of Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Rehabilitation (AACVPR). UM Shore Regional Health was recognized for its commitment to improving the quality of life by enhancing standards of care.

Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Rehabilitation team (left to right) Wendy Barnette, Sherrie Hill, Molly Busick. Absent from the photo Tracy Kimbles.

“The cardiovascular and pulmonary rehabilitation team at Shore Regional Health is very proud to be certified by the American Association of Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Rehabilitation,” says Sally Worm, regional program manager, Cardiopulmonary Fitness and Wellness. “This certification speaks volumes about the exceptional care our team provides and putting the patients’ needs first.”

Cardiovascular and pulmonary rehabilitation programs are designed to help people with cardiovascular problems (e.g., heart attacks, coronary artery bypass graft surgery) and pulmonary problems (e.g., chronic obstructive pulmonary disease [COPD], respiratory symptoms,) recover faster and improve their quality of life. Both programs include exercise, education, counseling, and support for patients and their families.

The UM Shore Regional Health cardiac and pulmonary rehabilitation programs participated in an application process that requires extensive documentation of the program’s practices. AACVPR Program Certification is the only peer-review accreditation process designed to review individual programs for adherence to standards and guidelines developed and published by AACVPR and other professional societies. Each program is reviewed by the AACVPR Program Certification Committee and Certification is awarded by the AACVPR Board of Directors.

AACVPR-certified programs are recognized as leaders in the field of cardiovascular and pulmonary rehabilitation because they offer the most advanced practices available. AACVPR Program Certification is valid for three years.

To learn more about UM Shore Regional Health’s cardiovascular and pulmonary rehabilitation programs, visit

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.”

Dorchester General Hospital Auxiliary Honors Volunteers

Dorchester General Hospital Auxiliary volunteer awardees

The Dorchester General Hospital Auxiliary held its general meeting and annual awards luncheon on September 12, 2018. The event celebrated a total of 12,956.5 hours contributed to the Auxiliary and its programs that benefit UM Shore Medical Center at Dorchester.

Members of the Auxiliary recognized for achieving service milestones are:

  • For 250 Hours: Miguel Moran and Nancy Sims
  • For 500 hours: Shearer Bailey, Odralys Cruz, Beckl Herbert, Karol Redline, Nellie Robinson, Peggy Warner
  • For 1,000 hours: Betty Ridgley and Shirley Shortall
  • For 2000 hours: Alexis Adams, Nancy Linder, Lucy Phillips
  • For 3000 hours: Mamie Short
  • For 4000 hours: Kathy Potter
  • For 6000 hours: Diane McCarthy
  • For 8000 hours: Lee Boyce

Kathy Guillion, shop manager, Robin Hood Shop, presented Barbara Weiss, with the Robin Hood Shop’s Volunteer of the Year Award

Also honored was Barbara Weiss, “Volunteer of the Year” for the work that she does for the Robin Hood Shop and the Dorchester General Hospital Auxiliary Board of Directors.
“Barbara comes in whenever she gets the call from The Robin Hood Shop that we are short on volunteers, need help in the back of the shop, or just simply answers the phone for help,” says Cathy Gullion, shop manager, Robin Hood Shop. “She has stepped up in several ways and I can rely on her as a go-to-person for me to bounce ideas.”

“The Auxiliary continues be a strong force in the advancement of health care for Dorchester County residents through the hard work of its volunteers,” says Brian Leutner, executive director, UM Shore Medical Center at Dorchester. “Through the Robin Hood Shop and the Hospital Gift Shop, they raise funds that help purchase equipment, furnishings and advanced health care technology, all of which benefit patient care.”

The Dorchester General Hospital Auxiliary raises funds to support programs, services, equipment and patient care at UM Shore Medical Center at Dorchester. Fundraising efforts include sales from the Robin Hood Shop, located at 416 High Street in Cambridge, and the Hospitality Shop, located on the first floor of the hospital. To learn more about volunteer opportunities with the Auxiliary or additional ways to support the organization, call 410-228-0091.